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 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. This is not to say there is no sense of loss, there is. Grief is unusual in that you hardly see it start and for some say it never ends. But we all experience it quite differently. For some each holiday is a reminder, for others the acceptance comes more easily. There is no singular right way to do this.. I have an ninety year old Mom whose time is probably somewhere 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, nourishment and memories reside. They are not just holes in the beeswax of life or even death. 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. And no it’s not the same one as when he was alive. 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 jokes and the honey flows. There is still plenty of space for him to fill in my life. Even with Mom, each time she tells me a story or I see her light up a room, a little bit more is stashed away for me in a tiny little six-sided vault. The same is true for this extraordinary list of the people who are filling these holes.
My honeycomb is a large palette, ready for every person I have known and loved. It is constantly changing shape as the stories fill up and pour out. There is a precisely contoured space for all of my people. I won’t lose any of them, for I know right where they 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