In Times of Absences…

I was asked to share something about the lo
ss… In this time we are living countless losses and absences… the absence of freedom to go out where we please, whenever we
please. The absence of many of our jobs. The absence of contact: the embrace, the look at us face to face with a good part of the family, our friends, our companions. We have lost the certainty of life (although we never had it, but today it becomes more evident) and also the absence, in not a few cases, of our loved ones.

I must confess that the first days of quarantine were hard, because while on the one hand there was the joy of being able to be together at home: sunrise and bed together, sharing breakfast, lunch, fighting because they keep order in the house and many other things… It was also very hard to be at home and to realize every minute that we were missing two of ours that we were not complete to be at home all day and be more aware of every space in the house. Every wall, every word, every photo was a reminder of our Edwardes and Thomas and at the same time the leap into the void of their physical absence between us. And all this happened in the place where our love and our family was built: our house. It was a constant puncture alerting her absence and with her the pain.

And it is that the absence at this time bursts into us causing a lot of pain, fear, emptiness: feelings of sadness, loneliness, uncertainty came uninvited. Like an air that prowls and walks where you want, up and down the stairs… wanting to take over every corner of the house, wanting to fill the space with a certain darkness and unease wanting to fill with fear, doubt, mistrust of the whole built existence…

And then the question arises: What do I do with all this absence? How do I escape the stalking of fear, pain, uncertainty? Do I let them take hold of me and crush me with all their immensity, with all their darkness?.. What to do with all those real feelings, with all those real thoughts, that respond to real pains, to real losses?

Here is a possible answer: In the face of loss and absence: to look at it face to face, to recognize us frail and embrace pain: allowing us to feel it, allowing you to share it, allowing you or asking for a strong and extensive embrace. Before being resolved, the wounds ask to be embraced first.

… And remembering that every loss is an opportunity to strengthen ourselves, it is an opportunity to widen our capacity to love, it is an opportunity that leads us to be more aware of the value of life and also makes us able to resurface stronger and more beautiful.

Like the metaphor of Japanese art called "kintsugi" (which many surely know). It is an art in which the fractures of a broken ceramic are arranged with a mixture of resin and gold, leaving the vessel fixed and with its "cracks" more mark. This technique is part of a philosophy that proposes that breakages and repairs are part of the history of an object, and should be shown rather than hidden. They must be incorporated, revealing their transformation and history. The result is that the ceramic is not only repaired. Defects and cracks are accentuated and celebrated, as they have now become the strongest part of the piece.

That's a good analogy to deal with our absences and losses. And together with this image it is essential to understand that, in the face of all absence, loss, pain; there is a Presence that is real and that neither a virus, nor an economic crisis, nor the same death, will be able to take it away from us. that presence is God. So, with all our confused and broken feelings, the
RoyalPresence of the Lord rescues us from the deepest chasms. walking with us the way to Him, if and only if, we want and allow Him.

Ursula Gildemeiste
rArea Marriage and Family

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