I just want the world to go away, for my world had gone away. Nothing was the same, but I was sitting in the same house, the same chair, hearing the same sounds. The real became the surreal. I became the surreal. And I needed to be by myself, for self had changed. Hours emptied into eternity. Days went by. Still, I wanted to be alone.

Benjamin June 26 Loss leadsEveryone deals with loss differently. Some want the company of others. For me, everything hurt. The touch of another, be it emotional or physical, was too much for me to bear. As a child when I was in pain I did not want to be touch. The child became a man, but the man had grown from this child.

I have learned that grief is a reflection of life just as every other experience I’ve encountered. Grief is not set apart from me. Loss, and how I need to deal with loss, is an integral part of the whole of who I am. I do not become someone different in loss.

I needed to honor who I am just as much as I need to honor the one I lost. When Bryan died I needed to be there for Lydia and Matt, but when the dust settled, I needed to go deep within me where no one else could go.

When Lydia died, I needed to be there for Matt. But after he went to sleep I needed to wake to the interior sorrow that permeated my presence. I needed to embrace the depths of my loss in its depths.

When Matt died, there was no one else I needed to be there for. What I wanted to escape, but couldn’t, became inescapable. I was left in the uttermost recesses of loss utterly alone. I had no one left to hold, even me.

I do not know where others go when death takes what they love, but I go in search of where love went. I follow my fragments looking for where they fit within me and where I fit within them. I touch a moment and feel the resonance of eternity that is just beyond my touch. I lean into the chasm and either fall or float. I land in a foreign land with familiar feelings, a wordless world speaks to me that only stillness can translate.

I go where loss leads me. I go where life guides me. I follow the scent of love. I held my son’s coat inhaling every molecular residue until I could smell him no more. I sat in the sacredness of the minute strains of his hair that was left on his favorite baseball cap. I sat in a dark room illumined by a far off streetlight that left shadows on my shadows.

I was drawn to those places. I was summoned to those anguishing feelings. I did not cry those tears. They cried me. I had to go. And I had to go alone.

Benjamin June 26 reflectionThe time came when I was led to leave me aloneness. I resisted. I had grown accustom to the interior world and the exterior world had become a distant refrain to the senselessness of my surroundings. It was like the mythic tales of someone falling asleep for hundreds of years and waking to a village that no longer looked familiar. Yet, I had not been asleep. Just the opposite. I had been awakened to a world different from the one that looked asleep to me.

It was not easy to wander collective moments when I had grown accustom to my solitary ones. I was out of stride with the world that moved so quickly in what had become meaningless movements. What was so important to me once had now lost it glimmer. The shiny objects the world chases with a vengeance no longer shined for me. I had seen my shadows and saw now how the world so often is in pursuit of their own shadows.

Still, I had to weave the two worlds together. At first, I would live in the exterior world and retreat into my interior world when it became unbearable or when I could escape the clamoring chaos. But as time went on, I began to blend the two. I live in my aloneness, in my interior world, and walk the world around me balancing the two in a strange kind of truce. I do not fight either one. I have found peace living in the precipice of in here and out there.

Nevertheless, I live more alone than in the company of strangers. On occasion, I gravitate to someone that is no stranger to this world. We sit in our words and settle in our silence. Our worlds are like mirrors. In theirs, I see mine. In mine, they see theirs. I am replenished by their presence. Then we go our separate ways, knowing as we say goodbye that nothing lives in separation.

And when we leave each other I once again realize that I live in my aloneness, but never alone. My solitude serenely sits in the company of those that know loss. We sit together on sacred ground, in sacred love. What I was seeking when death happened has found me. I was looking for where love went. And when I leaned into my sorrow, I found love was taking me to where I had gone. I was looking for love, but it is love that was looking for me. What I had sought found me. Now, when I sit alone, I know we are actually sitting together.


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