When we look at a tree, we see its leaves, its branches, the trunk and sometimes, even part of its roots. We don’t however see the seed from which the tree grew. The seed is transformed. Does it mean that the seed no longer exists?
The tree sheds leaves every fall and new ones grow every spring. Does a leaf feel the loss of falling from the tree more than a tree feels the loss of so many leaves? Why do some of the events that happen in our lives leave impressions that we carry with us for a lifetime?
Nineteen years back, on September 4th, Alex came into our lives. He brought so much happiness in our lives that I can never forget what it means to love someone so much.
I can still picture Alex engrossed in any activity, smiling sweetly as he listened to a story, his brow furrowing with concentration as he tried to figure out something, the open hearted laughter with which he played pranks or the thoughtful, almost detached manner in which he explained something to his father, his sister, his friends or to me.
We are all part of something or someone.
It seems just like yesterday. I can close my eyes and feel his presence. Is this an emotional illusion? Is this a kind of self-consolation? Is this something that I am imagining so that I can continue living?
Perhaps, it’s more than a mere illusion. It’s an awareness of being part of something bigger than what we immediately perceive. It could be that we all belong together. Are geographical boundaries, racial perceptions, religious beliefs or even economic classifications keeping us from seeing the true meaning of what it means to be a part of this world or even this universe? I think Alex had a deeper sense of being connected with the universe.
I’ve learned that there is a universal consciousness or a universal soul. We are all but parts of a whole.
I know that Alex is a part of me and a part of me went when Alex left. A part of Alex remains with me even though he is not in our midst. This is how I wish to remember him. He is a small part of a greater whole just like all of us are.
My grief does not drown my love.
Why did this happen to me? Was there a way I could have stopped it from happening? Why didn’t I have any notion that something as tragic as this was going to happen?
I may still ask these questions but I no longer want to wallow in pity or guilt or blame. I wish to rise above all these negative emotions.
In some philosophies, it is explained that there are only two basic aspects to our feelings or emotions. One is love and the other hate. Anger, pride, guilt, sorrow, joy, generosity, empathy are all but versions of love and hate. Some of them are negative and some positive. It is up to us to become aware of these two aspects within us and release what is best for this world and for the people around us. It is as simple as choosing between darkness and light.
I grieve for Alex. I will probably do so for as long as I will remember him. I, however, also celebrate the life he lived and the lessons he conveyed and still continue to do so even when he is no longer physically amongst us.
My love for Alex sees his soul. My love does grieve for the leaf that fell from the tree of life but I know that the leaf is just a part of it all. The tree of life still spreads its love and sprouts new leaves every season. Alex lives on, in our memories and in our hearts.
When tragedy strikes, it’s natural to seek solace in the negative emotional aspects of anger, blame, guilt and sorrow. It’s, however, important to see the truth, the essence, the universal love that transcends everything that happened, happens and will happen.
“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on how we see them.”~ Leo Tolstoy
This simple positive affirmation has the profound wisdom of knowing that we need to look deeper than we usually do. The truth is never what it seems on the surface. The truth lies within our soul, our spirit and our very reason for being here.