|photograph by Ashley Unbehagen|
Recently I read a story about a woman who was losing her hearing.
In the initial stages of this loss, she strained and struggled to hear the words and to piece the parts she could hear into meaning. Every conversation and encounter was an exercise in anxiety. Finally, she realized this and made the decision to stop struggling and try to listen beneath the words for what was being communicated. She “listened” to the faces, the gestures and the warmth that radiated from those speaking. She “listened” for light and compassion and love.
Deep grief is like this.
At first we struggle so desperately to see and hear this child whose absence we cannot accept. We soak up pictures, memories, voice mail messages trying to recapture what is outside our reach. But as healing happens, we learn to relax into some sense that is beneath or beyond those visual and auditory cues. We learn to trust the presence of this loving connection that will never die and our hearts learn to embrace all that is true beyond the physical.
Can we do that with our loved ones whose physical presence is still with us?
Can we relax into what we know about hearts, their true presence and listen beneath the words?