Departures from our lives

Yesterday (June 26th) was the fourth anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death. I never knew her as I met my wife in 2007, but through my wife she has had some impact on me. I would have loved her greatly.

The nature of this blog indicates that I think of death quite a lot. It has impacted me in a number of ways in my adulthood, and has formed me into the person that I am now. Almost as much as sobriety has.

We have people in our lives. And then they are gone. Whether they are taken from us by death, or merely drift away by relocation or choices, people are with us until they are no more.

I think that each departure is a subtly traumatic event in our lives. Each departure leaves a hole or a tear in our lives that may never be healed. Sometimes we are not aware that they should be healed, as in when somebody moves away or just drifts off. But these people were a part of the fabric of our lives, and were woven into the tapestry of our life. They go away, that tapestry is torn.

I think we all too casually feel we should just “move on” when someone goes away. I learned of this when my Mom died in 2005 and I went through grief counseling. My old AA sponsor suggested it, and I never knew such a thing existed for “ordinary” deaths. I thought it was just for extraordinary deaths like school shootings, natural disasters, terror attacks and major accidents like train wrecks and airliner crashes. But no, one can also attend when it’s only when your Mom dies.

Perhaps we take for granted the people in our lives. Maybe we don’t feel that they will “go away” or somehow it won’t hurt. We rarely think of such traumatic change. Too painful.

I yearn for Heaven. Not in any suicidal way, but just so I can be reunited with the people I’ve loved and lost, and people I’ve never met but would be important to me anyway. And also because there would never be any parting. No one dies and no one moves away. We will be together forever.

There is in the 12 Step movements something called “Step 9”, which is the step where you make amends to people in your life that you’ve hurt because of your addiction. It’s an attempt to reconcile and to clear the air. Perhaps there won’t be a reconciliation, but at least the attempt was made. There is the possibility that people previously gone will be back.

Don’t underestimate the joy that may bring. There is too much loss in today’s world.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

One Comment

  1. Rose S. says:

    Thank you, sweetness, for honouring my mom in this post. I love you… and I’m sure her and my dad love you from Heaven where they are with your mom and dad. XOXOXOXO…………..