Sunday, November 8, 2015

Brilliance uncontained

The body does not die because it is not strong,
It dies because it can only contain the brilliance for so long.

There's no way that I remembered that quote correctly. I apologize. I do not even know the name of the poet, or of the poem. However, I find some small amount of comfort in this idea.

This afternoon I attended a funeral for a woman whom I had never met. Those who spoke of her, spoke of her intelligence, her wit, her "realness", her love and devotion for her family, her directness, and how if you were her friend then you were her friend for life. They told stories of lifelong relationships with their friend, their wife, their mother. They told of how she never gave up herself in throes of the disease that ultimately took her from them. They spoke of how she did not know the fullness of the impact she had on the people and the world around her. 

How I wish I had met her! I cried in empathy for the family and friends. I cried in mourning for my own Nana. Most every word they said, they could have been talking about my Nana. As I was sitting there thinking about my Nana, it occurred to me that I wasn't fully present when I attended her funeral. It was a very different time in my life, a time when I could not have been fully present. I realized that the same was true for my own father's funeral and how I grieved for him at my step-father's funeral. 

Grief and loss are strange animals. They never do go away entirely, but rather diminish with time and by celebrating life. While I had never met the woman whose loss we mourned today, she gave me a gift that I didn't know how much I needed. She gave me the gift of an opportunity to mourn loss with a presence and peace of mind that I did not previously have. She further provided me the ability to see that my step-father gave me the same gift. I only wish I could have realized what he gave me at the time.

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