There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the time time it is also a great comfort. For the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but more more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve- even in pain- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrance, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lonely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.
|can you see her little hand holding onto mine?
One of the things that people said to me a lot early on and still do now is, “It will get better.” The thing is that’s so wrong. Unless you have walked here, you can not comprehend the immense emptiness that you feel all day long. The loneliness, emptiness, and sadness do not go away, you just learn to live with it. A friend sent me this quote this week, and I can’t begin to be a commentary on it, because he just says it in a way that I can’t.
God does not fill the Mary Anna shaped hole in my heart. He leaves it just the way it is, because it is what makes her the precious gift that she was. It is what reminds me that she is real, and also makes it all the more painful. Yet, that gift is where I find the most immense joy.