“Well, Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you reach mine…” wrote Canadian wordsmith Leonard Cohen in the New Yorker this week about his failing health and the love of his life passing away.
I am so close behind you…that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach me.
These words touched my heart.
To love deeply, to live fully and to die knowing.
When we lose our people we don’t want our life anymore.
But if we find our way through and out of the intense grief life reaches back to us.
It calls on us again.
If life could be felt it would arrive with the wind on our face.
And if we could hear it, it would recite poems about falling in love.
And if it had a voice, it would sound like Frank Sinatra singing My Way.
Life after loss can be like this even more so than life before it.
Grief gives meaning to music on our radio in the car.
To the butterflies flying by on our deck.
To the dreams we dream at night.
To the words people say to us.
Everything comes to life more so because our heart is broken and all of life’s muses help with the mending of it.
We are still here to play with life until the end… when we can stretch out our hands and reach those who have gone before us.
But until then, we are here to play with colors and draw with crayons.
As I am sitting here at my favorite cafe writing to you, know that you are my life after loss. You are my butterfly. My Sinatra. And all the colors of the rainbow.
I learned how to write and live again after he died so I could speak to you.
But even after all these years, I need a gentle nudge to remind myself that I too need to sing louder, dance harder and live; live like life is the wind in my hair. I hope you do too. I hope you do too.
With so much life yet to live,
PS. And if you want a little bit of help with the life after loss part I hope you join me in my next class starting this Tuesday.
Register here: www.thelifestarters.com