Life Goes On?

Life goes on.

I don’t particularly like those words.

I have said them.
To others.
To myself.
I have said them lots and lots of times.

I know them to be true.
Short of a cataclysmic world ending life-as-we-know-it event or the second coming and the end of time, life goes on.

Life goes on.
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
Days and weeks go by.
Months pass.
Seasons change.
Life goes on.

Two years later, I am well aware of the simple fact that life goes on.

Yes, life goes on.
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
Days and weeks go by.
Months pass.
Seasons change.
Life goes on.

But what about when it doesn’t?
What about when it doesn’t?

What about when the phone rings and the worse news you could ever imagine is heard?
What about when the doctor delivers devastating words no one ever wants to hear?
What about that frozen moment in time in which everything near and dear is completely undone?

What about then?
What about then?

I have written about it before and do so here again. I will never ever get the image of the coroner coming to give me the worst news possible out of my mind. It is an exquisitely painful freeze frame seared into my consciousness.

I remember time slowing down.
I remember the chief-of-police talking–his voice sounded like he was underwater.
I remember this uncharacteristic and extremely loud roaring in my ears.
I remember seeing faces of people who were normally as familiar as the back of my hand–their looks of horror rendered them unrecognizable–although now, I can pick them out of the full color video loop that now plays unerringly.

What about then?
What about then?

Life goes on?
In moments like those, it feels as if life has ended.

I well remember being offended that others got to keep living their lives without the fundamental changes I was experiencing.

Yes, life goes on.
But if you are wondering, let me help you understand: hearing those words is hardly comforting.

Life goes on is actually a pretty fatalistic view of life.
It’s the kind of phrase that goes with a shrug of the shoulders and can sound as if devoid of all hope.
It’s a phrase that makes it seem as if what really matters somehow doesn’t.

To the ears of those for whom life has come to a shuddering stutter-step stop, life goes on lacks the compassion so desperately needed.

Be patient with us (whomever or wherever we might be).
Hopefully we’ll get there one day…

Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting…

Les Ferguson, Jr.

11 thoughts on “Life Goes On?

  1. In reading this latest entry, it reminds me, like a punch in the gut, that only those who have experienced true devastation and loss will “get” this. I didn’t want to be a part of this “club,” but I am. Thank you, again and again, as you put into words what I can hardly utter to myself. I am simply not there. The pain too raw to decipher. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for my loss. Please know that your sharing of your very real pain is touching lives. May God Bless You.

  2. Les, Life does go on, but it’s never the same and quite honestly for a lot of people sometimes the overriding pain is so much that there are many days when we don’t feel like going on. But, we do. We try to pull joy out of the ashes, but it’s so hard. It’s hard not to continue to wonder, “Why me? Why this?” when we look at others zipping through life with their biggest worry being what restaurant to choose for dinner. Yes, life does go on, but it sure isn’t easy.

    My thoughts and prayers remain with you. Life is going on — grab for the joy and hold tightly. It will get better. It has to!

  3. “Life goes on” is just another insipid platitude spewed out of the mouths of those who, bless their clueless hearts, have no idea what it means to grieve and suffer. Yes, I know life goes on but it’s filtered through the pain and horror of the death of my son. Statements such as, “he’s in a better place”, “he wouldn’t choose to return”, and the apparently all time favorite, “time heals all wounds”, bring not the comfort intended but tells me that my son’s death is just an insignificant event to the person giving me their thoughtless words of wisdom. And that feels like another stab in my already shattered heart.

  4. So true Les. Cliches, especially the religious ones, just cause more pain. Interesting though, how many people think cliches like “everything happens for a reason” are biblical in nature.

    Have a good weekend knowing that “times heals all wounds”. Sorry I just could not resist ending with another crazy cliche.

    Blessings, Bob

  5. The worst of life seems to bring out from others who have no idea what you are experiencing the worst of cliches and religious platitudes. That is definitely a part of life that “goes on”!

  6. Life goes on? Well I suppose it does for everyone around us. But not my life. My life ceased the moment my husband died in my arms. The only life I have ever known ceased to exist. Life didn’t go on… will never go on the way it had everyday for 32 years. Sometimes I’m still not sure whose life I’m living. I suppose at some point I will feel like I’m living life again. Right now, two years later, I’m just not too sure about anything. I’m so sorry for your loss Les. But I’m so glad that you’re writing. You are so often able to put into words the very feelings that I struggle to express. I can’t really share them with family and friends because there is no way they could or would “get it”. Thank you for speaking here. It has truly helped me feel like I’m not alone. God bless you and your family as you try to allow life to go on… whatever that means.

  7. Les, sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you and yours. We would love to have you come speak to us in the spring I think you’ve been talking to one of our deacons about here at RVC in Clarksville. Again thank you for writing about these terrible things that we have to suffer through in this fallen world. Stay strong and God bless. Because of Him.
    Bobby Preaching Minister at RVC

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