The quiet — a time to listen to the still voice within you. I could be reminiscing the past during this time, thinking of my loss, but I choose not to live in the past but in the present. This is exactly what my wife of 53 years would have wanted for and expected of me. How do I really know this? Because we talked a lot. While I am still going through the cycle of grief, I feel that most of the sting is not there.
Many people need someone to talk to during the grieving period. I am fortunate that I have a trusted friend. I often refer to him as “the great comforter” and he has been close with me during this time. I spend a lot of time in prayer and in painting trying to understand these feelings. I realized that I have a choice. The quiet is not my enemy it’s the time for prayer and meditation. It’s the time to listen to that small voice of guidance within. This time has been and continues to be my source of strength.
Some would say that I am living in a mystical world outside of reality. To those people I would say that each of us chooses our own reality. One person may have faith while another person may choose discipline.
I have chosen my path — mystical, yes, but also rational. Perhaps it is a different kind of rational than most people would choose. I choose to live in hope and not in despair. My wife spent years working to help me change my outlook on life. I was a slow learner, but I had a very persistent wife who was filled with the spirit of understanding and love which she shared with everyone she met.
Life is what it is, but how we respond to it is our choice. Sometimes we don’t know which direction life will lead us. I believe that to try to live according to a strict plan is to limit what life has to offer. Sometimes we have to follow the stream, ride the waves, duck under extended branches all the while watching and listening and experiencing the ride.
In the quiet I realize I have been very fortunate to be an open-minded and creative person for most of my life so I know that there is a lot of life and living out there yet to be experienced. There are a lot of souls that could use a little help — a kind word, a smile or a hug when appropriate.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at [email protected]