Beside me in the coffee shop is a man who is clearly trying to write a eulogy for someone he cared deeply about. He has a rose in a blue wine bottle, a framed picture of a man, a cinnamon Danish, a cup of coffee and the sports section of a newspaper. Clearly, these things are a way to commemorate his friend. The man in the picture is wearing a blue shirt. He looks vital and bright—full of life. The man sitting beside me is writing in pencil on sheets of lined paper. He stops frequently to wipe his eyes or blow his nose on a napkin.
We grieve. We all grieve for somebody we love who has gone on. Of all I have learned, there is one think that I am crystal clear about. Grief is love. I say that in workshops all the time, but sometimes it trivializes the reality.
The other night when Milt, my husband, was in the hospital undergoing test after test to see what is causing his weight lost and weakening state, I learned this again. For two days I had been coming and going, sitting in the ugly brown chair beside his bed watching the bruises form on his arms from IV’s and too many mispricks of a needle. So clinical. When I sat beside him, it was difficult to talk about anything except what this test or that doc was saying.
After leaving him I’d go home and watch the fullest full moon of the year forming. I was also wondering what my life would be like without this man by my side.
Finally, the night before last, I started to leave his room at the hospital to go home. But instead of leaving, I set down my purse and just lay down on the bed beside him so my whole body was in contact with his whole body. He pulled me close. As soon as he did that my eyes began to water. Tears were running down my face over my nose. “I’m leaking love,” I told him.
I was not really grieving or even that afraid anymore. I just needed the body contact so I could feel love flowing between us again. It was sweet and I felt so clear and settled again. A nurse came in and said, “I’m jealous.”
Oh, we are so Lonely for love that reaches the body at a cellular level. It is NOT an emotion or thought but a beat, a rhythm as important as a heartbeat to the human body.
The man beside me in the coffee shop was just joined by his wife and then they left. The picture, the flower, the coffee and Danish and sports section are still on the table. New customers are coming in and they see the empty table that is not quite empty. They stay away. They recognize a sacred shine when they see one. That is the power of love.Share on Facebook