A Timeless Present

“How are you doing?

“Are you okay?”

“…of course.”

So are you tracking with the story? You see, the present is only accessible through the past and future. Even the perceived present, what you see around you now — information must be transmitted from your eyes to your brain making what you are “presently” perceiving, the past. And how does one interpret experiences if not in light of a purpose—in light of a future, the future.

But when you’re grieving, you lose the leisure of cognitive interpretation and spatial awareness. You don’t get to understand the present in terms of the past and future anymore, not in the same way at least.

I lost my second grandfather, my last grandfather when I was 16. You know, the one that spoiled you. The one that said slightly too inappropriate things. That picks you up on Tuesday because it’s an early release day at school and he wants to buy you ice cream, every week.

I can’t tell you from beginning to end what that was like. This isn’t a story, it’s… a color. More a feeling, something known not understood, something experienced not comprehended.

It… is.

“How are you doing?”

“Are you okay?”

“…of course.”

How could I explain to my friend why I was “of course” okay? She got the spirituality part, maybe not the dogma; but that’s why I couldn’t explain that I was… not fine, but at peace. The kind you can’t explain or understand.

The kind modeled by my mom and her now widowed mother, as I sit in this church where my mom had gotten married, her brother had gotten married, her sister had… A place known to me by the joy that can only come from God. Why, in a place where I had previously only known joy, did sorrow sit so comfortably? It seemed, to just, fit.

There was only one constant that I could find. God. It was simply his presence that made this church I sat in, between my brothers and crying mother, the same as when her siblings were being joined to another before God.

God isn’t one to be there just for your joyful times, he is there in your sorrowful times as well.

He… is.

I don’t understand how one can grapple with grief, can try to situate themselves in a timeless moment, without a timeless tether. I don’t know why I’m okay — I mean, it’s peace — but I don’t understand it.

I’m okay because my grandmother, whose pain I can’t comprehend, showed me peace I equally cannot comprehend.

I’m okay because I was shown that when you can’t make sense of the present anymore, it’s the timeless that will sense what you need, and present you with peace.

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