July 30, 2018

Loss is a River

Loss is a river that flows inside you, making its way as only water can, with unrelenting pressure that keeps it always moving on its journey. When a barrier presents itself, the river creates new paths and channels that weren't there before.

To live with loss is to learn how to navigate these waters.

Sometimes you sit quietly by the river's banks and lose yourself in thoughts of something altogether lovely, even while the pain it carries keeps rushing past. You hear the sound of the water and maybe even feel a splash or two on your arms and face, but remain at a distance.

Then there are times when the water calls to you. So you kick off your shoes and peel off your socks, leaving them in a heap in the grass while you step carefully into the shallows. The cold sensation feels invigorating for a moment, but the sharp rocks hiding in the murky riverbed bruise your tender feet.

Other times, the sheer force of the loss you feel causes the river to burst from its banks and spread over the adjacent land or floodplain.

No stranger to this occurrence, the floodplain is low lying ground which exists solely for this purpose...waiting to catch the flood and the debris it carries with it.

Floodplains are not made of just one material, but instead all kinds of different things that have been carried from where they began, which is often an indeterminable source, and deposited after having traveled a long journey.

The loss we feel doesn't play by any rules, especially not social constructs of time and space. The river can be millions upon millions of years old and travel hundreds of miles. And it can carve out a gorge right through your very being that rivals the Grand Canyon.

But life finds a way to go on. And the river flows. Sometimes it's a mighty rushing force. Other times just a trickle across a dry and dusty riverbed.