Love, a four letter word

Ocotillo in front of a desert mountain and cloud covered sky

Over the past few months, my partner and I have had deaths of family and friends. We are some of many who have been dealing with loss.


This season has been a time heavy with grief. The passing of family and friends. I find myself at a loss for words, for friendly banter. I wonder what honesty sounds like.

My world gives me little space to be with this grief. Friends and family, and me, all unsure of how to pause. What do we say when the silence hits? How do we process shock when we know it will lead to the guilt/anger/sadness that overwhelms us? It feels more like triage. Pressing hard against the skin, only to let a little out at a time. Whoever breaks first gets the space. We all try hard to understand.

Between the silences of emotion we find ourselves sharing, what we’ve learned. — Tell people we love them. Be vulnerable with friends who may have never been vulnerable with us. Take more time to attend to relationship/friendship. We tell ourselves these things because even though it’s what we’ve always known, it is still so hard to do.

I know I am afraid. These learnings hold such great risk. Always trying to make people comfortable, I know to tell someone they are loved, to be vulnerable with others, is to sometimes create separation instead of intimacy. Fear is a powerful force to silence, to shut me down.

I long to cultivate more courage.

Courage to know I am at home upon this Earth. To know my strength is of the spirit, of the sun, moon and sky. In this place, I just breathe.

So, I breathe in, close my eyes and ask of myself, “May I practice love as a four-letter word. With boldness and a faith that those I express love to, can stand it. The true hot burning force of knowing they are loved. That I too can hold my ground, not turn away, and really hear when others say they love me too. ”

(c) 2015


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