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The Path Appears Before Our Feet

Focusing only on the next step we have to take.

A friend of mine is grieving after the sudden loss of his wife. His world has been torn apart.

I speak to him most days and we talk about the world he now finds himself in. It's not a place he ever imagined himself, and there wouldn't be any preparation for this situation anyhow.

He thinks he is broken and can't be fixed. He doesn't want a fix. He wants his wife back.

He thinks he is doing terribly, that his life is a mess. But, from the outside looking in, I think he is doing incredibly, in these extreme circumstances.

I am in awe of his bravery, his courage.

Although incredibly painful, he gets up each day and puts one foot in front of the other, and somehow by doing this he finds himself at the other end of the day. Whether he has achieved anything of great significance in the world is irrelevant, all that matters is that he kept on going and with every step, he is further along the path.

If I asked him he might tell me he doesn't care. He doesn't care that he's on any path at all, and he doesn't care where the path is leading him. But, regardless, he keeps on walking. Something inside of him gets up every day and follows some sort of instinct, habit, or even obligation, and nine in the morning turns into lunchtime, the afternoon fades into dusk, and eventually the sun sets on that day. Somehow. But, it does.

I can see the growing confidence in his ability to cope, even if he can't. I hear his stories of dealing with things that a week ago would have seemed unimaginable.

I sometimes sense the dimmest glimmer of hope in his voice as he starts now to look up and think of a future. It's not the future he wanted, but it's some sort of future, where things will be very different, but maybe still hold something of value for him.

The spiritual side of me believes that everything happens for a reason. That often feels harsh in the light of such tragedy, but what I mean is I believe, as individuals, we are here on this planet to learn to know ourselves. No matter what our family or social situation is in the world, we have a personal journey to fulfil while we are here in this life. That personal, spiritual journey will manifest regardless of the 'solid' world we have constructed. Sometimes, the Universe whispers gently to us, other times it shouts loudly.

For my friend, I feel his journey is in some ways just beginning. Although he feels life to be full of harsh endings right now, perhaps in time he will be able to see that another world was opening up to him. A world where he might find deeper inner peace and joy, now that the outer joy has been so cruelly extinguished.

I truly hope so.

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