You can do almost anything if you don’t hurry. That’s a line from a movie I saw yesterday. I love movies. The title of this blog, “Nobody’s Gone for Good,” was taken from a movie. I’ll take wisdom wherever I can find it. It doesn’t have to be dressed up in guru’s robes or spiritual books. It can come from a child, or from an airline pilot, like the one in the movie who said, “You can do almost anything if you don’t hurry.”
I can take these little gifts of wisdom from the Universe now, but there was a time when I couldn’t. It was when I was in the throes of grief. When you are overtaken by grief, everything is on hold—your brain, your heart, your consciousness. Thank God people didn’t offer me their favorite truisms when I was in the midst of grief. Wait. That’s not exactly true. One of them did. I had lost my child. After the funeral service, as I was sitting in the car waiting to go to the cemetery, she mouthed through the car window, “God loves you.” My angry thought was, “And just how do you know that?”
Years later, I lost my husband. By that time, I had learned of lots of things about life, and death, and grief, and faith. But at the time, the awful days and months after his death, I was too raw to remember them, too captured by pain to let them into my consciousness. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in what I had learned; it was that I couldn’t hurry my return to normalcy, to the fact that God really did love me. I had no idea that a slow, steady climb out of pain would be the path the Universe would lovingly offer me.
I suppose you can do almost anything if you don’t hurry. I don’t know why that is true. I just know that it is true for me. I know that in my everyday life, when I hurry, I lose time, because I make mistakes. Inevitably, I will lose my car keys, or my glasses, or I will (like I did yesterday) hurriedly respond to a text I thought was from my daughter. In it, I said something embarrassing about the person I actually sent it to. Yikes. I apologized, but I still feel bad about it. If I had not hurried, I would have seen that the number was not my daughter’s. If I had not hurried, I wouldn’t have said something embarrassing in the first place. I would have had time to think. Hurrying for me is like running through a maze with blinders on. I miss a lot. I lose my way and have to start all over again.
I was not allowed to rush through my grief. I had to take it a day at a time—pain, despair, hopelessness, and all. Only now can I see how wise that was. A loving Universe fed me small, digestible bits of wisdom as I was able to take them and keep them down. With every small bit of love, I was able to let go of a small bit of bitterness and despair. Bigger bites were not possible for me.
It took me almost thirty years to understand and truly believe that there is no death, that there is only life, and that perfect Love and Wisdom reside within me. In all of that time, I read, I stayed close to people who knew about such things. I meditated and sought the wisdom of my own soul and that of the spirits that look after me. I still do that, for my human tendency is still to want to know answers and to be comforted when things go wrong. I want them to be fixed. Right. Now. But there is no real comfort in that. The best answers come when I am able to understand them.
I write this blog for anyone who has lost someone they love. I write it for anyone who has lost anything—a home, a marriage, a job, money, health. What I know is that the long, slow road out of loss and grief is the surest. It leads to a lasting peace. Anything else, anything hurried, is temporary, and frequently unwise. But I also know that, like me, you will discover that you can do almost anything if you don’t hurry.