It is difficult to find words to express the sadness we feel when someone has gone. And whether we are the ones boarding the plane or not, matters little. Separation causes loneliness. Then there is the difference between temporary separations and more permanent arrangements—death, divorce, etc. Whilst we may entertain the remote possibility that a temporary separation may become more permanent, somehow, at least we have a high level of confidence that it will only be temporary.
Distance does funny things to us emotional beings. We can feel quite separated relationally. It’s almost as if we may feel unrelated in some way. This is predictably distressing.
We are caused to think on these things, from periodically pondering thoughts with our feelings to experiencing more troublesome states of mind. Sometimes anxiety or depression can get the best of us.
When Arrangements for Separation are Temporary
Many, many families in this day operate remotely. The fly-in-fly-out roster is well embedded. Entire relationships are based upon geographical remoteness, and loneliness, along with missing loved ones, comes with the territory. We may live in a small world in comparison to the universe, but the world is too big in so many ways.
The first thought regarding temporary separations is the testimony of our love.
We feel torn in our separation because of love, and, the very fact we love, ought to be celebrated. Offsetting the loneliness is a sense of fondness, and redirecting our loneliness we draw hope that someday soon we will be reunited. And whilst we wait, we work on what differences we can make to continually improve our relationships.
When Arrangements for Separation are Permanent
The loss of something great matters a great deal to us. No more can we deny this than we can put it back together the way it was. Something irrevocable has happened. In with all our grieving is interwoven a true sense of loneliness.
This sense of loneliness, unlike the state experienced in a temporary separation, needs a different hope to attach itself to.
We cannot hope for a return to the way things were. Instead, we hold out for some possibility beyond what we have previously experienced; unless we have navigated this sort of loss before; unless we have grieved in similar ways.
Could this possibly be our hope? Grief always teaches us something, and always something of true value as we look back. To this we hold faith. We will find a way through. Our hope will be restored. We will see. Certainly, we can rely upon those who passed through this territory of non-returning grief before us.
They are often faithful guides who have testimonies we want to believe.
In our large world we get separated from our loving relationships. Loneliness and depressed feelings are normal. Hope is the key when we are separated. When we believe in a hope beyond the separation we can endure the separation.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
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