“The ability to recognize these times of pressurized pain as opportunities to love and heal—along with an openness to accepting what is and facing it unflinchingly—become the wings of freedom.” ~ Jennifer Salima Holt, PhD, Sacred Gateway of Loss and Grief
It’s Sunday morning, the first in the Coronavirus shutdown. It’s surreal. It’s out there.
My friend’s 24-year-old son died Friday night. That’s close.
I can feel his pain, although he’s several states away. I ache for him.
I remember my mother, a warrior among women, weakening when she lost her only son, my brother, at age 27.
I held her hand as we drove from Oklahoma to Arizona to see his body for the last time.
I stayed with my mom when my then-husband told me to come home. I was 25. I didn’t know anything about grief, except my mom needed me.
Now, I’ve endured several seasons of grief, losing my mother and others.
I’d like to think I know something, like when my friend’s mom died recently. I wanted to have the right words.
There are no right words, except maybe what my friend Lisa said when my beloved died: “I’m so f*cking sorry this happened.”
I’m 55. More deaths will come.
My friend who lost his son has a pain as deep as the core of the earth.
I won’t pretend I have any power to take it away or that words mean anything when grief hits like Ali.
I stand in my friend’s corner. I stand witness to the blows. No matter how hard it gets, I’m here.
I cheer him on, even as he bleeds tears. His pain is as strong as his love. He’s a fighter, but he never wanted to be in this ring.
May he feel the crowd chanting on his behalf. May his children who still live be his Adrian, his reason. May he endure the pain like Rocky.
This is the hardest fight of my friend’s life. In the face of this, Coronavirus is tiddlywinks.
Just getting up from the bed, holding morning coffee while grief grabs everything, is round one.
From the sidelines of those we love who’ve lost their mother, sister, brother, lover, spouse or child, presence is our only power.
Let us step into their corner, wipe their wounds, offer them water, witness their pain, knowing it’s their fight, but we sit in the ring of grief with them.
We stay present while they fight. We love them as their bones of reality crack and break with every blow. We wince while they take the hits.
We are here because worse than grief is having no one in your corner while you face it.
Even though we’re all practicing the new normal of Coronavirus, let’s still be there for one another, even from afar.
Be in someone’s corner today.