and there, all of a sudden, it is.

a vacuum, where just two seconds ago, we took for granted that he is here, she is still with us, they are.

we see them in our minds alive. with radiant smiles, their voices strong and gentle, their eyes sparkling, beckoning us to share this moment of great joy of being alive, together. and then no more.

how can we understand this?

the brain knows the facts of life, and death is one, but our minds and hearts have strings that play a tune to every soul we love, and it is a looping symphony, because in that sphere, the realm of affection, connection, there is no end, just more melodies and harmonies that we hum together every time we think of one another, reveling in memories of yesterday and plans for the day after tomorrow. sometimes, life will give us a fair warning. bodies become challengers, then enemies, there is struggle, we fight and prevail, but mortality knocks and there is time for what needs to be felt, and said, and walked through and talked through. and when the soul at one point says, “it is enough”, and moves on to a new adventure, we hurt, but prepared, and that’s hard enough.

but sometimes, those bright stars that sparkle in our lives just live with enthusiasm, boldly cultivating their values as they shine luminously, live as right as rain and change everyone else’s life in the process. and suddenly, no more.

we might only connect once, or briefly, and yet remember the moment fondly until we, too, close our eyes for good. there was a light when we needed it, or an idea that opened a door. there was a hand that pulled us through, or a shoulder to lean on just enough to catch our breath.

or we create a tribe, build forts of friendship, look up to one another and appoint each other as side kicks, have each other’s back, and build air castles from blueprints of brain storms. we push each other to new limits and reach new heights, sit with each other in darkness and comfort, allow our tears and screams to be swallowed by the soul sibling’s understanding silence, and because of them, we are okay.

or we are family by origin of blood and birth, and have an understanding of and bond with each other that is special to birth family and hard to replicate outside that realm. we know one another so well, take each other for granted, get along or not, but we’re family, and as such all limbs of one tree. regardless how we are connected, our bond is something unifying and stabilizing, it roots us, grounds us, stretches and uplifts us and without it, we wouldn’t be us.

i don’t have a recipe for the pain that comes with loss.

i just know that this pain is so deep that it is better to let it be and not fight it. when it devastates us, it’s okay to walk with it. when anger kicks in, and it will, it’s okay to ride with the pain. there will be moments of acceptance, but without warning, the darkness that takes our breath away can be back with a vengeance, and it is good to cry when we can. definitely cry whenever we can. it will take time, but it will get better. in these dark hours and days it is important to be kind to ourselves, because the pain won’t be.

however, it is not our enemy. it is, like everything in life, an opportunity. again, no need to understand it all now. just trust that it will get better, and one day, acceptance will lift the veil of sadness, and what remains is the magnitude of the blessing the loved one is for us, until we, too, move on.

but today, when all we see is the tunnel, it helps to just take it one day at a time. there is no need to think further than the day after tomorrow. there is just the need to eat a little, breathe a lot, stretch, and try to rest.

and to love. the one who left, and to love ourselves.

although our grief is personal and individually unique, we are not alone.

we will get through this.

and just like a rainbow ends the thunderstorm, and spring melts winter, our joy will return. one day.

give it time.

Ki Woyke

Published February 9th, 2016
by Ki Woyke