Somehow you get through – it’s not even that you learn to live with these things – they stay in our lives forever as part of who we are. In fact these are the things that make us who we are. They used to say this kind of suffering was character building. That may or may not be so, for me, it allows great reflection and understanding of my capacity to love and give love and in turn what it means to lose that.
One of the annoying things friends and family expect, is for you to “get over it” after a certain amount of time – whatever that time is. But there is nothing to get over. You can’t just imagine it’s behind you – things are not behind us, they are all a part of us. We carry them with the sum of ourselves. Maybe by putting things behind us we let our guard down, we love too easily again, we get hurt so much more because of that. Taking the good and the bad experiences is what makes you the person you are. Are you a fighter? Do you run away? Are you persistent? Do you give up? Whatever you do, you have to live with it – you don’t learn to live with it – there is no manual. You have no choice, choice has been removed from this section of your life and a loss of some kind has left a crater and a giant rock in the same place. Luckily the giant rock plugs up a lot of the feelings for a while – this is often known as shock. Eventually the putridness of your trapped feelings in this hole in your heart starts building up a mass of toxic gasses which must be expelled. This build up, over any period of time (as long as it takes you), causes a massive explosion. The giant rock is blasted apart from the hole in your heart. The tiny splinters of angst, hurt, devotion, honor,disbelief, love and any other betrayed related feeling you can imagine, is dug deeply into your heart and mind. Each little splinter of that pain has barbs of doubt, guilt and confusion holding them in place in your heart. And we can’t let go or it can’t let go of us or we don’t give ourselves permission to keep moving forward even though we are cemented in that time of tragedy and know that’s impossible, isn’t it?
The hard part is learning to navigate around these losses, grievances and betrayals, eventually like a powerful river we keep flowing around these rocks of hurt that seem like they will never shift or move. But they do erode – the erosion is so subtle and slow we don’t even notice and so it is, I believe, with tragedy, loss and grief; be that for a living being or a relationship of any kind. Loss leaves a big hole and a giant rock that you drag around with you all the time. Afterwards we question everything said and done, what could have been different, the “if only’s” and the “what if’s” with hopeless, empty dreams. Nothing can be changed. It is what it is, but I know I fight against this too, even though I understand the futility of the fight!
I think only in time will I manage to erode down that rock of loss, will I be able to take the sharp edges off and flow a little easier around the things put in my way that I have no way of changing. Perhaps time won’t heal the wounds, but perhaps time allows my river of life to smooth the edges of hurt. Perhaps it lets me build up strength so that I can push past that hurt easier, every time I have to go past that hurt again. Because it doesn’t go away….