Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida

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Saturday, May 12, 2012


It must be
that this happens
to all who grieve—
there is a separation
a distancing
that draws things nearer—
what is now
no longer bears the mark
of what was then
the connection is
in many ways
stronger,  more grounded
less urgent
yet more immediate
soft embraces
all that follows
so very different now
so very much the same

          put another way

the young robin perches
out on a limb
ready for first flight
the soft feathered nest beckons.

John A. Bayerl, May 12, 2012

So what is a 74 year old man doing talking about separation anxiety?  Doesn't that happen in early childhood, before the child reaches the age of 18 month?  Doesn't it have to do with the child feeling anxious about being separated from its primary caregiver, usually the mother?   Shouldn't an old guy be in Erickson's Stage 8, integrity versus despair--reflecting on his life and finding a sense of fulfillment in his accomplishments, accepting death as inevitable?  

Today, May 12, marks 18 months since Gwen died.  Tomorrow will be Mother's Day.  For me, as I reflect on these two events,  there are times when I am overtaken by this sense of feeling alone, adrift, far from the safety that the love Gwen and I shared provided.  Yes, death is inevitable.  Yet, there remains much to accomplish in honor and recognition of the love that bound us for 50 years. It is a blessing, this being able to sense that I am between the two poles of the inevitable finality of death and the hope that springs from entering into the ongoing flow of life. It's not such a bad place to be.  It feels redemptive.

In one of her letters Gwen sent me this quote she had read somewhere, in her usual, common-sense way, she said: "this makes sense:"

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know, but, if you listen, you may learn something.

Sometimes, Dear, before I talk, I listen to my heart and what you have left me there--I always learn something,--when I listen.

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