Monday, February 9, 2009

Feeling the Pain of Others

After you've been through a loss that is so heart wrenching it becomes almost impossible to recover from, you almost become insensitive to the pain of others. That's a very negative place to be in. Most of us grow up being taught that you should look at people who have less than you do so that you can be more appreciative of what you have or never think that things can't get worse because they always can. But when you hit a point in life where you feel that your pain is the worst there is - that's hitting rock bottom and its really hard but equally as important to bring yourself up again.

In a recent meeting I was having with a coworker that was visiting from the US, we started talking about life after death and spiritual experiences. He went on to tell us that he had lost his wife to cancer and that had brought about one of the most profound spiritual experiences he had through a dream. A dream which involved his wife, her pain, and letting go. His sharing of the story was so sudden and so unexpected that it completely caught all of us off guard. And because it caught me off guard, after a very long time I was able to feel someone else's pain, feel for someone else's loss, where my loss was not the worse there is, and where someone else had gone through something very different but equally as painful in its own way.

I feel for this coworker of mine - to lose your life partner has to be one of the most difficult pains in life. And I know one of every couple has to feel it sooner or later. Its difficult to think, do I want to be the first that goes or do I want it to be my husband. Do I want to go before him so that I don't feel the pain once he's gone? Or do I not want HIM to feel loss all over again?

Ultimately its not in our hands. Its not in our hands whether our spouse goes first, whether our children die before us, whether we die before anyone else. Life just ends.

There's nothing we can do about it, except maybe enjoy every moment - as much as is humanly possible.

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