“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” ―
It’s almost 5am and here I am, sat at my computer but in a very, very different new year than the one that I had expected. Perhaps it is a dream? If it is, then it is the worst nightmare ever. Perhaps there’s some confusion in my head, caused by Parkinson’s Disease? Yet, I am surrounded by people who show the same pain on their faces and I am receiving messages from people whose words echo those of my own deep sorrow. No, this is all too real.
I felt that I should write something about the fact that my beautiful mum died just a few days ago. You see, I know there are others out there who are going through the heartache of loss, too, right now. I want to reach out to everyone experiencing loss, at this time, and let them know that it is going to be okay; that they will come through their pain and that life will find a way to feel some sort of ‘normality’, once more. In time. I pause, though, as I think of normality. How can life be in any way normal when a person so central to your life is suddenly so very absent? Yet, I know from experience, a new normality will evolve and we will all find a way forward.
I have been humbled by the most beautiful outpouring of kindness, these past days. From people I know only minimally, through to those who are the inner-most circle of mine and my family’s; people reaching out to say that they care. People taking the time to put words together using so many methods. Whether it be a text, an email, a tiny comment on social media or, indeed, a message via social media, a card in the post, a letter in the post, a voicemail or a video chat, a phone call or those who see me in-person and express what is in their hearts and minds…so many ways in which people have communicated something meaningful and kind. The power of words to gift each other with what we hold within, is beautiful.
Use your words now; today. Find a way to tell someone you care for, what is in your heart. Let them know they are loved. Life is far shorter than we ever stop to appreciate and perhaps I can tell you, based upon my experience at this very sad time, that the words we communicate to each other can make the difference. Even at the saddest of times, when we are at our lowest and most vulnerable, the beauty of words can lift us to a place of strength, resilience and recovery from whatever we face.
To everyone who has contacted me, in all of the different ways you have done so, I thank you. You see, there has been a shipwreck. I have survived. I am in the water, holding onto some floating wreckage. Every so often, a wave hits me hard and I wonder how to do this? Yet, the wave subsides and, until the next one hits, I recover another little part of my strength and drift closer to the shore. Somehow, words of comfort and love reach me, as I cling to the wreckage and ride out the waves. This enables me to focus on the shore, where I will again stand and where I will again enjoy just being.
To anyone who is experiencing the grief of loss at this time, please know that you are not alone. There are people everywhere who share your pain. In my role as a psychotherapist, I used to offer my clients that pain is a symptom of love. If there was no love, there would be no pain. How beautiful is that love? How wonderful that something can hurt so very much; for it reveals the strength of love in a relationship. It is what makes life meaningful. Knowing this, would you be without your pain? It would mean removing the love and I reckon none of us would choose to let go of the love we shared with our loved ones. So just allow yourself to feel the pain. Much of it will subside, in time; though not all. It will, however, return to being more a feeling of love, not just the pain we feel right now.
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2020.