Encouraged by one individual, one incredible soul, a long time friend with her own deep experiences of loss, I now write on the topic of loss and grieving.
I dedicate this chapter to a dear friend who passed away from lung cancer. My best friend, my mate, my buddy, someone I confided in, hung out with, drunk with, smoked with, laughed with, loved life with. Upon the news of his condition he withdrew into his Family.
I didn't have the opportunity to say good bye. I went from daily and sometimes hourly contact to nothing at all. Silence. Is. Golden. They. Say.....
Craig, if you are listening, I miss you every day. I think of you often and I do my very best to be a friend to your late Wife and your incredible Daughter.
I want my memory of you to live on, to feel that loss and to grieve deeply, to always rejoice in the amazing time I did spend with you....those crazy years....those naughty and silly things we got up to together.
For as long as I have been alive, as night is to day, the experience of loss and associated grieving, the letting go have been a part of me, as much as joy, happiness and elation.
It can happen in an instant, with the slide of a violin bow, a sudden memory image, a cascading of birds, a gun shot....I can cry at the drop of a hat in an instant of things that I will never be able to let go of, only to accept that they are and always will be in the past and that they do not forge my future, only occasionally bend me double, sobbing in the present moment.
The passing of my child Jonti Maya who was embraced into this world if only to live briefly in utero. To never crawl, to never sit, laugh, giggle and play. I almost got her name tattooed across my forearm...oh the depth to what the news of other children passing does in bringing back that pain,
The passing of friends by hanging themself in a carport late at night to be found by their girlfriend the following day. Of work colleagues grieved at the philandering of their Wife, to hang themselves deep in a swamp, high in a tree.
The passing of my late Father-in-law after a long drawn out illness, letting go and the Family all trying to contain their sense of relief, in grief, united in loss.
Marriages ending in tears, the loss of companionship however terrible of past recollect, the deep sense of failure, the loss of connection, the profound sense of rejection and the wide wave of fallout across children, their precious souls forever scarred by the ensuing interruption and schism in their lives.
Deeply loving an incredible young woman only to know that in speaking one's truth that the separation and ensuing letting go would cut deeply into the soul, forever united by the incredible union of physical and emotional souls but unfit for spiritual purpose.
The passing of friends from drug overdoses, heart attacks brought on by drug use.
On the news that my step-daughter of whom I loved and Fathered for 3 years....killed in a car accident.
I cant go on writing of this.
There are too many incidents, too many people who I have lost, of whom I grieve for.
What I have learned is that there is peace in accepting that they have moved on. I have learned that in the constant letting go, the crying, the moments of feeling that pain deeply and allowing myself to cry and FEEL pain that ......it builds me up.
Loss and grieving are an essential facet of being human. No matter who we are, no matter where we are from, no matter how privileged we may be....we all will suffer loss, we grieve, we let go.
The answer is not simply dismissing off-cuff these experiences with "toughen up cupcake" and then stoically pursing ones lips and pulling that grief into a bundle of hardened hate of life. The answer is in FEELING that pain, allowing one's self to cry deeply, in confronting that fear of letting go.
Empathising with others, encouraging them to speak openly of their loss, standing by them through times of hardship, in being of service in listening. In crying, our eyes are washed clear to see better with, to love deeper with, to invest in those who matter, everyday and in every way.
To love life itself and all it brings deeper.