From a Distance

It is interesting what you observe from a distance. Often times you watch people talking, and judge from their body language how they feel about their conversation. Their facial expressions can go from gregarious laughter to quiet sobs of sadness. They can stare straight ahead, almost ignoring their partner’s words. Or they can look bored, drum their fingers and shake a leg under the table. These observations can be made from a distance.

distanceMore importantly, I believe one can love from a distance. I believe that the power of love travels through space, even thousands of miles away. Love can ignite a feeling of happiness or sadness. Even terror can reach its hands across the chasm that distance provides.

The story about the missing flight, Malaysia 777, has brought these thoughts to my mind. While watching the grief- filled parents, children and friends, I feel the sadness and frustration often seen on the TV screen. Last night, an overwrought mother collapsed in her anticipation of any news about her son. Any of us, who are parents, felt her body weight as if we held her in our arms. Perhaps, she has a premonition that her beloved lies beneath the veil of the turbulent Indian Ocean. Or, perhaps, she believes he is alive, being held captive somewhere hidden from the world.

There have been times in my life, when I had no decision about distance. When my husband John was in Vietnam, I awoke startled from a dream. On that hot August night in 1968, I felt something run through my hair. As I bolted upright from my pillow, I knew something was terribly wrong. Months later after his return from active duty, he shared with me a story about a “near miss” that same night. A bullet from a sniper passed above his head…and we both felt its sting! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….

My son and his family live about ten hours away. We talk frequently, share our lives and also many memories. Even though he is not standing next to me, I feel his triumphs, defeats, and wonderful moments. I kind of feel like we have a camera set between us as we revisit the present everyday happenings. Though I miss being near him, it is best that we do not live down the street from each other. It is just best…

The technology of today allows us to see just about everything! Computers, email, skype, cell phones, all attach us to each other through millions of sound waves. Incredible when you think about it even from a distance!

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

Comments (1)

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  1. John T says:

    There is still nothing like feeling the love and warmth of loved ones when all together though! Great thoughts as always.