“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Love, like Forgiveness, is such a deep topic that I will need several posts to even begin to cover it.
The Love I’m writing about today is the arduous, demanding, heartbreaking kind. Love that calls forth from within you every resource you can muster to stay grounded. I’m speaking of Love that requires you to let go of the beloved when every cell in your body cries out NO. The sun setting on an earthy life is nearly always heart rending, particularly so when it is the life of a young person. The colors are mixed.
I attended the Memorial service for a friend’s daughter who died from the disease of Addiction. Somehow, this family succeeded in doing that rarest of things in a service of this nature, honoring and truth telling with seamless Grace and perfect pitch. I came away knowing this young woman in her true nature but also having no doubts about the depth of the earthly pain that tortured her and her family.
How do we find and walk the level places when painful Love threatens to take the legs our from under us? We are facing every last one of the things we fear the most. How do we not be swept away on the swift current of our Grief?
Reflecting on the intention of everyone in attendance at the Memorial, to be present for the principal mourners, I noticed the rapt attention of all who gathered in the light filled space. There was music, prayer, stories, refreshments, hugs, kisses, and tears. Fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, siblings, children, and friends were gentle with each other however grief manifested.
At the family wake after the service, folks did what people have done at wakes from the beginning of human time. Through storytelling we held each other up, laughing, crying, and opening our hearts. We were fed by food and drink but principally nourished by each other’s presence. As much as the family needed us there, we needed to be there as well.
We never know what life is going to ask of us. When the psyche resists what life delivers, our shared humanity is what sustains us. The perennial blessings of Nature offer themselves to us as well. To reflect on the question, what does Love look like now? We need to get away from the clamorous demands of daily life. We don’t require more thinking. The next loving action will emerge when you put yourself in a still place that quiets the mind. Listen for it’s whisper.