Despite all that divides us, there are three things that unite us all.
Birth, love, and death.
Death, in its shared mystery, visited me twice recently, both times through broken relationships. The haunting sense of loss made me wonder if healings are still possible now that half of the relationship is gone.
In both deaths, we hadn't really spoken for decades, yet the sustained silence didn't assuage the pain of something that once was, is now a lost opportunity for face-to-face reconciliation.
Honestly? It left me feeling low.
A "what kind of guy am I?" kind of low.
Relationships come and go as life changes for each of us.
Some because of the paths we choose, and some because of the different paths others choose.
My low gradually gave way to the incongruous disquiet of unresolved relationships – yearning to discover healing, yet also a desire to let it be.
Does an old bike that is broken need to be restored if it has run its course? Sometimes, it is good to get a new bike.
Questions without easy answers are worth pondering.
Rilke's famous quote comes to mind,
"Be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart and learn to love the questions themselves. Perhaps you will gradually live, some distant day, into the answer."
After someone we once loved is gone, the residual ember still carries the flame of connection.
And for better and for worse, broken relationships carry the flame of unanswered questions.
Unresolved questions connect us to that deeper part of ourselves, that can only intuit peace in our relinquishing.
Which, if you think about it – is what death offers us all.