I spent the day helping a friend go through the belongings of a dear loved one who has passed. It’s tough going. One might think it’s the expensive toys, gadgets, and gizmos which you’d want to hold on to but instead, it’s the little things; sheets of paper, old license plates, CDs, notepads. Items which wouldn’t sell at a yard sale or purchased at Goodwill are of immense value, a treasure to the ones who remain.
Death is often an open wound. Scabs may form, some healing might occur, but grasping at past memories and experiences, strains and pulls apart the wound and the pain, heartbreak of loss returns. Its hard letting go. It’s difficult to say; “goodbye.” but death demands we do it again and again in many ways, on many occasions and you wonder if it will ever be the last time.
Moving on requires that one live open-handed, no clinging to earthly, temporal things, allowing the shared life of the one who is gone to be enough.
We are missing a few cans of paint. No idea where they are hiding. We’ve looked every place we know to look but haven’t found them. The Mrs. thinks I’ve put them somewhere and forgot, she’s probably right. Nonetheless, after searching high and low, wide and narrow, we have yet to locate the elusive cans.
As I searched for them and tried to think of other places they may be I’ve reflected on the wisdom quote; “Stop searching and you will find that which you seek.” The meaning is simple but the discipline is difficult.
Too often we want our problems solved now, our challenges conquered, our questions answered, our purposes revealed. However, our desire for resolution and the timetable for the eventual solving of them are rarely aligned.
Allowing for patience as the path unfolds. Accepting the limits of our power and knowledge. Living life with open hand instead of trying to grasp, manipulate, control is not easy but worth understanding and doing.
Yesterday, near evening, my wife and I walked around the yard looking for signs of spring. It was sunny, blue skies, warm temperatures and we were desperate to find buds, green, visages of life at the beginning of March.
We were able to spot a few. A new leaf here, a baby limb there, but there was nothing that shouted; “Spring!” just whispers, rumors, of the dead of winter passing and the newness of another season on the cusp of birth.
It was good to spy even the slightest changes. Winter begins to cling to my spirit, like an anchor weighing me down until my soul feels like it will be stuck in it’s dead state forever. It was nourishing to be reminded of the life to come.