Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Grief: Yoko Ono: Another Wise Widow

It's funny, isn't it, how we notice people who are like us.  With famous people, I don't even know if they are really like me - I only know what I read.  For those of you who don't know, there was a group of musicians who were mega popular called the Beatles.  John Lennon was one of the "Fab Four".  He fell in love with Yoko Ono and they did a lot of performance art together.  The Beatles split up and some people blamed her.  I couldn't believe that the newspaper article said that she is 80.  John Lennon was shot to death in front of an apartment building in NYC called the Dakota.  He was shot by someone wanting to become famous,which is why I am not mentioning his name.  I was in a theater once and John Lennon and Yoko Ono walked in.  They were mesmerizing together.

She recently posted an anti-gun message on her Twitter account but that wasn't what I noticed.  On what would have been her 44th wedding anniversary she said she walked through a park recalling how much she and John had laughed and smiled on their wedding day.  Then she said, "Then I felt the emptiness more acutely because of the beautiful memory."   That is what I noticed.  She also said, "The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience.  After 33 years our son Sean and I still miss him."

She is a vibrant expressive woman.  She appears to have lived fully since the awful day when her husband stopped to autograph a record album and fell victim to the bullets that tore through his body.

I think the truth is not that there is morbid grieving or stages of grieving.  I think the truth is that when you love someone you love someone.  When they die you go on loving them; you go on missing them. The lesson isn't to forget or let go.  The lesson is to respect the empty space, the hollow space, as a sign of much you love and are loved.  The lesson is to let those memories - when you can - inspire you to transform your self in ways that you could not have imagined when the person who died was alive.  To be extra gentle with yourself when you hide away and collapse - but to be extra proud of yourself when you do simple things and also great things.

Sometimes the greatest thing someone can do is look at another human being and smile.  You have to have a face to smile with.  That means - smile and laugh while you still can.  There must be a way of smiling after we are dead - but it won't be with the face we have now.  So much is impossible to understand - but this isn't.  Understand that you are important, you have a purpose, and as grief warriors we stand together to hold each other up and cheer each other on.  xo

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