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Monday, March 31, 2014

Loss

Photo by Laura Bear
This weekend was the anniversary of the death of my nephew Kyle. I had to miss the fundraiser in his honor because of my day job.  I thought loss would be a good blog topic this week.

Kyle became my nephew through my husband's family. He had some struggles in his young life, but he never seemed to take things half way. He was exuberant and funny. Everyone's friend. A PRESENCE where ever he went. I am not qualified to ponder what led him into the darkness of drug addiction, but it was not for lack of love and certainly he did not die because of lack of effort on his or his family's part. The reasons for Kyle's short time on this earth are not for us to know and are not important.

Every life touches many other lives. Every life is a story. Like links in a chain. So, when we lose someone, we feel that chain is broken, hanging free. But, life is also a cycle. Every living thing is born, lives for a while and dies. Some live very long lives, others are too short. Some believe that we come back to live again in another body. Others believe that we go to Heaven and live forever with God. Others believe we go back to the earth, returning to our carbon and water ingredients. I don't know that any of that is right or wrong, but we all die and we all mourn for people who die before we do. I believe that our bodies are only vessels. If you have ever been with someone who passes, there is a tremendous energy in the process. Often the process is not pretty as the spirit struggles to break free of the dying body. Other times, it is so quick there is no time to register what is happening. But, there is no doubt when the spirit has left the body. The vessel becomes a hollow shell. We know when someone is gone from it. But, are they gone forever? I don't think so.

Science shows us that we basically run on electricity. Self-generated electricity. Our hearts pump blood through our arteries and veins because of electrical impulses within the heart muscle. Electrical impulses travel through our brains in pathways that make us think and speak and respond. When our spirit leaves, that electrical source disappears. But what was there to spark the electricity in the first place? Why can't we "recharge" someone who dies (like Frankenstein). Because their essence is no longer in that body. But, science also tells us that energy never dies.Our essence is energy. Energy cannot "die" it can only change into another form of energy. It searches for another form or dissipates (like the energy from lightning). Water evaporates into gas and gas dissipates into water. Water freezes to a solid form with low temperatures then melts into water when it warms, but it is still water at its basic level. I certainly don't pretend to know the answers to the questions of the Universe. In fact, as Iris Dement sings, "I think I'll just let the mystery be."

So, what does all that matter when we lose someone we love? The fact is that they are still gone from us in the way we want them. We miss them. We miss seeing them and talking to them and being with them. We yearn to hear their voice. We all miss Kyle's presence on this earth. But, I do take some comfort in the idea that his essence goes on in some form and his memory will not die as long as we continue to tell his story.

Kyle, your story lives on.