The older we get, the more loss we see, the more friends, family and loved ones that we say good-bye to. Years ago, I remember my Tai Chi teacher, Professor Chi Kuan Wen of Taiwan, remarked that all of his friends were gone. That was hard for me to comprehend at the time and I really didn’t know what to say. The right words I mean. What can you say to that? Sometimes there are no words… but you sure do start to understand his point as you get older.
There has been so much loss for so many people in the last months. Every day, somebody else is speaking of a grave loss. Heartfelt condolences are uttered so frequently, they feel like platitudes. And then there is another. And another.
Or it could be that you are just much more aware of such as you get older. Be that as it is, I’ve known so many who have lost loved ones this summer. It could be that with all the social media, we are finally connected again enough to know such things on a more personal level. Like we were back in the day when communities really were closer together, in body and spirit both. There is good and bad of everything, I guess, much thinking on it all.
I am not certain that the good-byes ever get any easier, but at a certain point, and age, they come so quickly, you are painfully aware that there really are a whole lot of empty chairs in what used to be such a big crowd. Just as suddenly, you are also aware that you don’t always have as much time to stop as you would like. You want to stop. Need to stop. Grieve. And then, there is yet another good-bye.
Each of us, in our silent and solitary pain, we keep moving on, doing the best we can. We pull ourselves back up. But one more time, life stops and we leave a piece of our heart in the dirt.
A poem by Regina Garson
Shattering all in its path:
they struggle to their feet.
Searching for sustenance,
for body and soul.
As the death knell rings,
belied by the hands of fate,
for the passing.
The ones left behind clean up the remains
of what used to be
a mundane existence.
Wishing dearly to once more live
that cherished mundane existence.
They carry on anyway,
whilst the death bell toils loud in their ears.
-but only for a moment.
And once more,
those who remain,
pick up the pieces
of what is left of their life.
And one more time,
yet another piece of their heart
-is left behind in the dirt.
Regina Garson Copyright 2016