Whenever someone close in your life passes away in death, people often respond with, “I’m sorry for your loss,” in part because most of us never really know what to say. From what I have observed and overheard in the receiving line, there are a lot of folks who should probably not speak. Just nod, grasp a hand, maybe a hug…. And move on.
Still this “sorry for your loss” thing persists. I have friends and family who were mighty close that are gone from life into death. They passed at so many different ages. Uncles who died at age 2, Great grandfathers in their 90’s, a sibling they didn’t even get the chance.This is not to say there is no sense of loss, indeed there is and for some it runs deep. We all experience it quite differently. Each holiday can be a reminder, for others the acceptance and transition comes more easily. There is no one,singular right way to do this. I have an eighty-eight year old Mom whose time is on the horizon. Yet I am not afraid or worried, about losing her.
It makes me think of life as a honeycomb. Each chamber containing a different story, a color, a journey. Places where life and nourishment of memories reside. When my father passed in 2012, I honestly did not feel like I lost him. It is true-- he died, he took his last earthly breath. But lose him? It’s not something I have felt all these years later. When I have lost my keys or something insignificant I have no idea where they are. I can look and look and maybe never find them. But Dad? He is not lost to me. It is almost like he fills a different place now in this strange and wonderful mosaic of creation. Yet I can still hear his voice, his laugh. I can still feel what it’s like to kiss him on the cheek.I tap into one of those sealed chambers for one of his old moldy jokes and the honey flows. “How old are you Dad? I’m 84, I would have been 85 but I was sick a year.” There is still plenty of space in my life for him to fill. Mom, each time she tells me a story that she remembers, a little bit more is stashed away for me in a tiny little six-sided vault. The same is true for my Cindy, Alan, Ed, Kaylee, Bennett. And the names of all of my people who are filling these voids.
My honeycomb is constantly changing as the stories fill up and pour out. Ready for every person I have known and loved.Some of you I have known and loved more than others. There is even room for those I have just met, don’t really know, but I remember you.. A precisely contoured space for all of my people. I won’t lose any of them, for I know right where you are. Deep in the heart of my honeycomb.
THE HONEYCOMB - copyright 2018 Jeff Raught
Learn more about Jeff and his meanderings in songs and stories ~ www.jeffraught.com