Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining
-John Lennon, lyrics to Tomorrow Never Knows off the Revolver album
Widowed people often ask about filling the void left by their deceased spouses, or rather they talk about how it can’t be filled. Surprisingly, I don’t disagree with them. Voids can’t be filled. How can you fill something that isn’t empty?
Voids are black holes of the soul. They devour. Nothing escapes their gravitational pull. Everything that was joyous and worth getting up in the morning for has been sucked into this pitch-colored vortex, never to be experienced again. They act almost like vacuum, clearing away the memories left behind by our spouses like cracker crumbs. Remnants of a life that hide like a set of misplaced car keys when you need them, but turn up when unexpectedly and rock us to our core.
Voids are necessary for the same reason that basements or backs of closets exist. They hold the things that our lives can’t rid themselves of, for a variety of reasons, but can’t use anymore either. Psychic storage units that you venture into at your own emotional risk. Why would you throw opportunities for love and happiness into that?
The life you find yourself living in the aftermath hangs on the edge of this blackened crater. It would be easy to fall in, let the dark claim you, but most of us don’t. True, we wander the rim for a time, but eventually we walk away in search of unscathed earth to resettle ourselves upon.
It’s not about “filling” anything or in the case of “the void” paving over it. It is about relocation, finding new space or in some cases making new space. Some people don’t have the capacity. They surrender to the grief. Or worse, they seek replacements and dump new love on top of old pain. It always comes back to this however, acknowledging the former life and honoring the love that once was while moving forward and being open to the possibilities that life does present even to those who aren’t paying attention.