We are all familiar with the phrase “I miss you.”  My son Zachary says it quite a bit, even when we have been together for days on end.  It’s affectionate and an acknowledgement of how we feel when we are away from someone we care about.

For years I have experienced living without two of my children.  I always miss them.  And until recently I occasionally expressed “I miss you” during prayer or meditation.  Until a friend of mine introduced me to the phrase “You’re missing from me.”  She too, lost her son and sends me encouragement from her healing journey.

Once I read those words “You’re missing from me” something in me clicked.  When our loved ones die, we more than “miss” them.  They are actually missing.  And in the case of a child’s death, a grieving parent really understands that losing a son or a daughter is like losing a limb.  Down is up.  Up is down.  We aren’t sure of anything for a while.  Perhaps a long, long while.

But I want to share this phrase because is so accurately captures the spirit of how I feel about my children who are no longer living.  It’s an ache, a weight that always pulls.  It’s constantly here in good and bad times.  On holidays and on any days, the grief is part of me and being able to think about death in this way reminds me that my children are still part of me.  Even if they are missing from me, they are no less a part of my existence than my very self.

Maybe this phrase can be a comfort to you too, if you have lost a loved one.  If not, you may also know someone who is grieving, and this might be a small way to connect with them if you are inspired to be present to them.  Which is the most powerful thing we can do for those we love who are also hurting.

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