The wound is the place where the light enters you
Lately when I hear a quote I like it just stays in my head, allowing me to meditate and ponder the meaning. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but anything goes with grief so I’ll just go with it. I heard this quote in the movie “A Wrinkle in Time”, which we were watching as a family last night.
I think being wounded can be a gift. Now anyone reading this who is new in grief probably wants to throw something at the computer for that last sentence. A gift?! Being wounded is a GIFT?! And maybe it’s not the actual being wounded part that is the gift (I won’t ever see Gabe’s death as a gift), but the things that come from it can be. Gift may even be the wrong word. Catalyst is probably more appropriate. Being wounded is a catalyst, and that catalyst can bring some good things. Over time light enters through that wound and encourages change and growth.
Sometimes I think we need to go through something difficult in order to reach our full potential. A shift deep inside that changes our perspective and helps us develop skills to see the world in different ways. We develop different ways of interacting with people, different interests, and even different goals. Eventually you can ponder that wound that has hurt you so deeply and make something good.
That horrible, ugly wound can start a beautiful process- but only if you let it. Only if you let it. And letting that process happen is not easy. It would be far easier to let that sadness take over and stay that way forever. It would be much easier to look at that wound and allow it to stay the same. But for me that’s not an option.
So I will continue to allow the light in, a little bit at a time. I will continue to develop those skills and goals and see where those things will take me. I’ll continue to feel sadness as that wound heals, but also learn to respect that wound for the catalyst that it has been and will continue to be for me. This wound, the death of my child, will shape the rest of my life but it doesn’t have to take it over. His death was not a good thing, but the changes that come to me from it can be.
**I wasn’t really sure where to fit this in, but it’s a good illustration of what I said above. When Gabe had his last surgery he was sick. His testing looked pretty good but he was tired. He would rest his head on his hand at the dinner table, lay down on the floor or couch whenever he could, and didn’t have the energy for endless bike rides. To make him better he had to have surgery again. He had to be wounded. It was difficult. I remember those days in Boston at the hospital. I remember the weeks at home where he just wasn’t himself. But within about 6 weeks he had super human strength and energy (or so he thought!). Enough energy for a significant bike crash 7 weeks post op. I’m pretty sure the thought he could conquer the world. He grew physically and emotionally after that surgery. It was a very difficult process for him but it was needed. That huge wound on his chest allowed the light in for him.**