Mourning is an odd thing because losing someone you love does not necessarily put you in a constant state of crying and depression. It actually lifts you in ways you have not been lifted before.
And in the Jewish religion through the Shiva period, you are surrounded by people who truly care about you and in most cases knew the deceased and how many lives they touched.
And anyone who has experienced this week of mourning can attest to the fact that you are so distracted from the fire roaring in your gut that you are able to carry on without falling apart right there and then. But at night after everyone has left and you return home you feel the loss and the pain envelop you and it won’t let you go.
And accompanying that are those final images pulling you down under the water gasping for air. Sleep never comes and you feel lost and alone even if someone is right there beside you. There is an immense crevice of emptiness that cannot be filled.
Mornings are just as terrible. You wake up on automatic. You pick up the phone but you catch yourself somewhere in-between hope and loss and you hang up realizing they will never be on the other end again.
And then there’s the numbness. You are somewhere in-between the grass and the sky. Suddenly these moments come when you feel absolutely nothing and you know for the first time that there really is such a thing as nothing.
And what you really want at the end of that mourning period is to push the rewind button and while the recording tape is moving backward, you want to jump in and grab them.
But it doesn’t work like that because if it did, there would be all of these people tearing and ripping at the recording tape trying to make it stop as if it never happened. We’d all be jumping in there pulling all of those we lost out from the wreckage. We’d be waiting for them to open their eyes and see us and say our names and smile.
So what do we really have? Well there are dreams and there are memories and sometimes they are one and the same. Images of them as they were before the deterioration dance in front of us as they visit to make sure that we know they are alright and at peace.
And this brings us warmth and comfort but there is always the awareness in the back of our minds that the dream will end and we will wake up and they will be gone.