Melancolie by Albert Gyorgy

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  This one may be worth a million.

This sculpture, called Melancolie, is by Romanian artist Albert Gyorgy and displayed in a park alongside Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

Here is a link to an article that provides more information about the sculpture, artist and the deep emotions this piece has stirred around the world.

​A couple of friends of mine—who, by the way,  have not lost children—recently and separately sent me this photo.  They were most gracious to not ask the question I know is on their minds:

Is this what it’s like?

A few months ago I shared the following observation in our post PRIESTS, MEDIUMS AND SHAMANS PART 2:

When the San Diego County Medical Examiner showed up on our doorstep with the news of Jimmy’s death I experienced a profound, literal, physical and painful sensation that a piece of me was ripped out.  I know that piece is with him; and a piece of him is with me…How could not a piece of us go with our child? …  I completely understood that part of me died and went with Jimmy. The piece of my heart that went with him left a vast hole.  As [our medium] Tarra quickly discerned with Hilary, “When Jimmy died a part of you split.  A piece of you went with him.  A piece of your soul went with him.”   I’m pretty sure the same thing happens to all of us who have lost a child, a sibling, a spouse, anyone we love deeply and dearly. 

​Yes, Gyorgy got it right.  I look at the lowered head of his sculpture and imagine he/she is asking, “What the heck just happened?  Where are the pieces that were just ripped out of me?” “Will the hole always be that big?”

Our Priests, Mediums, Shamans post also included this quote from Mark Nepo’s book The Awakening: 

For once we pour ourselves into loving another person, it seems as if they take who we are with them when they go. In truth, they take a deep part of us, but what feeds the heart from within is endless, and everything that is living heals…If we can only survive that pain of being emptied.

And that is the arduous and treacherous mountain climb we face:  How do we ‘survive the pain of being emptied’ and do our best to repair-patch the vast hole in our chest?

Everything that is living heals.  A friend of mine who lost his ten-year old daughter five years ago asked me “What does that mean exactly, ‘to heal’?”   He didn’t expect an answer, and I didn’t have one at the ready.  I want to ponder this some more, but I’ll begin with a few preliminary thoughts:

At first it seemed impossible our hole would ever get smaller. The wound was too big–too deep.  It was all we could do to just survive and try and keep the rest of us​ here.

Now, almost ten years later, I can say this–​the hole is smaller. The pieces of us that were ripped out and went with our son, have not returned, nor do we want them to. Our hole has been partially patched with new stuff—different stuff. 

We have received so much help from family, friends, people we never knew before, as well as from our loved ones on the other side. Our Healing Tribe has been of enormous help and comfort to us. 

As Nepo also wrote, In every space opened when what we want gets away, a deeper place is cleared in which the mysteries can sing. Such are our Near Life Experiences (NLEs) we wrote of in Priests Mediums and Shamans Part 1 

If being ‘healed’ means to become whole again and restored to the person I was before our Jimmy died, then, no, I am not healed, nor will I ever be. But that is only one definition of “heal”—the one our friends and family so want for us, and with which we struggle as we/they eventually realize that just isn’t possible. 

I desperately wish Jimmy never died–that it was just a dream I could just wake up from and “have a catch” with my son. But I’m OK with not being the person I was BJ [before Jimmy died].   I’m different now, and I think—no, I know— I’m a better person and my life is deeper and fuller because Jimmy transcended—albeit much too early—to the other side.


Rising Cairn by Celeste Roberge

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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