People go about their lives tying strings to each other. From heart to heart strings are tied, some of them tied forever and some of them for a season and then untied. Sometimes the strings are cut and it hurts.
Really good people, the kind of people who have really figured out how to love, these people go about tying strings to the hearts of everyone they meet. They are contagious people who cannot help but be good to others. They have so many strings tied from their hearts to the hearts of others that their life is a web of connections that is dense and beautiful.
It is these beautiful webs of connection that help keep each other from plunging into the depths or falling off the edge. We need as many of these connections as we can get in our lives.
And then when we lose someone to death, it hurts so bad. The tug of those strings pulls tight and stretches our hearts until they bleed, and then more. We do not cut these strings in death. If we did we would not feel the pull. Instead, we feel the meaning and importance of the strings more in death than in life.
When someone dies and leaves from here to there, we do not lose connection; we maintain it. We feel the tug and pull and ache not because they are dead, but because they are more alive than we are. Everyone that goes on ahead of us is pulling us toward them. At the right time, whenever that is, we will join them.
Grief is the short time (even thought it never feels short – ever) that exists between the time we lose someone and the we join them.