Some days the distance between Southern California and New Zealand feels ginormous. I really struggle when something amazing (birth, engagement, celebration) or tragic (accident, illness, death) occurs.
There are new children that we haven’t met in person yet, new partners in people’s lives, new homes, birthdays (significant in some cases) that we didn’t get to celebrate, etc. Some days it feels like we’ve been gone for 20 years and not just three.
Just over a year ago my good friend lost her father and I felt completely useless! Although I wasn’t that close to her dad, I wanted to provide assistance and support to her and her family but I was half a world away. Sending flowers didn’t seem enough (however, I did send booze which was probably more fitting).
It’s so hard not to be able to physically hold the ones you love, to provide or receive comfort.
This past weekend we lost a very special someone in our own lives. We couldn’t get home to New Zealand to say goodbye when the time neared, and unfortunately we can’t all make the trip home to pay our respects and celebrate the life lost.
We received the sad news on Saturday afternoon, and the cold, bleak afternoon (matching our moods) was spent having very interesting discussions with the twin tornados on death. We took the ‘honest, but age appropriate’ stance on all their questions. And they had many questions and required lots of details. I even felt it appropriate to give their teacher a ‘heads up’ of the situation in case she over heard any interesting conversations at school this week.
On Sunday, the sun came out. So, we packed ourselves up and got as close to New Zealand as we could, by means of a nearby west coast beach. We wandered the shoreline (some of us don’t understand the term ‘winter’ and had to dip their feet into the freezing ocean) and ventured out to the end of the pier to watch the sun set.
We said our goodbyes and sent our love and fondest memories across the Pacific Ocean to home. We even waved – I hope you saw us!
We may have discovered our new ceremonial way of dealing with the distance during times like this.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be see, nor touched, but are felt in the heart.” ~ Helen Keller
How do you deal with the distance when your heart is bursting or breaking?
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