I am borrowing this post written by an amazing author named Jon Katz. You can find his blog here. (Thank you Jon for the permission). I think his words go hand in hand with this wonderful YouTube video made by a very optimistic, positive 18 year old. Watch it-it’s so inspiring-and actually may be just what you needed to see today.
There is a point in life where death ceases to be an abstract thing that happens to unfortunate and older people, but becomes something that is closer than many other things, and not really abstract at all. That is a turning point in life, I think, and you can think about it and learn about it, or you can get your pills and diapers and senior discounts and run and hide from it and get blindsided when it comes. This is not morbid for me. In a way thinking about death is thinking about life, and how one wants to live. Perhaps this is why I became a hospice volunteer a few years ago, and just finished a three month tour for a book about grieving for animals.
If you have animals, you will learn about grief and loss soon enough, and I’ve had a lot of animals and learned a lot about it.
What have I learned?
Grief and love are twins, connected to one another without boundary, equal and haunting beautiful parts of the same whole. Life does not exist without death, and grief does not exist without love. You grieve what you love, and grief is a process with its own mind, sometimes. I have learned that grieving is critical, purifying, cleansing, like death, not something to be avoided or denied.
And always, always, right next to grief is the beautiful reality of love, two of our most powerful emotions locked in an eternal dance with one another. Because you will never see one without the other right behind it.
What have I learned?
Grief is love, and love is grief. Just as there is no light without darkness, there is no love without loss. And although this seems to often catch us by surprise, it is one of the unalterable truths, I have come to believe.
”Come In, Lord.”
“Beautiful is the new snow falling in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know that really I am speaking to you
whenever I say, as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, come in.”
– Mary Oliver, “Making The House Ready For The Lord.”
My Story by Jacob Schemmel