The Beingness of Loss

Kerstin McInnis, A Cake Walk LifeLoss11 Comments

hands holding sand in a heart shape

My love’s heart is broken. Last night, I watched, as he said goodbye to his kids as they prepare to depart for Germany. They live there permanently with their mother and will return on Wednesday. We dropped them off last night to her at her parents’ house, where she’s been staying during their visit. As he hugged his 2nd oldest son, the tears and heartbreak began for both of them. It’s been hard to be apart the last year and it’s nothing that either of them wants. As they hugged and cried, the youngest also felt the pain he’d already learned, at the young age of nine, to stuff down. He dropped his things and ran to his dad crying and hugging him. The four of us stood there and hugged and cried some more.
After we got home, I laid in bed, shedding more tears. Feeling all the sadness my love is feeling and wanting to help. “How can I fix it,” I thought. I’m a “doing” person by nature. I’ve worked hard at doing less and being more. I like the beingness of life but I’m really good at the doing. It’s in my familial and societal blood.
But there’s nothing I can do for him. He has to feel all of this and go through this emotion. I can just be there and learn more about the beingness of life by supporting him.
This morning, I still thought, “what can I do,” I was guided to my worn and dog-eared copy of Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. Here’s an excerpt from today’s fitting passage:
“…Other handicaps are emotional, burdens of heartache from sad or abusive childhoods. Others may be dealing with current issues – perhaps facing a terminal illness or grieving an irreparable loss.
“I began to understand that I was living and working with a handicap. The loss would always be there. The pain and heartache would always be present. I could accept that, treat it as a handicap, and within that framework go ahead and live my life once more. The moment I made that decision, my attitude and perspective changed. I was able to go on, able to move forward.
Many of us are living with handicaps. Some will change over time, but others won’t. If that’s the case, stop waiting for your handicap to disappear. Instead decide to live with it. Work around it. Treat yourself with care, with gentleness. Allow yourself to feel and experience all the limitations and emotions of your present situation. Accept them. Let them be part of you, part of your experience.”
I love this passage for how it simply says, it’s okay for this pain and this loss to be – to just exist. We don’t have to analyze it, dissect it, or hope it goes away. It’s just there. We don’t have to do anything with it.
It doesn’t make things hurt less but perhaps it gives some perspective for those that feel they need to do or fix something.
Can we just allow the emotions to happen? To just be? Can we allow our loved ones to be in a place of sorrow? We’re so quick to try to move on from loss or gloss over it. Our society isn’t comfortable with sorrow. But when we allow ourselves to feel all of it, we allow ourselves to heal whatever needs healing within us.
hands holding sand in a heart shape

11 Comments on “The Beingness of Loss”

  1. I’m so sorry Kerstin. It sounds painful for all involved. I’m glad Brian has you to support him.

  2. Your post is beautiful, moving and most importantly so helpful to those who read it with an open heart. Thank you for this. “Keep Art in Your Heart” 🙂

  3. So beautiful Kerst. I often think when dealing with the loss of Jeff, what a therapist told Julie. To paraphrase, “there is a hole in your heart that is painful and raw, but you never want it to fill because it represents the love that you feel for that person.” At least we had the opportunity to love, what a sad day it would be if that love were to disappear. Sending you my love and hoping that you both can find peace and strength in one another.

  4. Being honest, being true, being a good role model, and being a narcissist doesn’t work.

    You only know what he’s told you,

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Thank you for your comment. I’ve thought about what you wrote, and had two thoughts on how to respond:
      The first thought is that you don’t know me. Your name isn’t familiar to me so I have to assume we’ve never met. Under that assumption, my belief is either that (a) you’ve been terribly hurt by someone in the past – and for that I’m truly sorry. But, I would be happy to talk to you further about some coaching or therapy. Or, (b) you feel responsible for sharing with the world your opinion because you don’t want anyone else to be happy (again, I can provide coaching and/or therapist recommendations).
      The funny thing about your response is that it has nothing to do with what I wrote. You weren’t contradicting my advice or agreeing with it.
      I never said anything about my partner being a good role model. What you wrote has nothing to do with how to help someone and be there for someone when they are going through a loss. It’s actually, to use your words, a pretty narcissistic response.
      That led me to my second thought: You know of me – and you know my boyfriend, whom I reference in the post. That being true, let me say it again – you don’t know me. You don’t know my history. You don’t know my relationship. What you do know is what someone has told you. In your words, “you only know what he’s told you,” but you only know what you’ve been told.
      There are two sides to every story and I learned a long time ago that words are cheap but actions speak volumes. The actions I see, tell me of a father whom his children adore. A father who is in pain because he’s been denied access to them again and again. I see children who look forward to their time with their father and run towards it rather than away. I see a father who puts aside his own needs, for the sake of his children. That is the complete opposite definition of a narcissist.
      So perhaps it is time for you to look with your eyes at the actions you’re seeing and determine for yourself what is real and what’s a story. Or perhaps, all together different – and probably the best choice – focus on yourself. Spend less time worrying about what others are or aren’t doing and look within. Those that tend to focus on other people are diverting the attention away from their own problems. Are you so unhappy at your own life that it’s easier to throw stones at others?
      I can think of very few people alive in the world today that are in the position to give advice or judgments on others.
      If you are truly looking for help, please message me as this is not the forum for these types of comments.

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