letting go of lovely bones

Ever since seeing the film The Lovely Bones several days ago a thought has been haunting me in a way that it had not while reading the book.  The journey of Susie Salmon into her existence between life and death after her murder  has moved me in a deep way. The first period of her coming to understand what it meant to no longer be a physical presence… to be physically present in this world and to her loved ones… to grieve her own death filled my soul with a melancholy beauty and longing.  Those moments in human consciousness when we are so utterly alone. She had companionship through this transition but it was she who had to fully realize that to transform into the one she would become and find peace for herself and her family, she had to let go of everything that had been; the beauty and the pain. There was an intensely beautiful moment when she was nearing the meeting place where those who had gone before her were gathering to welcome her “home.”  There was such love and gentle understanding but Susie could not yet let go. The look of pain on her companion’s face for she knew that there was nothing she could do to prevent Susie from prolonging her own pain. It had to blossom within her and until it did, she would return to that which she let imprison her. How difficult it is in life to walk that path with another. How difficult it is to know inside that to let go is to be free, to heal, to love fully; to know that the prison we keep ourselves in to suffer is of our own making and still not find the way to escape. This old melody from This Mortal Coil, which had meant a lot to me many years ago, filled the theatre during this scene and I wept deeply.

Letting go of those lovely bones even in the midst of life. Bones of our own history of beauty and pain give way to new life when we have grieved over their loss and let them go. In this virtual world, all can seem so unreal. The loneliness can be masked with the flurry of superficial activity. The seeming distance of this online reality can remove a sense of  responsibility from the pain that words can cause when the speaker, the writer does not see tears course down the face of one they have struck. How easy in this virtual place to materialize and disappear without having ever really existed. The wounds of the heart are invisible behind the virtual window.  Letting go and finding our way home is something that must be done alone. “Why do we get to do the one last thing all alone?”

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