Loss took everything and it took everything I had left to make it through the day. In the initial aftermath of their deaths, and my remains, I inched my way through the moment.Benjamin Greater awakeningThe outside world temporarily converged to provide comfort and scattered when all was said and done. But all was not said. And all was not done. I was left with what loss took, looking for what loss left.

And each day took what it took. It took my dreams. It took my tomorrow. It took me to another world, a surreal world where everything was different, foreign and unfamiliar. It took me to this strange land where everything looked the same, but what was missing was everything that mattered.

Even in the early days, especially in the early days, I had to touch every memory, every place we went, every word I could remember in the haze. I kept grasping for what loss took, trying to hold on to any remnant of yesterday. It felt like I was holding a broken hourglass desperately trying to grip the sand as each granular slipped through my fingers.

Benjamin Hurt and HealI wandered the house touching toys, holding pictures, smelling their clothes…wandering from room to room, memory to memory; inch by inch I wandered. The watershed moment between life and death left me on the wrong side of time, and left me wandering a barren world.

Loss took a part of me, an irretrievable part of me. It’s gone. I knew the moment each of them died a part of me left with them. I could tangibly feel it to the depths of my soul.

Even in the shattered pieces of my heart, I knew immediately there were pieces missing. They said my heart would mend, but it couldn’t mend without all the pieces. I knew it wouldn’t mend, but I knew my heart could heal.

It would always beat at a different rhythm, but it could heal. It would never, could never be the same, but I knew my heart would heal, just in a different shape. I knew this because of what loss gave me.

Loss gave me a part of them. Not all of Lydia, Matt and Bryan left. In the intertwining of our hearts they left me the rhythm of their hearts. Every memory, touch or place we shared was what they gave me.

I am not a person living in isolation, living in just what was lost. I am a being living with the love they gave me in a new way of loving. I am living with what I have been given – love.

The precious people that I dearly love gave me what has come to be a crucial part of the healing of my heart. They gave me their love; and this love doesn’t sit in a broken hourglass. Love transcends time and space. Love, their precious love, is forever a part of me and shapes not just my heart, but every breath I take.

I was recently asked about the way I express the grieving process. My experience is that part of me goes with them and part of them stays with me. The grieving process is the reintegration of this dynamic into a new way of relating to them, the world and to me.

The question was, “What part of you goes with them?” The most obvious answer is a huge piece of my heart, my life, my today and my tomorrow. But there is a more subtle experience within those elements.

What I experience in the wake of my loss is a greater awakening. I see the world different. I feel the world different. I love the world different.

The ones I love have stepped into the Expanse and I am more expansive. I hold life more tenderly. I enter each moment with more depth. The fog that initially descended upon my soul lifts when I enter their space and timelessness, and clarity ascends in the ascension. I see meaning beyond the meaninglessness. I see others and their sorrow; and I sorrow, not for them, but with them.

I can hurt and heal at the same time. My healing does not mean I do not hurt. My healing means hurt has meaning when once it felt so senseless and cruel. When I touch that part of me that they took with them I feel the hurt carry me deeper into love and compassion. The transcendence of love lives within and beyond my sorrow. I see that when they hold me I the Expanse.

They left me with a precious part of themselves. In death, they took a part of me into the Expanse and I now am a witness to the preciousness of life. When I hold the part of us that stayed here, I feel the beauty of the interplay of this new heart. When they hold me in the part that resides beyond this world, I experience heart itself. Loss takes what it takes and gives what it gives.

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