They moved about the park; some running, others walking their dogs, talking on their phones, laughing at jokes; all oblivious to the simple fact that a loved one lays somewhere in a hospital drawing his final breath of this life. They are unaffected by this news because it is not their loved one not in this moment on this particular day. But this happens every day to someone somewhere. Someone is being told the love of their life has passed on to the next life. Somewhere someone is transcending time and space into the afterlife. Someone is dying and someone is being born but we cannot allow ourselves to transfix our thoughts upon such incredible facts. Our minds are only able to process one thought, one emotion at a time. Even those of us who grieve must take small breaks for the sake of our minds often.
Such is life and death; to dwell is to become stuck in that moment; to live is to accept it, face it, embrace it, learn from it, let it become part of who you are and move into a different place with it. We cannot fall into the mourning and grief; we must live it and let it take us to the next step for the healing to begin.
Uncle Donnie is not suffering. He was so right with God. He was a good and kind man. He is with God and his parents. Jesus Christ now holds him tightly and the bliss of heaven shines upon his peaceful face. He has no sadness, fear or pain. But we the ones left behind want to shake those who do not know and say “Don’t you know the world has shifted today? Don’t you know my life has been forever changed? Don’t you get it? Don’t you KNOW?”
And yet we remain standing instead watching life go on in front of us. We cry, we grieve, we tell his stories, we pray, we remain here on earth. It is not his pain we cry for it is the ache in our souls that misses that person like a homesick so much deeper than it has ever gone before. We want to hear that voice, that laughter and see that smile once more. We must turn to our family and let them hold us, turn to our God and ask why, turn to our emotions and let them emerge, turn to our faith and take comfort in his new place in this world.
They do not know. They move and live and breathe they do not know that he has already taken his final breath this very day. They do not know that God has already said “Welcome home Donnie, my good and faithful servant” and embraced him for all of eternity.