A friend of mine lost his baby girl last week. Just a couple of weeks away from her due date, his wife was in an accident and their baby died. She is their first child. I've thought so many times this week about the stages of grief, about where they are in the process right now. Another friend learned this week that in a matter of months she will lose her mom to cancer. She, too, is just beginning the process.
There is no part of grief that feels good, but I remember the awfulness of those early days and weeks and months so clearly. I remember being shocked to discover that the pain of losing a loved one is actually a physical pain. It settles right in the cavity of the chest where the heart once was and seems to penetrate deeper and deeper into the soul with every inward breath. It is an almost constant companion, an appendage like an arm or a leg, only it has no life of its own. It exists like a parasite to its host.
I think it's human nature to look for the hidden meaning in things, the lesson to be learned. I've decided that I don't think there always is one. Some things just are. Unless the meaning to be had or the lesson to be learned is just to find peace in suffering.
I have a pristine refrigerator. Bold statement, no? I'm talking strictly about the outside of it, not so much the inside. I used to love refrigerator magnets. The quirkier the better, and if I could write poetry with them, that was all the better. But as my life has become more complicated, my fridge has become less so. Only two magnets have survived my discriminating cut-backs over the years, and even those are tucked around the side. One is inconsequential for this post, but the other says this:
peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.