grief and the price of freedom

May I ask you a question?

Absolutely, what’s up?

Okay, this is going to sound like crazy talk, but do you believe in the afterlife?

The afterlife? Do you mean reincarnation? Or life after death, like they taught us in CCD?

Honestly, I’m not sure.

Well, it depends on … wait a minute, where is this all coming from?

(quiet pause)

Luv, what’s going on?

On the way here, as I was sitting in the plane at 30,000 feet way above the clouds I stared out the window looking for Heaven. I couldn’t SEE it. I couldn’t FEEL it, and now, well, you’re going to think I’ve lost it, my mind that is, from all this loss, from their death. But it’s my faith that I’ve lost. How can I believe in something that I can’t see or feel?

Oh luv, that’s what faith is, it’s believing even when something is intangible, unproven. It lives in the space between where your heart learns to feel and the rational ends of your conscious mind accepts the unknown. Losing someone unexpectedly, as you have, when you are already in a place of uncertainty flips the switch on your belief system. I suspect this will not be the only thing you second guess over the coming days and weeks.  

(She shakes her head)

What you’re talking about is a lifelong journey, not just days and weeks. I don’t want to be a part of that, I want it to be over sooner than later, like right now.

Luv, that’s not how grief works; it doesn’t operate on a timeline. It shifts along with the individual until they have–until you have–the courage to walk through its fire, to break through to the other side. That’s the only way you will ever be free.

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Excerpt from a free writing exercise, The Woolfer Writing Group, 9/20/2018

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