Letting It Be

My previous post chronicled my thought processes as I watched the video “Let It Be” that is making the rounds. As I said in that bloggery, At first I thought that perhaps this was the answer to my confusion over the death of my mate of thirty-four years. Just go on with my life and let it be. Forget my grief. Forget the pain of losing him. Forget trying to make sense of it all. Just . . . let it be.

When I first wrote that a few days ago, something in me let loose, and though I claimed I did not want to let it be (whatever it is) I haven’t been the same since. At least not exactly the same. I still had my usual Saturday upsurge of grief (preceded by a late night — I don’t seem to be able to go to sleep until after 1:40 am on Friday night, the time of his death) but I felt sad rather than soul-broken. I’ve even had a few moments when I could actually feel glimmers of life.

I can’t forget my grief or the pain of losing him, though both are slowly diminishing. And I can’t stop trying to make sense of my life. That’s who I am and always will be — a truth seeker. But I can let go of trying to make sense of his life.

It has haunted me all these months — the dual vision of the young radiant man he was when we met and the skin-covered skeleton he’d become. Were all those years of illness worth living? He was often in pain and wanted to be done with life, yet he kept striving to live until the very end. I remember those last years, months, days, and I still cry for him and his doomed efforts. But he doesn’t need those tears. His ordeal only lives in my memory. And that is what I am letting be. It is not for me to make sense of his life or his death. It is not for me to keep suffering for him now that he is gone.

A fortune cookie I read the other day said, “Cleaning up the past will always clear up the future.” Much of my grief has been about cleaning up the past — coming to terms with small every day betrayals, with dreams that never came true, with leftover worries. I have cleaned up the past, gradually worked through those conundrums. What is left is the habit of dwelling on the past, and that I can let be. It does neither of us any good.

Will it clear up the future for me? Perhaps. At the very least, it will help me face the future. Whatever that might be.

Let It Be . . . Me

I know you’ve seen the video, everyone has. It’s been emailed and remailed, Facebooked and Twittered, blogged and Gathered, clogging cyberspace with the message: Let It Be. At first I thought that perhaps this was the answer to my confusion over the death of my mate of thirty-four years. Just go on with my life and let it be. Forget my grief. Forget the pain of losing him. Forget trying to make sense of it all. Just . . . let it be.

My second thought as I continued watching this very looooong and repetitive song (Sheesh! What was Paul McCartney thinking when he wrote it? Not much, apparently) was how my mate would have enjoyed seeing all those faces as they are today. We have so many of them in his movie collection, and they are always that age, the one they’d reached when they made that particular movie (such as a much younger Sherilyn Fenn in The Don’s Analyst or a very young and fit Steve Guttenberg in Surrender).

My third thought was let what be what? And that’s where the thoughts stalled — in a semantics word jam.

I finished watching the video, thinking nothing, just watching the parade of faces, but now I’m wondering if Let it Be is really a philosophy I want to embrace. It seems too accepting of life’s vagaries and not enough of . . . well, embracing.

The whole purpose of going through grief is to process the pain and the loss, to mend your shattered life and heart so that one day you can embrace life in its entirety once again. I haven’t dealt with all these months of tears, anger, frustration, emptiness, loneliness, pain, just to spend the rest of my life letting it be. I want to let it be me —  the one who’s strong enough not to have to simply let it be.

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