The sweet sorrow of parting

May 27, 2015
long passage nice

Morocco, 2012

Any and all forms of separation, disconnects, divides, partings, breakups, and goodbyes, Carol, are temporary. Very. You’ll be together far, far longer than you will ever be apart.


I received this inspirational message just the other day and it was a real thought-provoker.  What if we believed this were true? What if we believed it at our very core? How would it change our lives?

For one, we’d look at everything very differently. We wouldn’t hang on to things –and people–that no longer served us in this life because we would know that this is only one stop along the way.  It’s just one of many stops, if we really took it in.  If we really acted in accordance with our faith.

When people we loved moved on to another life, we wouldn’t wail, cry and gnash our teeth. We wouldn’t wear black for a year or even a day. We’d wish them well, secure in the knowledge that we would all meet again. And again. And again.

My questions are not just directed at those of us who believe in reincarnation, but to anyone who believes there is any kind of afterlife.

It’s the partings and saying goodbye that give us so much trouble in this life. So, how wonderful it would be to have the real perspective that we are parted for only a little while.

I’m comforted by the fact that we’ll be together far longer than we’ll ever be apart, although I’m fuzzy on how that all works.   True, I’m mildly troubled by not being able to put the storyline together, but then I remind myself that there are wonders we can’t even fathom with our primitive minds, and one of them is the mechanism of life. How can we be expected to understand it?

There is an evolved view on this, I know.  I freely admit that I believe with all my heart that we are reunited, but my knee-jerk response is quite different than my belief.

Like so many of us, I am a work in progress, but by thinking about these issues, wrestling with them and yes, writing about them, I am inching further toward aligning my heart with my mind and my actions.

Blind faith has always been a challenge for me–any kind of faith, really. But I’m closer than ever to having it these days.


39 comments on “The sweet sorrow of parting
  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    Sometimes saying goodbye is what makes us stronger. I definitely believe that.

  2. I do believe our spirits are forever.
    In the Bible, many years after the deaths of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jesus said, “I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
    He didn’t use past tense, because they were still very much alive.
    This, I believe.

  3. Debbie D. says:

    I’ve always thought that people who believed in the afterlife have an easier time dealing with their loved ones’ deaths and I’m a bit envious of their serenity. For those of us who don’t subscribe to such beliefs, death is always final and completely heartbreaking – a harsh reality of life.

  4. I’ve never been very good at blind faith either, but I don’t think that this is all there is.

  5. Lana says:

    Whenever you write about faith and spirituality, I feel like you are saying exactly what I’m thinking – only more eloquently! This really touched my heart today, just when I needed it. Thank you.

  6. Hi Carol! I think you and I have similar beliefs about this so I appreciate your honesty and questions that ask, “What if we believed this were true? What if we believed it at our very core? How would it change our lives?” I don’t think either of us is content to just accept something (or not) without thinking it through deeply and peeling away the layers of question, doubt and uncertainty as much as we are able. As you say, thinking, talking and writing about it definitely helps. And will we ever know for sure? Probably not. But I suspect that once the time has come and we take the step ourselves we will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Perhaps then the best course of action is to “act as if” and “enjoy the ride!” Thanks for the thoughts….. Kathy

  7. I’m with you. I’m definitely a work in progress. But I love a good discussion along these lines!

  8. I don’t know. If there is reincarnation, we don’t remember our past lives, so does that mean we don’t remember the people we loved in the past life? And when we are no longer reincarnated what happens?

  9. Liz Mays says:

    I like to think we’ll all be reunited as well. The leaving is so painful that I really need that comfort and take peace in that.

  10. Tammy says:

    I would just LOVE to believe this. Life, death, parting would be so much easier. If only I could align my mind and heart in that direction. If only.

  11. Anita Irlen says:

    I too wish I could believe in some sort of afterlife. The closest I get is the notion that I’ll become a part of the earth, the air, the stars, again. You’re writing is beautiful, and that message is lovely!


  12. Hi Carol,
    Enjoyed your post 🙂 You have shared some awesome insights and food for thought, thank you 🙂

  13. Harriet says:

    Sometimes, I think it would be great to live forever Sometimes, not so much 🙂

  14. Saying good-bye can be so freeing. It is hard to do but it can best and relieving.

  15. Ruth Curran says:

    That process of aligning is sometimes uncomfortable because we are forced to just plain accept what we can’t hold in our hands. I am comforted by the fact that I am in good company on the journey and that it is indeed a journey!

  16. Diane says:

    I very much believe that there is a life after this one. That those we love are waiting there.
    I like the analogy of a ship leaving port. Those on shore are waving good-bye as it slips out to sea. On the far shore, people are happily waiting to welcome it. And we will be together for far longer than we were ever apart!

  17. Jeanine says:

    I’ll be honest. I don’t know what I believe but I do think… I do tell myself daily that I will reunited with those of who have left again. My mom, my grand parents, my baby sister, a baby I had lost. It keeps me at peace with their parting…

  18. I believe we will meet our loved ones again, I believe it with all of my heart but that doesn’t make it easier for me to say goodbye. I selfishly want to hang on.

  19. I really love the idea that we will spend more time together then we ever will apart—very comforting. But yes, we are only human, and it is so hard not to grieve when a loved one dies. We miss talking to them, touching them, being with them. And in our world, our time, the days and years apart seem to pass slowly—too long to be without the ones we love. In their time, wherever they are, a century could be one minute. I do look forward to one day being reunited with my family, wherever that will be, heaven or earth.

  20. Carolann says:

    Carol, I’m right there with you on this one. I hope with my heart and soul that we do meet again…and again…I love your posts. They always provoke deep emotions in me. I needed to read this tonight. thank you!

  21. Britney says:

    I really like that quote! I believe that completely! We will be together again!

  22. Brenda says:

    Loved this today carol, we can only hope that someday our “primitive” brains and our soul having a human experience could cohabitate together. Everything would make sense, there would be no wondering and confusion of death and dying, excruciating grieving for those we love and we would have more peace and serenity within ourselves. Far too simple for us complicated Neanderthals. I keep thinking the more I drill this into my head, read and read and embrace every word ,the next time I lose a loved one, it will be more of an acceptance.

  23. Keriann McKenna says:

    What a beautiful message and one I totally believe. It has special meaning for me because my husband died so young. His body gave out but his spirit lives and he is with me daily. I have felt his touch, heard his voice, and no, I’m not crazy.

  24. top5life says:

    If we believe in God, then we have to believe this also

  25. This is just a lovely post. It addresses the fear people have with death and replaces that fear with comfort. Always love your work!

  26. Saying goodbye can be so hard! Sometimes having comforting words can make all the difference! Great post!

  27. M from The Stay-at-Home Life says:

    Great post, it really makes you think. I’m sharing it! 🙂

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