I have recently become friends with a woman who has gone through a lot. A few short months ago she lost her husband, the love of her life, in a fire. I look at her today and cannot believe the strength and light in her soul, because I would be-I don’t have the words. I would not be filled with the grace that she is I can promise you that.
She and I have talked at length about the events of our lives, the losses and processes of growth and change and while mine can in no way compare to hers, we have both come to a place where we see things so much clearer, so differently than we used to.
To honor her husband, she is remaking their wedding rings and the jeweler in an effort to use all of the stones in both has created a stunning piece-and oddly enough said they wanted it to resemble a sort of ‘big bang’-an explosion of stones splayed over the ring.
A Big Bang.
Sometimes the universe talks to you, and if you are very quiet and very still, you can hear it. And she heard it.
The Big Bang Theory is one that tells of rapid growth of our universe. It starts with an extremely dense and hot state and ends with continual expansion to this day. It is often described as that singular moment when all energy and matter was locked in one place, one time, for one moment. And when that point exploded, it spread matter throughout space and time. With an enormous burst of energy, and it pushed molecules and matter out in the atmosphere. It sent it far and wide and from there it grew and changed and developed into galaxies and stars and life and wonder. It created a world that is constantly changing, that is beautiful and dangerous, peaceful and exhilarating, frightening and maddening all at the same time.
Is that not what happened in her life? One singular and pivotal moment when all of the energy in her life changed, when the direction of everything she knew blew out into the universe, and spun out of control.
I don’t think I had one ‘Big Bang’. I feel as though I had several little bangs, ones that pale in comparison to hers, and to most peoples. But I have had those moments-those pivotal moments when you understand that things will never be the same. I know I am not the same, and I know I will never be the old me.
She and I talk of the changes in our lives, not just the ones you can see, but also the changes inside that are inevitable. Sometimes it is hard to describe, and I have found for someone that has not gone through some sort of life changing event-whether it be loss, injury, disease or divorce-it is hard to describe, and even harder to understand. For this reason we have both have lost friends along the way. Whether we have left them behind, or they have left us, it doesn’t really matter-it just is. And while it makes the journey a little bit harder, a little bit sadder, it is nonetheless necessary. People tend to think there is a time limit to grief and sadness, and that there is an acceptable time period for both, and then one should move on. But move on to what? If you have not figured that out, how do you get there?
I like to think that whatever your Big Bang is, whatever it is in life that brings you to your knees, it will push you just a little further. I hope it pushes you right out the other side into this bright and amazing place, this place where peace starts to settle into your soul. This place where you learn what your body is telling you, and when to listen and trust it. This place where you learn to say no, and how to say yes, where you fill your days with what and whom you love and that is all.
I wonder if it is easier for me to feel it now because I had closure of sorts. I moved, and maybe that symbolically marked the end of that chapter. I was allowed to turn the page and rewrite my story from that point forward. Or maybe that was the final burst in my ‘Big Bang’-the last push into a whole new world, that last step I needed to take, I guess it depends on what I do with it now…
For my friend I have never ending admiration, and constant love and support. While the Big Bang was a spectacular event and is so often romanticized, it cast debris far and wide. So while she sifts through it, and finds her place in her new world, I hope that I will be a bright spot that she can count on in the darkness.