Facebook has a feature where past posts or “memories” pop up with an offer to reshare them on the timeline. This morning a picture of my son and my late wife appeared from four years ago-the night before she passed away. It is simply incredible that four years have passed. I don’t think the sun has set once without a thought of Carrie and the love found in 26 years of marriage, a love that has not diminished one iota. Life is an amazing journey and the life lessons even more so. While God saw fit to allow our earthly journey to end, my journey continues.
There is a peculiarness attached to life after the death of a loved one, maybe more so when that one is a beloved wife. I’m not sure if it ever completely goes away but I do know that it diminishes. This after life seems to be a paradox and it is thus: what once was remains—not as a remnant or residue but as a whole—while what is is wholly different yet no less whole. All of the past is wholly contemporary in the present but does not dictate today, today stands alone.
Allowing today to stand alone means that every thought, feeling, or memory is intact, affirmed, embraced, even endeared. Oddly, this is made possible as we become friends with grief. This “friendship” begins the moment grief is allowed to be present but isn’t allowed to take over the day. In time, perhaps a long time, this friendship becomes moments of welcomed reminders of the one we loved and a memento that his or her life mattered to us. And with this friendship replete, we can wholly immerse in our own unfinished journey.
So today I remember and tomorrow too as my friend grief visits and reminds me how much Carrie mattered. This visit is not an interruption; it is simply part of my journey, accompanying the whole. I go on, living joyfully, embracing all the memories while fully engaging in today’s life, love, and adventure.
Wholly remembered yet wholly immersed, today stands alone…
and all of my tomorrows too.