This is for my son.
Once upon a time, a wise man asked a grieving man where his love had gone. The grieving man, confused, asked the wise man what he meant. Where, the wise man repeated, did your love go? The grieving man, lost in a lonely place, remained baffled by the question. Love, advised the wise man, was within you the entire time. The object of your love was the trigger, the match for the flame, the spark for the fire. It never left, and it never will. You are love.
So it goes with loss and the grief that follows. It feels as if love has gone forever, the one we cast our gaze on, the one we wrapped our life around is gone. And the love we felt seems as though it will never return again. Never again will we feel the same. The very product of love -hope – has abandoned us.
In that place of grief and loss, we remember. We remember, and it’s inside memory that we reconnect to all that was good and true about that spark, about that match. We recall the first flickers of it in tales of how we met, stories of adventures together, of things we did, places we went, people we met. All the while, the match relighting the fire over and over. An endless light.
But the beauty of it, the whole truth of it, is that love comes from us to begin with. It wasn’t something bestowed upon us, nothing we discovered or “found”. We aren’t lucky or left to chance. It is right there, even now, though it may lie dormant while it revisits the experiences it brought. And grieves the loss of the flame.
In time, in due time, another spark will appear. And it will be a new experience, a new rendering of an ancient energy, a new memory of its power. It is when hope will also reawaken to join the journey, and to hold love’s hand, as one holds a child’s.
Be where you are today. Allow the memories to cement themselves to your heart, so you can recognize the match for the flame, the spark for the fire. Know that the height of the flame is testament to its strength. Be sad for the loss, because it is within sadness that we are often most deeply connected to life, even if we don’t want to feel life at all.
Go easy on yourself today, for you are in process. It is the wonder of love how much joy and how much sorrow it can contain. And after many todays, the match will once again seek the flame, the spark for the fire, not from without, but always, always, from within.