Yes, I normally speak my mind about politics and ridiculous religious dogma, but I rarely wear my emotions and heart on my sleeve. As most of you know, it is Memorial Day weekend in the USA. In addition to our lost military personnel, American citizens spend next Monday celebrating those family and friends that have left the mortal world. I imagine most countries have a day when they celebrate their deceased kin.

For those of you with a fresh loss tugging on your heart and soul, my energy and thoughts go out to you. Loss is not an easy subject and it is for that reason I spent an entire chapter in my upcoming book, The Responsive Universe, addressing this pain, the emotions and coping skills associated with loss and grief.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

-Joseph Campbell

It was over 12 years ago on this very weekend that my wife gave birth to our first son – unfortunately, he was a full term still born child and we had to bury him. My pain was one thing but even to this day I still can’t comprehend what my wife went through. That was a terrible time in our life and it still pulls on the heart strings of emotions. I am tearing up now as I type – such events unfortunately shape us into the people we are today – whether we like it or not.

Still, not all is lost. It was this upheaval in life that actually took me to rock bottom spiritually and emotionally. It was the loss of my first son and the pain and sorrow that created my first of several gradual awakenings that have shaped the Responsive Universe I live in now. I have my first son to thank for that – it is a sublime and sometimes unexplainable world we live in. We can only make space for such experiences and have faith that things will improve. I do not believe in divine plan but I do believe in positive energy and compassion.

I have learned a lot over the years – many times the hard way. I have learned that in order to love and feel love, sometimes we also have to feel pain and sorrow. Life is a rotating Mandala that includes birth, life and death. My heart just goes out to those that have lost their children at older ages – I can’t think of a worst tragedy.

Below, is a poem that I wrote as part of my grieving and recovery. This is for you John Christopher Bader Junior…

The peaceful echo of waves caress the shore

Clouds float lazily by while a single bird flies high

Spring invites summer with excitement and anticipation

Then…

Time ceases to exist for no apparent reason

As winter’s cold stands silently by

Like a steel rain falling from a dark sky

Washing away our dreams, aspirations

and the happiness in our lives

As we cast our little boy’s ashes into the ocean

We are casting only the anger and hatred that blackens our hearts

His perfect soul will rise to the heavens within

And our love and memory will forever be

interwoven in our hearts and minds

Where there is fear, there is courage

Where there is sorrow, there is happiness

And where there is no hope

There will be another bird flying high in the sky

As clouds float lazily by

And the peaceful fingers of waves caress the shore

Though our days are sad

Each day will replace the last with a little more happiness,

understanding and hope

And soon, very soon; one day in the future

Our little angel will look down on us

And help welcome a new life that will live

in harmony with his memory

The ocean is a special place

Rest in peace, my son

(2001)

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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