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Monday, July 10, 2006

When People are Torn from Our Lives

Not neatly excised. Or tidily removed. But torn away from us leaving a gaping, ragged-edged hole in our being. Do the edges ever knit back together?

How do we heal from that? Do we ever heal from that?

I suffered horrible, heart-wrenching loss twice in the space of a year. Strangely both on the same day, but a year apart.

My father's mortal shell gave up the fight on March 17, 2005 after several years of unimaginable suffering, courage the likes of which I've never seen before - and indeed hope I am never called upon to bring forth for I know I wouldn't be able to match, in any way, his bravery. An exceptional man, a treasured husband, an adored and adoring father, a cherished friend. And a kilt-wearer! He was 72.

I read twice, once at his funeral in Scotland:

Parable of Immortality

I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
And I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a peck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down
to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says :
- 'There she goes!
Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says:
- 'There she goes! ', there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
- 'Here she comes!'

~ Henry Van Dyke 1852 - 1933 ~

and then again at the scattering of his ashes at sea in Hong Kong:

He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

~ Anonymous ~

A year later, to the day, I lost someone I loved in a way I hadn't loved ever before, in a way where I was loved back as much as I loved. Ripped away at 45 without warning, senselessly gone from my life and others. A man more gentle and compassionate than I have ever known, a man I would have loved for the rest of my life. A man who loved me and forgave my foolishness, my weaknesses, my faults. A man who drew from me, all the wonderful things I am that noone had ever bothered to look for before.

I hope wherever they are, that they are together toasting a daughter and a lover, for I know they would have liked each other greatly. I hope they are at peace, more than anything that is my wish.

I miss them both, my dad who anchored my life, and my lover who brought so much joy to my soul.


DG said...

Oh babe... this was beautiful. So touching indeed

Sunny Delight said...

this is lovely, my heart aches for you, it would have if i had read this before i knew you better, now with the more knowledge i have, my heart aches even more for you...you have such a strength...and a such a wonderful heart which was a gift you gave both men... these two wonderful men who also gave you theirs. *a big hug for you*

Becker said...

I lost my nanna a few years back and I miss her heaps. To use your word she was my anchor. I was given the chance to say something at her funeral and I didn't take it. I loved the poem 'He is Gone' I can really understand it and I can honestly say when I finished reading this post there were tears in my eyes.



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