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A world ended on this day

January 27, 2021

I didn’t truly understand before
how deep loss can pull you under
how traumatic death can feel
how it ends a world

I knew that death was profoundly painful
for the ones left behind
I knew it was life-altering
I knew it was accompanied by many tears
and heart-stopping screams in the night
and even cursing of the darkness
but I didn’t really understand

I knew that life is fragile
that our days are not guaranteed
that while we bear the divine image
we live in mortal bodies
and that it can all end in an instant

I knew that I wanted to show others empathy
that I wanted to accompany them in their pain
and that because of my calling 
I was a visible reminder of the holy
whenever I visited the dying or grieving
but I didn’t really understand

A world ended for me this day

January 27, 2021

While the world around me carried on
as though nothing had happened
my world collapsed
it burned itself out
it shut itself down
it ended

My world was you and me
in all the sacred messiness of our relationship
in all the hopefulness for life yet to be lived
in all the simple joys of faithful companionship
in all the blessings of traveling this road together

Then in a moment it was gone

And I finally began to understand

Had I tried to imagine the searing pain
the throbbing heartache
the sickening permanency
that accompanies such a loss
I doubt I could have

Empathy only reaches so far

So here I am

A world ended for me this day
It was the world with you, my beloved, in it

~ Mark Lloyd Richardson
March 18, 2021