Through a Glass - Darkly
Through a Glass - Darkly
On Losing Someone to Death.
You do not enter willingly. You suddenly find yourself there - are thrust there by sudden tragedy.
Even if the final end was slow in coming, you are in a state of shock.
Death is always sudden.
You enter the dimension of grief as through a film, a scrim, a veil,
a shroud of your own � from which you�ll never fully emerge again.
But, you will work your way through it, somehow � and be able to be
a fully-functioning being - but not at o nce.
You�ll strive at the confines of this all-encompassing membrane, like
an infant fish struggling to get released from the cloying egg-sack in which
This struggle will be with you, this puzzle of your own soul trying to right
itself again from the agonizing attack of loss, for your entire life.
It will go through many phases, like lunar realms.
Some enter it somnambulistically, as if mesmerized.
Others rage, kicking and screaming, but all of grief is individually paced and no o ne's is ever quite alike.
Grief changes you as surely as death has changed the loved o ne.
It isolates you, and encases you as you walk through fields of Nefilim shadows
like your loved o ne.
It is a dangerous time, and o ne which well-meaning o n-lookers should take
You are still very much bonded to the o ne you�ve lost, and always will
You will dwell henceforth partly in that mysterious region, and partly still
in the world of the living.
Depending o n degrees of closeness, o n the depths of despair, and o n the basic
personality of the griever, the seriousness varies � and some do not
waken to the impact, living in the spell of denial, for many years.
John Bradshaw is an excellent source of consolation and understanding of the
He had lost his mother as a small child, and his own psychological makeup
kept the feeling of this pain away from him until he was in his forties.
Whether this is preferable or not is again, relative to the individual and
circumstances, but look at the field he chose to follow � and look at
the grieving boy of the murder-victim who grew up to pursue the mysteries
of crimes like the o ne, and including the o ne, which tore his mama away from
him � James Elroy.
To extricate yourself form the intense change death brings is not possible,
but to avoid living the rest of your life around and through this all-encompassing
It is better, most experts say, to allow yourself to find a safe, neutral
place � and much time � in order to begin to experience the long
It sinks into the selves inside you slowly, bit by bit, as you hang o nto the
tendril of a plant o n a mountainside and fall down into different levels as
your psyche will allow it.
There will be a shred of something to hold o nto as you approach the abyss
of pain, and, although it seems like a limitless reservoir of hurt, after
two years at the least, the sting and the nightmares will begin to lessen.
You will find yourself, though, held tightly in the talons of the screeching
beast of torturous pain and wake up crying and wanting, swearing, begging
God to allow you just o ne glimpse of your loved o ne among the moonlit patterns
in your room.
One�s closeness with God and attachment to religion often falls by the
wayside � inadequate to contain the dark sea of despondency you are
immersed in or will be, o nce you�ve let go in fury of the last modicum
of hope and fallen in � or dived in � raging against all you o nce
Suicides of o ne type or another are more common that people recognize.
If you love your survivor, make it your job to do all you can to rescue them.
If they don�t talk about it, force them to.
If they don�t want to get out � drag them out of the house.
Don�t� leave them alone, if you can manage it.
Read books o n this terrifying process of grief.
Even if they don�t do anything rash, sometimes just the misery will
lead their souls in the direction it takes to follow the beloved.
Sometimes they won�t eat, or take care of themselves properly any more.
Sometimes the wretchedness is so contained, that it attacks them somewhere
in the bodies, and their hearts had secretly decided where they had wanted
to go, despite all o ne�s efforts to reintroduce them back into life.
They, the bereaved, feel cut-off, resentful of others �
one who we know still goes to card shops when Fathers� Day nears and
still picks out cards for her beloved father, silently hating all those who
are buying cards for fathers who still exist.
This is normal, but not protesting or whining does not mean they�re
not going through all those stages of intense feelings.
Others have not been through it, they find early o n � and more �
others are uncomfortable with the very idea of death. They want to avoid the
subject entirely, including the o ne whose been subjected to loss, as if that
person has the plague.
They�ll do peripheral kind words and little gestures, but they fade
quickly, as the more impatient among them want to get their person back and
pretend all is well, even saying things like ,�are you STILL upset over
such-and-uch�s death ?�
The uninitiated and lucky among us think there�s an expiration date
on loving and missing someone who�s expired.
Would that there were.
There is not.
Love me, love my dog translates into love me, love my loss.
Your friend or relative will never be the same, and that haunted look is there
Don�t make them pretend otherwise, for their own sakes.
From time to time even years later, they will need the truly caring conversation
and kindness of someone to allow them to talk about their loss, about the
loved o ne they still connect to and always will.
Seeking out others who also have loved the person is a good idea, and many
will trade in old alliances for these new bonds.
We know o ne lady who, having lost her son to a train crossing, grew close
to his best friend.
They married soon after, despite the strange protests of her family and friends.
Some cited the age difference.
Others thought it couldn�t� last � was built o n grief for
the beloved son and pal.
That bond has lasted so far, and that marriage, for decades.
It served no purpose for others to protest, and was the right thing to do
for both of the bereaved.
They moved to a distant city and started a new life, which is always a good
idea after a life-altering event such as a death.
New places and atmospheres do help, but always, you will drift backward, and
go back � maybe sitting in your car, alone, replaying the vivid life
and love you used to have with the lost loved o ne � maybe just in your
mind as you go to sleep � but that love does not die.
It never will.
One day in the future, you will again find your lips curving upward into a
smile as you remember a time � a golden time- spent with that person
who�s now in heaven.
It will take a long time, though, for the stabbing wounds of loss to stop
and for the balming waters of happy remembrance to take their place.
You�re not there yet � but it will open up someday
for you � a new way of life � life not, as others suppose �
without the loved o ne � you�ll never be without him or her �
he or she will continue to be a big part of your life, and will enrich the
melancholy soul of you, as you swim backward into lush memories from time
Love lives forever. And your love for your lost o ne will continue and even
strengthen in ardor.
Love continues. And it�s the o nly thing that does.
This article was lovingly penned by o ne of our EcoMermen who has endured and
continues to endure, as we all must, the loss of several close o nes. He hopes
that � as did he during the fresh phases of loss, during sleepless nights
when he could not find anyone even o nline who understood his pain �
that now others going through similar times will be able to find comfort and
understanding in this article.
For more o n grief, visit Grief Mermaid .