Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday, I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saudade


Tonight, from 5-6 p.m. CT, I will be interviewed by Rev. Chaz Wesley on his radio show “From Grief to Grace” on Unity Radio at www.unityonlineradio.org. We will talk about my journey through grief, my grief blog and essays, and about such things as the chaos that death brings. I will also read some of my writings.

If you’re unable to tune in at that time, you can link up afterward and listen to a podcast of our conversation at www.unityonlineradio.org/fromgrieftograce



(from Long Cove, Maine)

Nine years after Evelyn’s death, I stood on the coast of Maine at dusk looking over the Atlantic Ocean. I was feeling what I would come to know as saudade, a Portuguese word for profound melancholic longing.

I yearned to see Evelyn again, knowing that I never would.

My love for her did not end with her death. Nor had I ceased hoping that she would walk into the room and I would feel my heart skip a beat. I wanted to see her smile again, and hear her laugh. I wanted to ask her all the questions that I couldn’t because she died so suddenly. I wanted her to tease me for some of the stupid things I’d done trying to cope, in ways that only she could do. She made ordinary days feel special.

So much has changed over the years. I’ve moved on and I’m relatively happy. Yet in my eyes you can see an edge of sorrow and a deepness that wasn’t there before. A certainty. An acquaintance with death.

And in my words I think you can hear the richness of emotions running through them, of compassion born from long reflections in natural places like this.

As love has changed me, so has grief.

I now see life as a journey of changes, of moments of grace and chance encounters that redirect the course of our lives. This is what I have. This moment. This is all that any of us have.

That night, an ocean stretched out before me and I had the chance to make the moment special. Rather than move on to my next task, I lingered and let the moment deepen.

Seagulls flew low over an ocean that was calm because of an offshore breeze. The lighthouse sent a beam of light over the rocky coast and into the gathering dusk, guiding people who were lost and restless to harbors of safety.

Memories rose from my depths and made me wonder again about what might have been.


2 comments:

  1. What a perfect word. The only thing that is slightly helping me cope right now, is believing, that I WILL see my love again. If I am granted a long life, it will seem like an eternity to me, while I am hoping from his perspective it's the blink of an eye. This necessity to believe, is not from personal experience (yet), but from so many personal and written stories shared. Either there are a ton of delusional people and pathological liars sharing their stories, or it is true. (Not meant to be advice or lecture, just sharing thoughts) Obviously, suadade remains, no matter what we hope or believe for the future.

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  2. Isn't it! Someone in my Refuge in Grief community knew of it. I think they celebrate a national Saudade day in Brazil on January 30th.

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