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Sunday, September 27, 2015

On Grief and Life

Grief. It's something that no one likes to talk about.  I took a class on it years ago, and I learned a lot. But the most powerful image of grief came to me as a scene from Avatar the Last Airbender, and it has stuck with me ever since I first saw it on the season two finale. 

This moment has stuck with me, because I have lost many people in my life, and I'm not really sure that there is a great way to handle any of those situations. 
Grief is a complex thing, and no one handles it the same way. There are stages, but there are also defenses, coping mechanisms and flat out denial. 

For me, I would like to believe that love is never gone, even when the person has moved on. 
As Guru Pathik tells Aang, "Love is a form of energy." 

I lost my uncle today. But I have many fond memories with him, and those memories will always be there. The most important thing is, I was able to talk with him, and I have seen him happy and alive. 
Am I okay? No. But I don't need to be. He was my uncle, and I miss him. 
I will always remember his animated personality, and his love of comics, cards and collectibles. 
My uncle gave me my favorite pokemon card for free when I was seven! 
He was always talking about super heroes, comic books, Magic cards and video games. 
I watched the last Lord of the Rings movie with him, and we had a fun philosophical conversation about what the future will be like. We talked about Final Fantasy, Middle Earth, and Harry Potter. 

These memories are things I treasure, and I will never forget the details of where, when and how they happened. 

Grief is necessary. It's not fun, and it's not considered a brave or strong act, but I believe it is. 
I believe that it is important to honor the connections that we have. It's one of the things that make us human. To go through grief, no matter how big or small is a brave act. Because you lived. You shared moments with the person that is gone. And those moments alone are precious. 
If it didn't matter to you, it wouldn't hurt. And because it does, that hurt is a blessing, because moments spent with other people are part of living. Each moment is special, and the fact that you had those moments with them, that's what make living worthwile. 
So I will remember my uncle today, and I will write something for him. 

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