There are so many meanings to this. So many layers.
I am reeling from saying goodbye to my Grandfather, on his deathbed, yesterday afternoon. The air in the room warm, balmy; holding his fragile frame in its tender embrace. The essence of God’s presence so palpable in the room, like a hand of comfort resting on my shoulder, on my Grandfather’s forehead, sweeping gestures of reassurance through the thick atmosphere. A silence so light it could never be heavy.
Last night, and this morning, I’m reading this favorite quote through new, tear-filled eyes. Letting go…the concept. The irrevocable process.
He is letting go, gently and willingly, after 96 years on this earth. A family, children, grandchildren, a legacy, a long life well-lived. It is such a strange notion, life and her cycles, yet simultaneously rooted in the very most basic law of nature. Of existence.
In these fragile moments where life shows her true colors, where she – in all her violent Grace – tears us from the scribbles of our own human minds, the constant barrage of needless worry, in a moment of stripped-bare humanity when we’re looking upon another person whom we’ve loved all our lives, teetering on the doorstep of this realm…we are reminded that this journey is finite. So very transient. We are reminded that nothing stays the same. That everything we does matters, and yet, it too shall pass.
In these fragile moments, life brings us to our knees…in gratitude, reverence, knocked dumb and silent and scared and profoundly moved. In these moments God wraps us up and hushes our frantic whispers of why, and when, and how long and how will I cope, and all of the in between fears and inquiries that language cannot even form for height of emotion.
My Grandfather himself pointed out to my mother, when she was the ripe age of 22, as they exited a funeral, “These experiences remind us all of our own mortality.” And they do, don’t they? How can they not? How can we witness a body, so ready to perish, a soul coiling deep, springing low, ready to launch from the very pores of its earthly vessel and return home without thinking of our own loss? Of our own journey? Of the lives of those we love? How can we not be rocked by it?
Life. Cycles. So difficult to swallow when it comes down to it, and yet truly, nature’s most basic law.