Email 27

Everyone seems to feel that the most difficult aspect of this loss is that I will have to live with it for the rest of my life.

So? I will live with all kinds of things for the rest of my life. I am today an amalgam of everything I know through experience.

A toddler lives with the experience that his first great personal achievement, a sand castle for example, was gone the next day. No trace of it whatsoever where the tide eroded it back to the pile of sand from which it was born. In the life containing only five years of experiences, the surprise of that is impactful.

All our lives we have to take doses of this big mysterious reality lurking behind our trivial day-to-days, doses that are hopefully in proportion to what our bodies and souls can take at that stage of our lives and awareness. I just experienced the loss of Alex at the age of 51. So I assume I can take it. And it will be another part of the mash-up of experiences that hammers me this way and that, sands down this rough edge while probably gouging the edge on the other side.

These gouges mark the places where the barbed wire snagged the bull, leaving a mark on the warm leather coat that will never go away.

But the scar inevitably adds some kind of beauty — the rich patina of worn leather — marred, and made original, by the life around it before death, and through loving use and handling of it after.

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