“A few months ago I lost my husband in a car accident. Missing him takes my breath away. Can you tell me something?”
My dear, I can share many words with you, but they won’t help fill your emptiness. You will have to face it alone.
Let me just say that our grief before death arises because we always see someone else dying, and we only ever observe death from the outside. We glimpse its surface: eyes that close, a body that becomes rigid, but we remain far from its depths. For us, death is the greatest injustice, whereas, for those who encounter it, it is a profound experience of life.
I am now writing you a little advice, perhaps you will not like it, but it is the most sincere I can give you: observe your lack well, fall into it, because it is not as it seems.
Fall into that lack, into the weight on your heart that takes your breath away, sincerely immerse yourself in its presence and listen to who it is addressed to. At first you may think that all the pain is for your partner, but it is not really so. His message is for you.
Because you see, we never really miss people, only how we allowed ourselves to be and how intensely we knew how to love each other in their presence. Your husband was much more than a person to you: he was sweetness, caring, irony, hope, protection, courage, unconditional love… He has been a symbol of all that you allowed to emerge in you when you were by his side, of how much beauty you were able to see in yourself. Don’t listen to your mind: you don’t really miss his body, you don’t miss his habits, his mannerisms, that was just the surface: you miss the treasures that, alone, you fear you no longer know how to give yourself.
I know well that admitting this will seem to you like taking something away from him, but it is not so. For if you were to leave your body today and were given the chance, many years from now, to meet your daughters, I am sure you would want to hear them say to you: “Mum, we have learnt from your forgiveness to be sweet, from your pride to be strong, from your joy to dance free!”, and you would certainly not want to find them breathless at finding that you were their sweetness, strength and joy.
Observe your lack then, remember how you allowed yourself to be when you were by her side, notice all those wonders within you, make them come back. If you do this you will render your path the highest of honours.
That way, when you meet again, in a next life, you will be able to smile at each other and tell each other in amazement how great you remembered to be because of the scent of each other.
A big hug