April 10, 2017

What our First Great Loss will Teach Us.

On Friday, January 13, 2017, my dear brother breathed his final breath—at sunrise, as the full moon ebbed, after a year-long dance with primary CNS lymphoma: brain cancer.

With such ethereal love emanating from him over that year and because of our history of soul-connection and being survival-companions, he has been my greatest loss.

Until now, I felt I had lost my words meant for sharing with others; they are slowly beginning to return.

On a small Pacific island last week, I sat outside in the middle of the night having a conversation with the stars. The two questions only my brother could answer were met by shooting stars. Upon returning to my bed, I lay on my side and typed this on my phone, and I’m confident they herald the return of words into my life.

in the middle of the night

after your first great loss
you walk through the world differently
innocence fleeting is now obscured
laugh lines remain
reminding you of what life
was like before you realised that
everything you’ve ever loved
could be gone in one split second
stars now speak to you
dreams hold visits held in layers
some revealed
some held tight
mystery holds your hand
random answers revealed
to unasked questions
and in all the torturous pain
there is one constant
the only comfort to tuck you in at night
great loss could not knock on our door
had there not been fathomless connection
stories that volumes could never hold
and the deepest of love
great loss gives but one gift:
great love remains

I am thankful for the chance to not only express my love, but repeatedly thank my brother for the magic he provided to my life: His smile. His responses. The sharing of his own love.

These are gifts I will carry with me forever, and they somehow ease the great loss that will always be a part of me, right beside his never-ending, loving energy.

Great loss is part of our greatest living. Preparing for such loss is next to impossible, but let the advice of many carry you through: Tell your loves how deep your gratitude and love is—every chance you get.


Becky Aud-Jennison

Image: Author’s Own; Jiří Wagner/Unsplash 

Editor: Catherine Monkman


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