A precious friend, a person loved by countless others, is gone.  Inexplicably, he took his own life.

This is our second loss this week, and I don’t have a lot of experience with this kind of grief. So I bump into things, roaming the house looking for another Kleenex box. I wake up in the middle of the night, groping for Advil to ease the pounding in my head.

I know I can’t make sense of it, and this persistent headache indicates that my brain is working overtime to settle the dissonance. It’s taking a huge amount of energy to find the still and wordless place that relieves the pain in my head, but if I sit quietly and release the desire to explain things, I am able to find a peaceful space. I see that it’s possible to let Don go without an explanation. It feels true that I have to let him go on his own terms. As I do, the pain moves from my head to my heart, where it belongs.

It feels true that everyone grieves differently.  One man is choking with anger, wanting to shoot holes in the boat where Don took his life, sending it to the bottom of the lake, to get it out of sight. A close friend ponders it deeply, trying to offer reasonable explanations for an unfathomable act. Another dear friend, front and center, does the most painful and important tasks, while he feels numb because the pain is too great for him to feel yet, and there are practical things that just need doing. Many neighbors shake their heads, trying to take in the enormity of the tragedy as the echoes ripple out: family, business, community.

It feels true that this deeply felt grief brings me back to my essential self, and in that authentic and wordless state of oneness, I am connected to everyone. And only when I’m in that state can I create and release healing energy. In this core of peace, I can make space for growth, and for new magic to come, whatever that might be.

It feels true that something important is being born from this tragedy–strange as it might sound. It feels true that I am in some way expanding –I have to, to allow my sadness to grow to its full size–and that expansion is making room for whatever is coming along. It feels true that I honor my dear friend in this way.

The pain of loss is like a clean, sharp blade. I feel the cut deeply, yet it feels true that this deep wound will heal with the right care and enough time. Healing energy is growing exponentially as it is created and shared by Don’s tribe. May his soul, his essential self, go on to be well, and happy, and free of suffering.

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