“Sometimes I feel so- I don’t know – lonely. The kind of helpless feeling when everything you’re used to has been ripped away. Like there’s no more gravity, and I’m left to drift in outer space with no idea where I’m going’
Like a little lost Sputnik?’
I guess so.”
This is a lengthy writing and I thank you for taking the time to read it. Before it continues I want you to try to find something positive from the journey we are currently on together. Stop and reflect on how this may have altered or will alter the person that you thought you were. From my own personal pages I have discovered a remarkable “lacking” on my own journey that has deeply surprised me. But that is for the next blog. For today let’s talk about the grief in our distance.
If I can predict and assure you of one thing it is that at the end of this discomfort you will remember the pain of lonely and it will make you a better human.
I can say with complete honesty that prior to this current place we are in that I don’t really think I understood loneliness. Which means I couldn’t construct empathy for the lonely as effectively as I will following this experience. If anything, I think I may have envied them slightly the freedom to be alone. As a natural introvert I love being by myself…
But not this time. This time the loneliness feels like crippling grief, an emotion I have adapted to through my work, and one that I can place aside at the end of the work day. Yet how do I put it away in its tidy box when the entire world around me is grieving. Grief naturally comes in waves, it affects one person one day, another the next but in the middle of it all is that energy of peace that allows us to breath until the next roll crests. But not now. Not today. Today we are all collectively as entire populations toppling about on the lifts and the crashes of a tidal wave that doesn’t appear to be descending to something manageable enough to swim in. If I can frame this for you from the position of fresh grief, from a place of just having lost someone you love; we are in that first few days through the mourning period where time stands still, where nothing feels natural and auto pilot has engaged to get us to the other side of it safely. But in this moment exists one major and influential difference in how we heal our respective pain. This time we cannot reach for each other to console. And that’s making this experience unlike any other you will have been through or may go through again. This is grief at its profoundest state and nothing in our lives will ever feel so uncomfortable after this is over.
To those that shy from human touch I now understand how painful that might be for you, and I want to learn who made it that way for you. The soul, the very basis of what makes us human requires the act of connection. Physical connection. Whether it be sitting across from someone in the coffee shop, walking with a friend, or sharing a hug…it is a natural need to feel closer than six feet away.
I stood in the cemetery the other day at the end of a row of headstones. Six feet apart and six feet down. I believe that the basis of this is more logical of course in that most caskets are approximately 6 feet in length or more. That six feet down is more appropriate so that the earth doesn’t give up what is buried below. All set out for geographical reasons. But as I stood there staring I wondered…why doesn’t this place feel as lonely as the world feels outside of it today? Here in our resting spots we are six feet apart. Why do I feel peace here but not out there? And then I realized. We’re not six feet apart underneath of it all. We are head to head, toe to toe. Mere inches separate us even if on the ground above it seems farther.
Here and now we are separated by six feet painted on a sidewalk. Taped onto a grocery store floor. Our soul energy that lives in our hands is trapped into latex gloves, and our reassuring smiles are hidden in masks. The only thing we can connect to now is the eyes. Eyes that are tired, are vacant and are lost in the same grief as your own. No one in the crowd knows when the discomfort ends. No one can tell you that it’s going to be OK. No one can pat your hand and say it all ends somewhere soon. And there is nothing lonelier than living that. Nothing lonelier than not being able to connect in the support that only another human can provide. We can talk about connecting energetically but when it comes right down to it…we didn’t come to live together as humans to only connect this way. We cannot, it’s impossible to fully feel the energy of a soul when the human body is tucking it away behind individual walls created in our own unique life stories. We came together on the human journey to feel the beauty and the love that comes with physical touch. To remember that behind every facade exists something we know already. Something we’ve shared space with in another place free of our physical restrictions. Maybe we all forgot about that. Maybe that’s what this is all about after all. Maybe we needed to remember that we all need to feel loved. We just couldn’t possibly have known the experience we would have to share together, the losses that we would accumulate together or why it would happen the way it did.
I have witnessed something remarkable this past few weeks. In the lineups of people standing six feet apart I have seen less and less of us looking down at our phones. Instead I am seeing the bare naked souls standing behind another with a strange and wistful stare. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. It wasn’t boredom. It wasn’t frustration. It was the sound of the soul speaking in the silence.
“I need to be closer. It hurts to stand alone”
I don’t have to hope that we all one day need to try to remember this feeling. I know without a doubt in my mind, in my heart or in my soul that we will never forget this feeling. And for that part I am grateful.
Because this isn’t at all about changing things. This is about remembering what we came here for.
We came here to touch each others lives. We came here to learn love. We came here to remember how beautiful that truly is.
And a special note for all those grieving the loss of someone to this illness, I want you to know that they were surrounded and touched by immense love in your absence. That your pain in being kept from their side was reflected to all those that went before and they stood in to bring your loved one all of the love that you wished you could give in those moments. My heart aches for the grief you have experienced in this and I send you comfort over the journey from here.
In love, in light and in the power of human connection,