Empty chair – reality

Reality hits – the empty chair.

That is the exact wording of a little note I came across. It is my writing so obviously it is a little gem I copied from somewhere. In what has become my typical “memory gut” fashion, I have no idea where I got it from or due credit would be given.

I have but a vague memory of the post or story I got it from. Those words carry a pretty powerful message.

now this all makes perfect sense in my own mind but can I explain it.

When a loved one passes, our lives can go into what is almost like a surreal mode. Oh, we feel the pain of the lose and our hearts ache. We do what we have to just to get through the days as they come and go. Simply putting one foot in front of the other. Life can take on an almost unreal sense. In our minds and hearts we know our loved one is gone.

Sometimes the mere passage of time slowly brings us out of the surreal back to the real. I do remember reading that for that particular writer it was a single event that brought reality sharply to the fore front. An empty chair.

Their family annually gathered for Thanksgiving. One of the highlights was a big family meal. Everyone gathered around a large dining room table. Everyone had their usual spot to sit. It had only been several weeks earlier that a loved one had passed. Apparently at least openly no one had discussed it but the time can to gather at the table. Each person took their usual spot and then the one empty chair became glaringly obvious. For the writer it was at that moment it became real.

Thoughts anyone?

10 Responses to Empty chair – reality

  1. Beatrice says:

    Hi Bill,
    By no means do I mean to be disrespectful in any way shape or form, but I really belief that you think way to much about death! You have been given so many years past your expected date and I wish you would stop worrying about dying already.We all are going to die and you are not dying,you are here living your live.Now if a person with Cancer would be saying and feeding on dying I could understand because they will be dying within a very short time, but you have been given so many extra years and I just wish you would stop thinking about this dying business and find something that makes Vi and you happy! Hugs and God Bless

  2. Noel says:

    Although I agree with Beatrice that we should think more about life , thinking about death is also helpful so that we can always be prepared for it, and be able to accept it more.

    • Beatrice says:

      Yes Noel you are right,we need to get used to the idea of death and I don’t see any problem with that.But if one does it year after year after year that can not be good. I wish Bill would enjoy life the most he can for now ,death will take care of it self.

  3. Mel says:

    That empty chair is a tough one to digest, especially around holidays. There’s been significant loss in your life and in Vi’s life this past year. I’ve no doubt that empty chair, that missing person, has evoked sadness and grieving–and in everyone’s case, I suspect a bit of fear over the facts that they have underscored for you.

    A lot of us seem to drop into survival mode when a crisis or loss happens. We do what’s in front of us, whatever needs doing at that moment in time and we keep moving from one task to another. When the tasks stop, when there’s a significant event/holiday, when there’s a simple little moment that brings that loss to the forefront and we can “let” ourselves be sad….we get sad. It’s not “bad” or “wrong”…it’s just how we do it.

    That being said….
    I understand the heart of what Beatrice is saying….LIVE…LOVE…Celebrate the gift. I wholeheartedly agree.

    However…. I do have to say, given the gravity of what’s being said to you, sir, I’m okay with your focus being jarred into what the facts ARE for you today.
    I know, all too well, how cocky we get when we get a reprieve, a remission…when we get gifted with more time. We start to take that for granted. We start to get a bit frivolous in our relationships and in our day to day activities.

    There comes another layer of acceptance, another layer of dealing in realities that you get “jerked” back in to. It happens for me with every blood test….every call from the physician when they want you in the office to go over test results. It’s a big JERK when they tell you the remission is gone, when the initial issue is morphed, when the prognosis of years….is whittled down…again…

    I don’t think that’s a bad thing…I think it forces folks like me/ you to put our energies BACK into focussed living, grateful living, loving living. And it helps us keep our sights on our relationships, physical and spiritual.
    JUST sayin…

  4. DanCee says:

    Here is a thought I want read at my funeral should my time come.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there, I did not die.

    Hello and welcome to the blog. I thank you so very much for sharing this poem. It is beautiful

  5. Hilary says:

    Hi Bill … some people will relate to the empty space, some to the lack – that missing person, others seem to just absorb it – it’s not so prominent in their lives, yet should be …

    I do love the poem DanCee has posted … and loved ones are always with us … I do hope Vi is coping – so difficult for you both – good to read your thoughts … Hilary

    Thanks Hilary

  6. methenandnow says:

    In Mexican culture, there is something called Dia de Los Muertos. On all soul’s day the family gathers and sets up an alter – a table – that houses favorite possessions, favorite foods, pictures…. and the beside the table is an empty chair. It’s for the one who’s passed away. Every year the dead are allowed to visit the living and on that day they sit in the empty chair.

  7. methenandnow says:

    You approach the table and you tell stories about that person – you remember good times and there’s laughter. That empty chair rocks because it’s a reunion. A relief from suffering. It’s joyful. Empty chairs rock.

    Love this comment, right on

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