There is a gap where something used to be and it hurts.
It reminds me of the film about Douglas Bader, the flying ace who had both legs amputated, and who complained that his missing legs hurt. This is apparently a common phenomena.
My gap used to hold a tooth, and though it’s been gone for three weeks now it still hurts from time to time.
Of course it is not only bodily or physical losses that cause pain. Losing something valuable, a long-time treasure, or more significantly a loved one, causes immense emotional pain. The sense of emptiness where once there was joy and love is frightening to contemplate as well as horrible to experience.
How long till the void is filled again? Or will it ever be filled?
There is a healing process through which the body closes up holes and restores itself to function again. There is also an emotional journey by which we might find solace, or even new joy and love. I have been thinking about how we hold the emptiness, encapsulate it, hug it, enclose it as a way of containing the pain and trying to find a way beyond it.
Somehow we need to have hope that healing will happen; that there will be a time again when we can laugh, feel good, enjoy the sunshine, the taste of good food and be held in a loving embrace.
Or perhaps the best we can imagine is finding small joys along the way to the future, that there will be moments of delight, tiny sparks of love.
At this moment, the appearance of snowdrops, daffodils pushing up from the wintry ground, days growing longer and even a shaft of sunlight, all lift the spirit. The thought of family and friends surrounding me with their affection, the little compliments on the work I do, and the almost insignificant efforts at DIY which are accomplished – these also make me think that I can smile.
Sometimes lying awake in the middle of the night is not a bad thing. It is peaceful. I need not worry (though of course I sometimes do). The emptiness can simply exist and I can exist with it. And time moves on.
I can also remember so many good things from the past. Joys and love that cannot be taken away. My life is not empty, rather overflowing.