The sadness of it all ... recently I attended a concert featuring the music of John Denver. Those of you who are old enough to remember him will remember music that was filled with love of the earth and gentleness toward other people.
The music took me back to my youth. (early 70's). A time filled with the promise of what was to come and a body strong enough to fulfill those promises.
John Denver died in 1997, a tragic airplane accident. He was only 54 years old.
The music was so sweet and tender and I was lucky to be sharing it with my husband and our good friend Jeff. The band played all of John's greatest hits ... Country Roads, Rocky Mountain High, Annie's song and many more. It was wonderful sitting there holding my husband's hand, singing along with band (they asked us to), and just letting the music sweep over us.
And then it happened ... beautiful pictures of mountains, rivers, trees, horses, and eagles began to be replaced by pictures of John. Great pictures of John in concert, riding horses, flying his air plane - in all of the pics John was smiling and clearly having a good time. But with each passing picture I noticed this deep sadness coming over me.
This recognition that everything changes and passes and ultimately fades from the light. The recognition that someday my husband would also be dead (or that I would die first). Its not that I have never thought of these things or even understood them ... but sitting in that concert hall ... I truly FELT them. As tears streamed down my face my husband squeezed my hand even tighter and let me know that he understood my sadness. It was a true moment of allowing for grief.
The rest of the day I was very aware of the need to be kind, gentle and loving with those around me. The thought of loosing my husband made me more loving towards him - more aware of wanting to laugh with him.
Its a bit counter intuitive but its in the recognition of death and loss that we can come to fully enjoy and appreciate how precious this time on earth is. And its in the creating space in ourselves to allow for each and every feeling - its in allowing the tears to flow, the laughter to come, the kindness and love to stream forward that we truly find life's joy and peace.