Separation


Chainlink Fence

July 22, 2016

The longer I live, the less I like separation.

Our family members are scattered. None of them live near us. Not one.

At this stage of life, my wife and I are seeing people pass off the earth with regularity. People are going away. Death is separation. That is the essence of it.

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Many relationships have a distance to them. A separation. That is a form of death.

I have a friend who earnestly and honestly believes that once you have established a friendship, you should always maintain regular contact. That would be wonderful.

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What do you do when you have friends scattered around the country, and some overseas? These are people with whom I used to have regular face-to-face contact. Now they are thousands of miles away.

There are physical limitations such as 24 hours in one day. You have current, nearby friends and relationships which are now your privilege, joy, and responsibility to develop and nurture. Available time to develop and nurture the increasing list of friends accumulated over 60 years becomes nearly non-existent.

This means we all suffer a bit of death daily.  That is, unless all of your dearly loved friends and family are within shouting distance.

This separation reaches into the mundane.

Every year we get separated from sunlight.

That is a bit of a death.

Favorite articles of clothing wear out.

Separation.

Some favorite destination changes so that it’s unrecognizable.

Separation.

Some of your athletic abilities fade away into over-enhanced memories.

Separation.

A favorite store or eating establishment closes.

Separation.

Your nation degrades and some of its most cherished qualities are despised and gone.

Separation.

And one of the worst (not mundane): Divorce

Death.

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Thus you face unwanted, but nevertheless necessary, separation, which is, I say again, a form of death. Skimming Facebook pages and photos brings wonderful memories of what were once fervent, living, shared relationships. Many have faded into occasional check-ins. I appreciate Facebook for the ability to have at least a modicum of connection, but it also reminds me of what was and is no more.

Does this mean these connections could not be picked up again? Of course not. There are some blessed relationships that pick right up where they last left off whenever we meet again. But the physical realities of divergent pathways, geographical distance, and thirty-year mostly silences have their effect.

In our family, particularly in my wife’s side, we are experiencing serial funerals. Uncles and aunts are leaving like dominoes falling. Not to speak of a parent or two.

Separation.

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I do not mind saying that I do not like it one bit. I think “hate” is not too strong a word.

However, there is a hope. Eternal life beckons. In fact, believers in the Messiah already participate. But, in life in this present earth, separation is a persistent, insistent factor.

Do you feel it like I do? How do you navigate those waters in your life?
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