Any one of us who has lost someone special due to death, knows this terrible pain. It is in most circumstances unbearable because we haven’t felt anything like it ever before and it drops us to our knees.
I know when my brother died suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I know I didn’t want to breathe. I was just in such turmoil I couldn’t tell which end was up. I am wondering if you have felt this way too?
The Pain of Loss Subsides, But We Still Remember Our Loved Ones
Now, twenty years later I can still feel a twinge of that moment and most of me is healed. But I had an experience recently that gave me a deep understanding about why the original pain hurt so much.
I was listening to an expert on the brain talk about increasing good thoughts. She encouraged participants to think of a moment in our past, a great moment that we could recall and hold for about 20 seconds.
We really had to focus on the feeling of this moment and just stay with it. My mind flashed back to skiing adventures I had with my brother. We used to ski together yearly. We would drive up to the Tahoe area, ski all day and then drive back to the Bay Area.
We Remember Those Close to Us for What We Love About Them
We’d ski once a year for as long as I can remember. I loved this day with my brother. He was present in his life before I even knew there was a concept for it. He was exuberant and available to his experiences. One time we had just gotten off the lift at the top of a mountain. To go left, a blue, (medium) run to the bottom. To go right, (expert).
Neither of us were experts. When I would watch Eddy ski he looked so wobbly and yet he would have a successful run, always loving every minute. I looked at him, worried about my own ability, he looked at me and then took off on the expert run.
And I followed. I remember being scared but I went anyway because he did. I am sure we both made it down the mountain. No more memory of that event. But this is not the moment that came to mind.
Memories of Those We Cherish Can Fill Us With Love, Energy, and Beauty
Another time we were up on a hill and the weather turned stormy. By the time we got off the lift, we were in a whiteout. We couldn’t see anything–I mean not even the tree in front of us. I was scared but Eddy took charge and said hold on to me and together we inched our way to safety laughing our heads off the whole way. It was something I always remembered. My dear brother helping his sister. So when asked for a sweet memory, I thought of this one. I felt the feeling of being on that mountain together holding on to each other.
The story faded a bit, but I kept feeling the feeling and then something happened. The feeling grew and grew and grew all though my body, and I felt such love. I felt so full of love that when I thought of the experience again it had the same feeling. Just love coursing through my body. Beautiful.
Our Loved Are Irreplaceable, But They Live On In Our Hearts
And then I realized why his death hit me so hard. No one had ever loved me as deeply as him. When he died I just couldn’t imagine not feeling loved by him anymore, and this was the crushing blow.
The pain we feel is a mark of the depth of our love and how deeply we were loved. You were exposed in your depths to another person. When they vanished, you become drained. We believe there is no more love. I know I felt that for years.
But now I know different. I know it was just the greatest love I had known. Now I know. Wow, did I get lucky.