I am thinking a lot about the language of condolence. How we say, when someone dies, “I am so sorry for your loss.” Now that my dad’s physical presence has left, I do feel a loss. However, there is more at work here than mere loss.
In fact, I have been finding things as much as losing them. In his numerous boxes that are crowding up my tiny house at the moment, I have uncovered photos of him, drawings he made on stray paper, important business documents, old letters. In addition, I have received stories from various friends and associates detailing how they felt about him, memories they have of him, inspiration they attribute to him. Each day, I find unexpected witness to his greatness.
The Tibetans have a ritual, so I am told. For seven weeks after someone dies, they conduct a remembrance on the day of the week on which the person passed. Everything done that day is done “for” the deceased. It is a good day to help someone out in a special way or give to a charity. Georg died on a Thursday. Last Thursday, I woke up and immediately started doing even the most mundane things in his name:
Dad, I’m eating these grapes for you.
I’m taking this shower for you.
I’m calling my sister for you.
I felt very comforted doing this. Once again, today is Thursday. It is the third Thursday since he died.
Dad, I am writing this blog for you.
I am thinking about the loss of you,
I am thinking about how in your absence, I find you, for you.
When someone dies, we say, “I am so sorry for your loss.” When someone is born, perhaps we should say, “I am so happy for what you have found.”
Or, maybe we should just be more aware that death is not really about loss. The person is not lost. Georg is here, just in an entirely different way than before. Of that, I am certain.
6 thoughts on “Lost and Found”
You are absolutely correct, Lisa. Georg isn’t lost. He was found, many times over by many people. And I think he will continue to be found for quite some time, if not directly, through those who have found him. He nurtured the art of others. He brought people food. And he made people happy. People like Georg make a significant imprint on people. Even people who never met him. Even me.
Georg’s reach was far indeed. I am learning this. Thank you for the kind words about my dad. I sure wish you, Jim, and Signe could have met him in his heyday. He could throw a mean party, that Georg…
I think this has to mean something for birthdays, too.
I think you are right, Signe. I will be pondering birthdays and death days in an upcoming post…
Your so right Lisa. Georg touched or sould I say blessed many people with his simple presence, knowledge,and wisdom, including myself. The physical Georg.will be missed. The soul of Georg will be here forever,in his art and the things he shared with others.
Love you guys.
Thank you, Gary! I do miss him that is for sure. Please keep reading. Take care, and hugs to all your wonderful sons. Just like their dad, good men!