Here on the other side

I have seen deepest despair up close now. I have emerged on the other side, more or less. The sadness grips my heart again from time to time, but I am starting to feel like I’m coming out on the other side.

And that is my message to those who are seeing deepest despair in the present tense — you will come out on the other side. Of course you will be changed — no one ever reaches deepest despair without a transformation of some sort — but you will climb out and be able to function again. The other side really is over here on the other side; despair is not everlasting.

Oh, much will never again be the same. The cause of my deepest despair is my greatest loss, the passing of my partner and companion, the end of the most peaceful and sweet chapter of my life, the last whispers of a great contentment. All creatures who love suffer loss, and deepest despair must be endured. There’s no avoiding this pain.

Despair is the proverbial tunnel with light on the other side and all the overused metaphors that accompany it. I’m pretty sure I’m not out of the proverbial woods, either. Grief will keep sneaking up on me, no doubt. Today, however, I want to send a life raft to those who are where I was not long ago, to wave from the shore and say, “It’s going to be all right, friend. Different, yes, and never the same again, but you’re going to be all right, eventually.” Yes, you will.

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