A friend who lost their spouse wrote that after more than a decade, they have happiness and joy but, “it always has a little bit of a sigh added to it.” I like that but remember, it has taken a long time to get to that point. Reaching the top of a mountain, seeing the miles of wilderness, marveling at miracles, and relishing in a “goose bump moment,” all make life special.
And now all come with a sigh.
My sigh is sweet, my sigh says he’s here, I feel him, I can’t touch him, can’t smell him, but I can hear him, no one else can, it’s so strong, its warm, it’s nice, and yet it’s lonely. I’m alone in my sigh, I really can’t share it, I don’t want to. No one will understand.
They say they will understand but it will bring them down, bring a tear to their eye, not to their face. And I don’t want that. Not for them, not for me. In a sigh I breath him in, I let him go. I recognize the finality of life, at least life current.
Life current is not right. Its not perfect, its not home. Its just all we know. I delve into the Bible, I read books on heaven and watch movies about people who see their children, hear them, and feel them. Its not that I don’t believe, I do. Believing is stronger than knowing. Believing is knowing despite the lack of evidence. Call it a leap, call it blind, call it supernatural, or call it a deduction. I call it faith.
My sigh is a call for faith. My sigh is a call for patience. It says to me, life is not all that I want, and no, this world is not my home.
I’ve become an accidental tourist and I haven’t even left my house. But my sigh says I’ll survive. I’m quiet when called upon, obnoxious when told to be quiet, and firm when suggested to stand down. A contrarian at heart. That was always me, now it comes with an added sigh.
I meet people from my past and the first thing, maybe the second I want to say is, “but I’m different now…I’m not the same.” Now I come with a sigh. It’s mixed with a little sadness, sometimes more, but it comes with a certain humility in an uncertain world.
The world will never be the same. We grow up shedding our fables, forgetting our fairy tales, clinging to our logic, our traditions, our self-centered world view. Then something so large, cataclysmic in effect, grandiose in proportion, and eternal in time that we stop.
Did you hear that? We stop. Work, relationship, love—stopped. Eating, sleeping, breathing even—all stopped.
Then something sweet happens. Something so subtle, I don’t know how, when, or where. I don’t ask why. A sigh slips in. It doesn’t take over, it doesn’t sneak nor tread, or march. It simply slips in. And yet everything else is still there. A little sigh is added in.
It tempers my rude, it smooths my obnoxious, it quiets the beast. And the beast looms large. And my sigh is a still, small voice. It is a whisper, “I know…not yet… I have you.” And life lingers on lazily, occasionally happily, leading us down the Mississippi.
Except now I know about the tributaries, the off shoots, and the rapids. The rocks are out there, now I know. Where? I know not. When? I think not. But make no mistake, they are out there and I have known them.
We can’t control the Mississippi. It is too large. It never stops. We go to sleep, it does not. We take a break, it does not. The best we have is a little wooden stick tied to end of a tiny rudder. Tom Sawyer had more but Tom wasn’t real.
In the now, we have a sigh and some think not much more. But it is why I believe, I wait, I long for the bye and bye. One hand on the tiller, one eye looking at the horizon. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang it so well, “So just look at them and sigh… and know they love you.”
I am a Clinical Psychologist, a former Captain in the Navy, and I lost my son in 2014. So I took to the wilderness and found that God’s world opens up when everything you need is on your back and your only concern is the next white blaze.
Hey, I wrote a book, When Sunday Smiled, and now it has it’s own inspirational song! It’s for all kinds of people who have lost their way in this world. Check out both on my website, Andymdavidson.com.