Missing is a common human phenomenon. I feel “missing” everyday. I miss my family while I am working. I miss my clients when I am home. I miss friends who live out of town. I miss my family who have passed on.
Missing people can feel painful at times when the longing feels huge and a loneliness creeps out of the darkness.
Missing makes us feel separate, away from the one we love, un-whole, and thus un-well at times. Sometimes an undeserving aspect sneaks in. We can’t have them because we are not enough. It sounds ridiculous when said out loud but holds great power when whispered in our soul. It can feel like we lost part of our heart, or limb off our body. And we think we’d go crazy without that piece, like it is hard to breathe without it. But the air still comes in and out –much to our chagrin.
Missing means loving
Missing is a longing for someone (or object) that is important to you. The intensity in which you miss, is testimony to how precious that person, or pet, or object is. I have felt the longing so intensely that I wanted to cry every second of the day. And I often did. I found myself saying “I miss you, I miss you” over and over in my mind. Consumed by the grief yet wanting it to go away. At the same time feeling trapped by it, because it seemed impossible to escape without the presence of that precious person.
Then, while it is a regular human emotion, there seems barely tolerance in our culture to “miss.” Maybe because it scares people since everyone is so afraid of losing the one they love. So on top of feeling alone, I felt even more alone.
It has helped me to practice re-membering (a concept by family therapist, Michael White). I think about the presence of that person’s influence on me (in me and with me). I think about these four questions:
What did he or she contribute to my life? What did he or she appreciate about me?
What did these say about who I am as a person?
What ways did I contribute to his or her life?
How did those contributions affect him or her as a person? (How did those contributions affect how he or she saw her/himself?)
This helps me connect to the love that was between us, which helps me feel more connected to the person. There can be a physical separation, but this doesn’t mean there is distance in the relationship. The relationship is wherever you are. Even if someone dies biologically, the relationship lives on. Knowing this quiets the loneliness because how can I be lonely while connected? And then I wonder, how could I have ever felt so separate? There is still love. They still love me. Isn’t that what I long for? Peace returns to my heart and mind.
“A Butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam…and for a brief moment it’s glory and beauty belong to our world…but then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we are so thankful so have seen it at all.”
A friend of mine’s dad died in 2011, and I was asking her if the holiday season was hard. She said it is worse this year. Last year her and her family were still pacified by gratitude that his suffering ended since the illness was so painful for him in the end.
“This year”, she said, “It is harder… I just miss him.” She said it with a face shining with love. And all I heard was the love.
Holidays are hard when you are missing someone. If this is what you are going through I want to point you to some awesome blogs who are providing a place where people can connect with other people with insider knowledge of significant loss.
This is a poem I gave to a friend in High School when her mother died.
On Wednesday, December 19th Four Plus An Angel will have multiple link-ups on the sites below, where you can read, comment and/or link up according to the type of loss with which you are dealing with.
“Sometimes knowing others understand (just a little) feels
like a warm hug inside.” Kim Robinson from My Inner Chick.
- If you have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or
loss of an infant link here: fourplusanangel.com
- If you have lost your mom link here: sandiegomomma.com
- Your dad link here: mamamaryshow.com
- Your sibling link here: myinnerchick.com
- A child link here: aninchofgray.blogspot.com
- A friend here: kimtracyprince.com
And remember I am available for sessions over Skype or FaceTime if you are finding the season extra hard this year. Call me at 585 5445342. In the meantime remember missing is often associated with guilt. Watch this video on guilt I made on Anxiety Schmanxiety Blog this week.
When we miss, we feel separate, and when we love, we feel connected.
“How can I say I miss you when we are still sitting beside each other in the circle?”
Did “I miss you” ever mean “I love you” to you?