(this was an original post from November 7th)
Each year on this day, I usually write something about the death of my niece, Lexi. She died 7 years ago today. She was only 10 years-old. While I feel that loss with a deep sadness that can sometimes be overwhelming, I decided that I wanted to write about something that is greater than death. This year, I want to reflect on love.
I’ve been thinking about love and death a great deal lately. How our souls unite together when we find people to love, when we have children to love or when we are given a family to love. I believe that when our souls collide with the ones that we care about, we are united inside each other forever. There are pieces of us that pull and twist and push through to one another to become connected. We kiss and hug and touch people so that we can feel that connection—that ever-present reminder—we are loved and we can love greatly. I believe, that death doesn’t really have the last say. Death is just the pause from each other on the journey we take here on Earth.
We are gifted with life though the promise of death lingers in every breath with take. It is an unbreakable bond that we cannot escape. What a tragedy to find that our bodies will eventually decline and our time on Earth will end. What heartbreak to realize that we are here for only a moment and that moment could be gone in an instant. I have wished for another day with Lexi, another hug, another moment to laugh with her and love her in her physical form…but you know what? Another day would never be enough time. Love is tricky that way, it doesn’t give us the time we crave to be together here…instead it finds another way to carry on forever.
My brother-in-law’s funeral was Friday. While I didn’t know him very well—Jeff was a quiet man—he was lovingly devoted to his wife and young daughters. He was a constant presence in our lives as someone that was dependable, someone who was a great listener and someone who showed up for the ones that he loved time and time again. He spoke very little, but what he did say was: “I see.” “I see.” I always found it a profound way to respond to the people around him. You could tell him anything in the world and he would quietly respond with “I see.” As if you needed to just tell him your side of things, how you saw how things were going and he would say, “I see.” I believe that he understood all that was going around him and he chose to allow others to live their truth rather than inserting what he believed to be the truth of it. He died unexpectedly last week, at 43 years-old.
Friday was one of those heavy days—you know the ones—where death lingers inside the weight of our limbs. Where the air is thicker and harder to breath in. When lifting our arms to hug each other feels like the only type of work our body can do that day. Where stories of the deceased spill like secrets from our lips, rising up their memory in hopes they will walk in the door at any moment. The love his family, his wife and daughters have for him seeped out of their pores, like their souls were trying to reach him one more time. For one more hug. One more embrace. One more laugh. One more time to hear, “I see.”
For every person I’ve ever loved that has died, I have to remind myself that our love for each other is inside me…they are a part of me. Forever bound inside my soul, I feel that love…and I let that overwhelm me more than their death.
I see inside every living being
Resides a soul.
Some may call it energy,
Or a life force,
Or a spirit.
But really, they are just words
That mean something greater than we
Can possibly comprehend.
For it is within our soul that we are
Given a gift—
To live and to love and to be a part of each other.
We are bound to one another
When we kiss
When we embrace
When we share our souls with another.
Love is the constant.
Love is the gift.
Love is the power we have to be
Stronger than we ever imagined we could be.
To find another to love–
To be given a child to love–
To be graced with a family to love–
To have love–
To feel love–
To be loved–
To understand love–
We have to remember,
It is inside ALL us.
It is a hunger
It is a craving
It is a longing to be together.
It finds a way to connect.
It finds a way to unite.
It does not allow death
To define itself or make itself disappear.
Love is in the breath we take
Reminding ourselves to live
Reminding ourselves to be present
Reminding ourselves that
We have no beginning.
We have no ending.
Love is continuous.
Love is infinite.
Love is forever.
It is beyond kindness to each other.
It is beyond joy.
It is beyond compassion.
It is what it is
And only what is can be:
I see inside every living being
Resides a soul.
A soul that can love
And find love
And be loved.