My story going forward would be marked as before his death, or after it. His death is now part of the story of my life.
Even in this, my understanding of this phrase seemed supported by events in my life; even this new story of my life would conclude at the end of my timeline.
As time goes on, I am beginning to gain a different understanding of this phrase. I’m beginning to see it in a larger context: the cyclical nature of life itself - of all of creation.
We see a cycle played out before us every year as we observe trees, barren though the winter, begin to bloom in the Spring with their tender new leaves bursting forth like exploding fireworks, their fruit ripening through the summer, then, having completed their cycle for the year, shedding their foliage to prepare for the cold of winter.
We see a cycle played out when an animal dies in the wild; it’s body becomes food for other living things, from large animals and birds to tiny insects. The death of one animal is the continuation of life for other living things.
Life gives way to death. But in the larger picture, death gives way to life.
What life has been birthed from Rod’s death?
Much about my life is new; routines, finances, relationships, a house, my car ... I, myself, am becoming a new person. I am no longer Rod’s wife, a realization about my identity and role that took me three years to even begin to think about. I eat differently, spend my time differently, and decorate my house differently. It’s not unusual to catch myself thinking how he’d hate that show, or that he would not have picked this house (or the bright, happy colors I chose to paint it!). And I’m sure he’d not be happy that I’ve made the switch from iThings to Google in my tech choices.
How and what I think about is new, too. Rod’s death brought many things into question for me, questions that had previously held pretty certain answers: I knew who I was and what my role was. I knew what I believed about God and about other people. I knew my place in the world, and my purpose in it.
billions - of years, galaxies form, birth stars and planets, and then die off, making space for new galaxies with their stars and planets to be born.
In a lifecycle that completes itself multiple times in a minute, each breath we take is a microcosm of life and death. We inhale a life-giving breath, then exhale that same breath, completing that breath's cycle, making way for the next breath.
Breaths or galaxies, seasons or lifetimes - it’s all cyclical, a never ending dance of continuance. And in this endless, eternal cycle,
Death is a part of life.
Writing about widow life, grief, and general random ramblings.
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