I saw this on Facebook yesterday, it was shared by a couple of friends that I have made who have also recently lost their partners. It really is quite moving.
“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it.
But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
― Dean Koontz, Odd Hours
When I read this section “… you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss” it reduced me to tears. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have not had a good time for a couple of days, I’ve felt confused, lost and bewildered. But things are settling now a little and clarity is starting to appear.
I re-read some of my old blog posts last night and one of them stood out, a post where I was talking about my reason for living. Looking to the future can seem so bleak with the loneliness and loss being so huge and sometimes it seems like a struggle to keep going, what reason do I have?
And then the reason becomes clear, the reason is Claire. (oh yes, the fact that the Latin meaning of the name Claire is ‘clear and bright‘ is not lost on me)
I truly am reduced to my knees, not only because of the loss of Claire but by the gratitude for the 28 years we shared together. When I think about all of those years it makes me want to shout in gratitude, to dance around like an idiot, to scream from the top of my lungs about how good our relationship was. It’s those emotions that make things so tough and yet conversely give me a reason to go on.
Those emotions are the life taker and the life giver at the same time, all I have to do is choose which one they are going to be – it’s all a matter of perspective.