by Mary Ellen Markant
Nature dictates that, eventually, all living things must die and leave this earth. Some can only exit inconspicuously, while others have the potential to make a statement reflecting emblems of their existence. Like varied and vibrant leaves bursting with color when their life cycles end, human departures can be uniquely memorable.
Thich Nhat Hanh
I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling.
The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.”
Mary Ellen Markant
During this season of conspicuously embellished celebration, a moment of purposeful contemplation could potentially inspire ways to fill the hollow cavity of loss.
Anyone who is not currently engulfed by searing pangs of separation due to a beloved companion’s recent death may be disinclined to read this article. But, chances are, many folks can recall times of acute grief when feelings of emptiness intensified amid holiday happenings. As the supposedly jubilant season unfolds, how can we reach out, touch individuals on the sidelines who are suffering, and embrace them and their loss in a spirit of empathic camaraderie?