Saturday, April 8, 2017

On Anguish, Grief, and Loss

A wallet with contents lost can be replaced.  With insurance, automobiles and homes after loss suffered can be and are replaceable.  Even fortunes gained and then lost can be replaced with planning and the right daring - do.  But the loss of a loved one, especially a child, is something that cannot be replaced.  It is as if the Midgard Serpent, Jormungandr, surrounds the human heart and squeezes the life from you.  Though sometimes, if we read the Lore literally, comfort and guidance can be found.  Balder died.  

The Bright and Beautiful One, thought invincible, was murdered (the actual physical action) by one believed to be capable of nothing.  The murder was unexpected and it was a shock.  

All-Father Odin believed that Balder's death was the greatest blow ever dealt to Gods and men; Odin and Frigg were heavy with grief.  At his funeral, Balder's wife Nanna, so grieved him that she dropped dead on the spot and then joined him on his funeral pyre.  And Balder's brother Hermod failed in his mission to gain easy release from Hel (we all go to Hel, even if for a brief period).  The Nine Worlds suffered not just from Balder's death, but from the Gods' lack of attention; the Multiverse was filled with grief.  But when Odin and Frigg reached a certain point in their suffering, they knew it was time to return to their godly responsibilities.  Following this example the other Gods returned to work.  This point can be called acceptance.  

Balder will remain in his spacious Hall within Hel until the aftermath of Ragnarok is wiped clean - a new beginning for the Nine Worlds.  Nothing can be done to alter this situation.  Balder is not coming back.  Odin and Frigg accepted this fact and returned to their godly business.  

This acceptance does not mean that they as parents do not still grieve.  It does not mean that their pain is gone or that they have forgotten their beautiful son.  It means that they have embraced the loss along with the still accompanying anguish, grief, and heart squeezing pain.  

This is a hard example to follow for anyone who has lost a child.  It is painful; letting go seems like forever.  As time moves on, the life of the lost child seems almost surreal, but it is not.  The dull pain and sense of  loss persist.  It does not leave.  But to muddle through and find joy and happiness in other things, one must follow the example of All-Father and Mother Frigg - as hard as that may be. 

          In Loving Memory of Erik "the Red" Terrysson.  Gone to Soon but Not Ever Forgotten.  

                                                  Copyright @2017 Terry Unger


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