The last week has been a contrast of happiness and sadness. We said goodbye to good friends moving back to the U.S. and said hello to another. He set his fresh footprints into the Israeli life he is about to lead. On Thursday I woke up and went to a family funeral and then ended my evening by celebrating the impending nuptials of a good friend. I am used to this sort of lifestyle, the schizophrenic altitude of life. One eye smiling and one eye crying.
Today, I woke up and celebrated a new birth, and welcomed him to the tribe. And then I went to Tel Aviv and met the saddest man on earth.
Sitting in a cafe, I caught up with the founders of the Girlfriends of Fallen Soldiers group. Two women, who carried me on their backs during the toughest time in my life. A couple of hours later, a young man joined us. Half Israeli, who grew up in Finland. His live-in girlfriend was killed six months ago in the Carmel forest fire.
Sitting at the table, I cried with him. His pain washed over us and all I could do was try to stick my hand into his darkness. I tried too hard to avoid the clichéd phrases of “be strong” and “it’ll be ok”. I couldn’t promise him anything. But all I could do is let him know that I myself knew what it was like to be lost. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel” I told him. “Unfortunately, I don’t know how long the tunnel will be for you.”
I left the meeting distraught. Shaken. His heart was cut in half and I saw the dim glow that was once his life. He was trying to hold himself together and the threads were snapping. Leaving him hanging in the lonely abyss of grief.
He told us that people thought he should be better by now, six months later. How his family wanted him to be happy now, find someone new. Their good intentions were making him even lonelier, more lost. Helpless
What people forget is that this is not a breakup. When we lose our partner in this fashion, more often we lose them when our love for them is at its peak. That loss will forever scar us, even when we do find happiness and love again.
The Huzzy decided to fly this evening last minute to be with his family as they mourn the loss of his uncle, his mother’s younger brother. My heart was tight to let him go, the world is unexpected and seeing the young man today in his sorrow unearthed my deepest fears. There is a tremor of panic if my husband is not safe by my side, breathing softly next to me in bed. The death of David’s uncle reminded me of the wave that crashed upon me when my own father passed, and then today, my heart became flooded with the grief of lost love. This week, I am reliving my losses in third person. Witnessing and mourning with those who have lost.
Today I was reminded of the rawness of pain, and how we learn to live with that hurt, only to have it slam into you when you least expect it.
Life, I am aware of you. I can feel you with all of my senses.
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