Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love And Sorrow Are One

"I can't stand the pain," Doris cried out as tears ran down her cheeks. "I don't know if I can go on."

"I understand," replied her 75 year old minister as he listened to her describe the recent passing of her husband Bob, after 42 years of marriage.

"He was a wonderful husband and a devoted father to our two daughters," Doris continued. And next month he would have become a grandfather for the first time, which he was looking forward to, but now that will never happen.

"I'm lost without him. What am I going to do?"

As Doris kept crying, her minister moved the tissue box closer to her and sat silently as she poured out her heart for her late husband who had died in his sleep after a brief illness.

When at last she was silent, other than her weeping, the minister asked, "Did Bob provide for you in his estate? Will money be a problem?" "No, money will not be a problem, he provided well for me," Doris answered. "And I worked for many years as well to provide for our family. But my heart has a huge hole in it without Bob."

"Are you close to your daughters and to other family members," the minister queried. "I am," Doris answered, "And I have a best friend I've known for 30 years. She is helping me to get through this awful time in my life."

"Are you a woman of faith," the minister gently asked as they were sitting in his church office. "Not in a conventional way," Doris replied. "I don't accept the church's dogma, but I do believe there is Karma and that we live many lives."

"Then do you believe you may reunite with Bob at the end of your life," the minister asked. After a moment of silence, Doris answered, "Yes I do."

"Then Doris, you are very fortunate, even in this time of your great pain," said the minister. "You have no financial worries, you have a loving family and a best friend and me for emotional support and you have something else.

"For more than 42 years you had a husband who loved you and may in his spiritual state continue to love you, and one day may reunite with you.

"But here is the key: Love and sorrow are one. They are two sides of the same coin. Even the most loving relationships conclude in death, for that is the nature of life. Knowing this, would you have chosen to live without Bob, and to never have been in love with him?

"I would never want to live without love," Doris answered.

"Neither would most people," replied the minister. "Life is meaningless without love. But in exchange for that love, we know there will be sorrow at its end. The price of the inevitable sorrow is to have a life filled with love, even with all of love's imperfections.

"Within you is the strength to go on," the minister continued, "And to savor all the joys life can bring as time will help to heal your broken heart, for this too is the nature of life.

"Our hearts soar with love, break with sorrow and restore themselves with time.

"We as people have each other, and you have people to sympathize with you and to support you as you endure what we all do in accepting sorrow as the price for love, a very good bargain indeed.

"In addition to all the people in your life and those you have yet to meet, life is a buffet of sights and scents and of literature and music and of flowers and of such varied forms of beauty, that with time you will find joy again and in many different ways."

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