“She died. She is dead.” Thoughts and coming to terms with the words.

Widowed and/or bereaved? And does it even really matter when the words don’t change the outcome?

Widowed – verb: past participle: widowed

  1. become a widow or widower; lose one’s spouse through death.
    • Widownounwidow; plural noun: widows
      a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.
    1. Widower – nounwidower; plural noun: widowers
      a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.

Bereaved – verb: past participle: bereaved

  1. be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to the loved one’s death.

“She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn?” ~C.S. Lewis {A Grief Observed}

We use the terms ‘lost’, ‘deprived’ and ‘absence’ when the truth is they died. Their physical mortal body ceased to work and they died. You are widowed until you remarry, then no longer a widow or widower? And are you still bereaved every single moment, day, month, and year after losing a loved one?

The pain and the grief, never goes away even when you commit actions that take you in another direction, such as remarrying. Grief is not something you get over, it is something you carry with you for the rest of your life. It irrevocably changes you, how could it not?

Does the soul live on after death? I believe it does and that’s a topic for another blog post.

“Well, we have nothing if not belief.” ~Reepicheep {The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis}

The Truth About Death, It Matters!

There is death. And whatever is matters.
And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say birth does not matter. I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch?
She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn? 

~C.S. Lewis  ‘A Grief Observed’

remeber069The passage above from the C.S. Lewis book ‘A Grief Observed’ is haunting and oh, so true. There is death and it matters. I have read this book many times, losing count since reading it for the first time in 1993, shortly after the death of my first wife. This small book has given me comfort and assuaged my grief in entirely different ways each time. Every reading has found me at a different stage in the grieving process and my life. Much of my poetry deals with life, death, dark, light, faith and belief and I have also written about this subject over the years, here are a few.

So if you are ready, I invite you to plunge down the rabbit hole with me. 🙂 Take a deep breath for there is nothing to fear.

April of this year, 2016, will  mark 23 years since she died at the age of 27. I was left alone as a young man with a suitcase full of dreams which I believed that most would never come true. It was and still is time to create and pursue new dreams, which I have attempted to do over the past 23 years. With many setbacks and failures but also a lot of successes.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

I am very happily married to a wonderful and beautiful woman (Carri, who I urge you to follow at Grace For My Journey) who loves me in spite of me and we have an amazing young daughter.  You may have seen some of the horse riding videos of my daughter that I have posted here or on Facebook and Instagram. If not, then I would be honored to have you follow me on both of those accounts and Twitter too! 

Ok, end of the shameless self-promotion! Further up and further into the rabbit hole!

I am doing things I never thought I would, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder; is it better than it could have been?  Nonsense questions, maybe, but I don’t know.

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis

I was there to the end when she took her last breath and I live with the hard truth that there was nothing I could have done that would have saved her. My life now is different and very amazingly good most days. I am happy and realizing despite some lingering survivors guilt; that life, this life, my life is okay and that is simply life and it goes on. Does that make any sense?

Anyway back to the passage above.  C.S. Lewis is right; death matters, to all of us.  Our own and others death,  is inevitable no matter how much we may choose to ignore it. We are all touched by this for if we chose life we will also chose death at some point. It is not an option to have one without the other. We ignore death and its consequences, remaining in our ignorance seemingly unaffected or touched by it until one day it will come up and smack us painfully in the ass!

I have never had an encounter where I could say without a doubt that I was visited by a spirit, ghost, apparition, angel, demon or whatever you want to call it of my dead wife. I have had few dreams and prayed hard for some small assurance that she is okay, nothing just silence from God and the simple phrase ‘trust me.’  Which I still struggle to do and yet my faith encourages me to have hope and just believe.

I have those moments where I stand at the abyss of what is and what was and what could be or have been, it seems easy to make a choice to throw it all away and to search for her in all the ‘vast times and spaces’ of the night-time sky if only to selfishly comfort myself in this world. But as CS Lewis says, ‘I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch. She died. She is dead.’ Not passed away or sleeping but dead. See the words are not that hard to say.

I distrust all those who say they have been visited by loved ones who have died. Really? How can you prove that? How can you prove love, we know it when we experience it but …? So I live with my desires both for this world and the next.

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. ~C.S. Lewis

Maybe we cannot find the dead nor can they find us? We remain separated by the unknown, a vast undiscovered. We drift here in the physical realm easily disconnected from the spiritual realm. Maybe when we die physically and enter into the undiscovered that is when the beloved dead who preceded us will then find us?  A glorious reunion I choose to believe, what do you think?

If you could have seen the end from the beginning would you have chosen a different path? I leave you with this, yes, another C.S. Lewis quote; now go forth seize the day, live intentionally and remember you matter!Triggers

 

 

Two Roads…

20150107_114611_1[1]When faced with this choice which one will you choose?

I have been home and holed up a lot this past week fighting the dreaded flu bug.  Truth be told I have felt miserable most of the time and not up to doing much of anything, especially writing.  I am finally starting to slowly feel better.  However, the down time has given me a chance to do a lot of thinking, when I wasn’t wallowing in my depths of self-pity over how sick I felt. 🙂

I have watched a lot of Netflix during this time including the movie “The Way” by Emilio Estevez and starring Martin Sheen.  If you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it.  I won’t spoil it for you except to say it is about a father who walks the pilgrimage of the “El camino de Santiago“. There is one quote from the beginning of the movie I would like to share.

“You don’t choose a life, you live it.”

The past two days I have lost my voice, I can barely get out a scratchy whisper :).  This also has helped me to only say what is truth and not just fill the air with the rambling sounds of my own voice.  I turned 50 years old last August and over the past 6 months several different opportunities and choices could would most definitely take me in new directions.  A chance to truly live and to make a difference in the lives others and my family.  As C.S Lewis said,

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

I have fears about the choices road that I will be taking.  Mostly about what others might think, especially those closest to me.  It will be an adventure outside the 8-5 work day inside an office building but one that I believe God has set before me and my family.  More to come about that I am sure as things develop and God leads. I originally wrote a blog about this opportunity last August titled “Healing the Brokenhearted”.

I want more from life than just living to making a living and survive to the weekend.  So in this journey of my life, two roads have now diverged in the wood and I am choosing to take the one less traveled by, what about you?

When faced with this choice previously which did you choice?  How has that choice(s) impacted your life?  Do you have any regrets, wishing  you had made  a different choice?