No Promises Given

There is a powerful hush in our world.  The peacefulness of the hush is heavy and difficult to stand under, without the fear of buckling.

Thoughts are somber.

And though the world seems hushed and quiet, the clamoring in our thoughts and the pounding of our hearts is nearly more than we can tolerate.

A man in our world has died.  Suddenly, without warning.  Without chances to say goodbye.   Without anyone expecting it.  We have no promises here.  Yet we have expectations.  We feel entitled to a certain normalcy in our world.   We expect birth, growth, maturity and a life of production.  Production meaning a good life lived, working hard, taking care of your own and helping out others.  And the reward is, we age, we grow towards death.   And we expect to die when we get there.  Then we die with age.  And only then.

We don’t expect death to come and get us.

This is our expectation.  This is our normal.

But this has never been a promise given.

And it’s never been a promise kept.

But the shock remains.

Because we have never experienced…..each new death.   Each new loss.   Each new broken expectation.  Every loss is an unknown and un-lived loss.

We have never lost him before.

Not this man.

My father lost his parents during my life time.   I watched his suffering.  But my suffering was different, my suffering  was for my grandparents.     I did not know his suffering as he knew it.   When my father died, my pain was something I had never known before.   And though it was known to millions upon millions before me….I  had no experience with it.  And I was not prepared for it.  And I will not suffer that loss again.   But I will suffer that loss forever.   Time will not make it easier.  It will make it more real.   And time, it will give me a chance to become stronger with it.

As with all who die this death is unique.   We have not known the loss of this person before.  The way he lived was like no other.  Those who knew him, those who loved him, those whom he loved….that pattern will not be identically replicated.   Ever.

With this death, with his loss, the questions will be asked.   Again.   And again.

Why?   Why?  Why?

What can we do?

How can we help?

These questions, with no answers.

Everyone wants to help.  But no one knows how.

We all have our own beliefs.  And my beliefs comfort only me.   But I do believe.  I believe that though we don’t have a promise given here.  We have a promise that has been given.   But it’s not until we fulfill our journey here.   With my father’s death  I believe that the man who walked amongst us is now carried about within us.   Where he was in our lives is gone – but he is now within the fabric of our life and our love.   I believe that there are parts of us strengthened by those who love us, and by no choice of theirs, have to leave us.

When my father was alive I could talk to him by phone, I could go see him.   Now, I can speak to him at any time, in any place.   And I know he hears me.  I believe that the space he filled when he was here was left empty upon his death.  For a reason.  That space, it was filled, immediately.   The love and support of people who poured their concern, their joyful and laughter filled memories,  their tears, and their prayers in to us helped fill the physical space he left.

Though we enter this world with no promise.   I believe we can live our lives with promise.   A promise of living life with dignity, and respect to others.  A promise to love and allow love.  We take.  And we give.

Within the hush of today I hear the sound of his life lived well.  I hear loudly of  the love he gave, and the love he accepted.  And I believe in the promise he now has.