I knew Kyle's death would leave a gaping hole in my life. I felt that from the beginning. What I didn't know was how much the world would change without him in it.
Sometime around last summer I began to realize that things would not go back to normal. I think I initially acted under the belief that there would be a time of grieving that would gradually end and then we could all return to the way things were. That gaping hole would be there, of course, but we'd all settle back into the roles and places we occupied before that October day. That didn't happen.
I've discovered over the past year or so that death isn't like the removal of a puzzle piece where the rest of the picture remains static, but incomplete. Rather, it's more like a storm blowing through and tearing all the pieces apart. We are torn apart and have to deal with more than just a missing piece. There's a struggle that goes on among all the parts concerning where their new places will be. Some pieces say "I was over there," when they weren't. Others rigidly try to remain put, even though the puzzle has completely changed.
In the midst of all that, I have come to the conclusion that it's a whole new place I'm living in. Like the abducted children we've seen in the news lately, fear grips me at times and prevents me from crying out for help. After a year, two, three, does anyone even notice? What happens when time settles the debris and the story begins to take on new twists and turns, when everyone and everything is unrecognizable?
I realize I'm a couple of years late to this party, but the rendition of U2's One with Mary J. Blige is completely moving. I've been listening to it a lot lately and am struck at the myriad meanings and feelings that emanate from a single song.
One love, one blood, one life you've got to do what you should.
I hear this and I realize that none of us are allowed enough time to stop and rest to figure out how all the rough edges of life and death should be smoothed out. There is no time out.
Just a moving forward.