A friend's mother died suddenly early this morning. I got the call at 3:30am. After comforting the family, I found myself plunged back into my own experiences of grief--my own mother's, years ago, and a few more recent ones. I also found myself tumbling back into experiences of loss I thought would undo me, but didn't. Loss is inevitable. And it hurts. Frightens us too. Loss is a reminder of how vulnerable we are, how much we're not in control after all. Loss of any kind can send us spinning, craving firm footing again.
When we do so, it's not hard to bury ourselves in work or anything else that might distract us, numb us, and help us avoid the pain.
But loss is an invitation. There's grace in it, hidden beneath the pain. Through loss we can come to greater clarity about what really matters in life.
Through some losses I thought would destroy me, I've learned that a lot of what I thought I needed, I don't really need, and so much I thought I could not live without, I can, in fact, live without.
Grief has taught me how involved I am in humanity, how much I'm made for love. And loss has taught me that the one thing I need most can never be taken from me.
Perhaps that's what it means to live Holy Saturday, halfway between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Intention: Today, I'll let my losses shift my priorities again. I'll look back upon them gratefully--even through my pain--and realize they can be my teachers. Every loss can open me to embrace life more fully.