My daily readings I post have always been written for me, then cleaned up for others. I write what I am getting spiritually out my meditations so that it might help others grow.
I am doing that now, but I know that what I’m about to share is not for everyone.
For right now I am in the pit of grief. At times I see light over the horizon. But at times it is only darkness and shadows. For those who don’t know, on October 23, 2015, I walked in to find my beloved wife of 12 years not breathing. Despite all I or the paramedics did, she has not breathed since.
This has been heart-wrenching and traumatic. So now my spiritual journal is a journey through grief.
I invite you to join me in it, but I understand that it is not for all of you. When you have been touched by grief, you can find solace in other’s journeys. But at those points in my life in which such agony had not touched my soul, I pulled back from the site of it.
I am calling this series of posts, however long they run – and they will run until I feel I am done – “What Have I ever lost from dying?”
This one of my favorite poems of Rumi, written after the unexpected death of his soul-mate and dear friend (if not lover) Shams. It is one that may not be helpful for anyone, but since I encountered it shortly before Kat’s death it created a frame for Kat’s death that is helpful to me. I like to imagine Kat “soaring past the angels” now when I can as Rumi describes the one who dies. I have let these words give me courage as I face into the many daily deaths of life in grief, life lived in the midst of the emptiness her passing leaves me. Yet its question “What have I ever lost from dying?” is what I feel I confront in my grief. Unlike Rumi in this poem, I find I have lost much in this death of grief, when my dear love has gone. But I do find I am learning, gaining, becoming new through this journey. So I can understand its hope that in my dying God may open up to new life. I pray that my sharing my journey with some of you will help you find new life along your pilgrimage of grief, trauma, loss, and new beginning.
Here is Rumi’s beautiful words:
Then I died and became a plant–
Forgetting my former existence because of its otherness
Then I died and became an animal–
Forgetting my life as a plant except for inclinations in the season of spring and sweet herbs–
like the inclination of babes toward their mother’s breast
My intelligence ripened, awakening from greed and self-seeking to become wise and knowing
I behold a hundred thousand intelligences most marvelous and remember my former states and inclinations
Now, what have I ever lost by dying?”
May you find new life in all of your dyings.
Your progressive redneck preacher,