Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Crowded Hour

When someone passes away too soon, there are so many unanswered questions and unfulfilled expectations that the mind mires down in all the wonderings and all the sadness. Questions like why and how cloud the judgment and give us something to focus on which temporarily blocks the pain that is waiting to engulf us so completely. We feel the loss and the grief comes over us in waves, but we don’t give in to it because we are afraid we won’t be able to cope or function through some of the most trying days in our lives. So we let ourselves become entangled in what has to be done and in the presence of those who surround us during times of loss, and we balm ourselves against the grief until the immediacy of it has passed.

The aftermath of loss is really the worst part of the experience. When all is done, we go back to our routines and we try to get on with things, but something isn’t right and we feel the shift in our universe so acutely that it doesn’t seem like we are the same people anymore. In truth, we aren’t. A part of us that loved the deceased went with that person into the grave and we know that our lives have changed in an indescribable way. We adapt to this change and we find a new path to take us into the future.

It is vastly different when the person who dies is young. When someone is old or has been sick for a long time, their death seems like a natural progression; something that was meant to be. When the person is just not there anymore and we think they still should be, there is no such solace to be found. We have to wrap our minds around the fact that they are gone. There is no comfort in knowing that they aren’t suffering anymore or that they lived a long life. They are just gone, and that is what we have to adapt to.

In dealing with losses of this magnitude, there is little more we can do except remember what the person who went before us achieved and accomplished in their lifetime. There is no use in spending energy on wondering why the tragedy had to happen or what we might have done to prevent it. Those are musings that are pointless. If we could have done something to change what happened, we would have and the reality of now would not be what it is. Punishing ourselves serves no purpose and it only prolongs the grief that we feel. Our thoughts and motives are so much better spent on honoring the deceased in ways that they deserve. Their lives were worth so much and what they gave us, what they gave the world, is their legacy.

The aftermath of loss is not pleasant. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking it is or will be. Losing someone we love is not something we ever truly get over. On the contrary. It’s something we learn to live with and as time passes the loss becomes easier to bear. Nothing or no one ever takes the place of someone we loved. That’s not how it should be. Rather, we move on because we have to and because nothing can stop it.

In memorializing the one we lost, we have to focus on what they imparted to us. There is no better way to honor their memory. What they did while they were here is their best testament and it’s one they made for themselves. Don’t let their hard work languish in lieu on our grief. Celebrate what they did and let them shine on through their accomplishments. There is often no rhyme or reason for what has happened. There is only the task of making sure our loved one is not forgotten.

Walter Scott said it best: “One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.”

No better comfort can be found.
And that is my sole focus for now.