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Digging

A Reflection on Loss

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Today is the one-year anniversary of when my dad was rushed to the hospital, and the last time I ever saw him alive. While he spent more than a month in the hospital before passing, this is the day that I have always felt like he passed away. On that night I couldn’t see a purpose to life seeing my father, a man who had worked so hard to provide for his family and make his community a better place, taken from us without a second’s notice.

I wrote this when I realized I’d never see him again

Its the memories that are ingrained in your mind and the memories painted on your skin that stay with you. No matter how much you want to forget the past and look into the future these incremental moments make us who we are as people. I would love to say that life is perfect and that if we just try hard enough we can take these pieces to create a masterpiece, but sometimes no matter what we do they fall through our fingers and disappear. Because in life we will always fall down and see everyone we love disappear but it’s ultimately the time that we spent with them and here on earth that truly marks our existence.

Death is an experience that concerns all families, without any exception. It is a part of life and yet, when it touches family affections, death never seems to appear to us as natural. When we think about tragedy and loss, as much as we might want to say, very little can actually speak to the sadness we feel on an individual level. 

You know when you’re sitting in the back seat of a driving car. The world passes by while you’re stuck in a dull lifeless state or you step out in space and look down at the entire world, a mere observer just passing through life.

It doesn’t feel like I’m a part of the world, I’m just a traveler passing through it. Lifeless, at the whim of society. Because without a guiding light you can become lost.

The effect of this and love is a profound identification of the lover with the beloved. The death of someone we intensely love is a death within ourselves. When someone we love dies, part of us dies with that person. Hence the suffering. Such is the suffering a child experiences at the death of a parent. 

This coming alive takes place in the consciousness, imagination, memory, and emotions. In particular, the loved one comes alive in the heart of the one who loves. Like a powerful magnet attracting bits of metal, the loveable aspect of the loved one attracts the physical union with the heart and whole being. The beloved in a special way comes alive within the person who loves. 

One can stand out in the midday sun, saturated with light, but if blind, see nothing. One can sit in a concert hall surrounded by the glorious music of Beethoven, but if deaf, he hears nothing. The body dies, but the soul lives on. While lacking sensible contact with us, they are more conscious of us now than ever before. Their intellect is intact, their affections survive and their memory functions with total recall. In some cases, their love for us has reached new levels of intensity.

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