Thursday, January 19, 2012

What if the dead grieve us ?

The kids and I were coming home from a little shopping trip, today - mostly window shopping, which I do to get them out of the house - when the subject of the after life came up. We all had different opinions. Julio has pretty much lost his belief in anything after death. Caleb believes that we live our own personal heaven (or hell) after we die. Daisy doesn't say much, but she believes her Papi is with God now. Me ? Well, I'm not sure what I believe, but I do believe that there is something after death. As the kids and I talked about our different beliefs/opinions, I began to wonder out loud. What if the dead grieve us ? Could Julian be on the other side feeling the loss of watching his children grow up, get married, have babies...? Could he be grieving not getting to grow old with me ? We had such wonderful plans for our old age. We both had the same ideas for our senior adventures. Does he mourn the loss of time spent with us ? Will he be up there somewhere looking down at his daughter's wedding - wishing he were here to give her hand in marriage ?

We grieve the loss of someone we love. If we believe in a life after death, couldn't it be possible to believe that - if they can see us from where they have passed on to - they are mourning losing us, as well ? My heart aches for the loss of Julian. I think of all the things we'll miss out on doing together and I feel a deep aching in my soul. I really wanted to grow old with him. I will miss seeing his hair greying, deep wrinkles forming around his eyes and mouth and his youthful voice changing to the raspy voice of an old man. I'll miss the joy in his eyes as he holds his first grandchild. I'll miss lying in his arms while we drift off to sleep. So many things that I'll miss. Is he missing the same things, too ?

Did he wake up from his own death and wonder where we had gone ? Was he aware that he was leaving this world as he went ? Did his heart ache knowing we would be separated until it's my time to join him ?

I grieve. I grieve. I grieve. Is he grieving, too ? Is the deep ache I feel connected to a deep aching loss that Julian can feel, too ?

Death leaves us with so many questions and so few answers. Grief is a powerful emotion that binds us to the one we've lost. The aching need to know leaves us catastrophically paralyzed, standing in stunned disbelief.

I spoke on the phone with a friend of my mother's last week. She lost her husband 25 years ago. He was only 43 years old. When I asked her how long the aching feeling of loss lasts, she broke into tears and said, "Renee, it never goes away. You always wonder why, what if....And if you truly love the one you've lost, there's just really no getting over it."

I guess, I will grieve Julian for the rest of my life. And I will always wonder if he's grieving us, too.

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