The Hole Left Behind
Years ago, a person who felt to me like a son, a brother, a best friend, and an autism research partner all wrapped into one disappeared. Suddenly.
Our athletic young friend had an undetected heart problem that stole him from this earth.
The wail of a person in profound grief is an uncontrollable reverberation that wells up, a deep sound searching for rhyme or reason to an unexpected loss.
With no chance to say goodbye, no preparation for an absence, it can take days or weeks to believe the person is actually gone.
“It’s like there’s a tangible hole where that person is supposed to be,” I sobbed to a dear friend familiar with devastating loss.
“There is a hole there. And if we’re not careful, we can fall into that hole,” he said.
Losing a family member or friend who lived a long life leaves us feeling sad and empty, but if they were dealing with pain and illness, we might also feel relief that the loved one’s suffering is over.
With a car crash, a heart attack, a shooting, people disappear shockingly, triggering a more complicated type of grief. Yet people still somehow navigate the long evolving path of grieving.
We walk through grief by picking one foot up after the other, moving forward as we try to remember to eat, to find a way to sleep in peace again, to face the world knowing we may start crying anywhere at any time. Allowing our tears to flow helps us mourn and honor our loved ones.
Putting one foot forward amidst the comforts of nature helps us keep going even as we wonder if our hearts will ever heal. Keep walking.
This week’s HikingAutism Hike Notes from the archives is Owl Trail, a trail hugging the Pacific coast that connects between the grand views from Muir Beach Overlook on high to the breathtaking sights at the tidal pools of Slide Ranch.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 89): Owl Trail
Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Browse hikes and photo galleries via the main Hikes page or the Hike Search by Area (was Quick View Hike List) page. Click World Walks to see or share favorite walks from readers! Stay in touch with Lisa Louis and HikingAutism via Contact. The Links page lists a loose collection of helpful information links.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. Please feel free to share, and follow on Twitter at @HikingAutism
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.