“What shall we use to fill the empty spaces where waves of hunger roar?”
~Pink Floyd, Empty Spaces, 1979.
In what is necessarily a dark song—out of a dark album (The Wall)—the music and lyric to this song reminds us of equally dark times. The image cast before us is of a marriage partner’s infidelity, but the darkish instant could be a million different things. What comes of these times? Emptiness certainly.
Apart from the grief that climbs all over the sanity of our emotions, there’s the escape we wish for, but then we’re caught in a place of entertaining many undesirable alternatives.
Nothing compares to what’s just been lost. Helplessness threatens to ensue.
Still, that’s the immediate situation we’ve stepped into. Not only have we decisions to make, we’re most incapable of making sensible choices. Conscious thought is swimming against a tsunami-sized groundswell of fear, the escape of which seems impossible.
Add to that, emptiness crowds into those remaining spaces of cognitive existence. It’s harrowing.
Filling Empty Spaces with Hope
Expanding foam is used in construction to form filler for voids, especially for sound-proofing and light-proofing purposes. Pumped into spaces, it dries and later looks like it was designed for the space. Similarly, we’re to search for resonating hope that attaches to our empty spaces to fill them with light—a light that might grow.
This is very easy to say and very hard to do. That’s granted. Just knowing what to do, however, is the map needed to grant access to commence the journey to freedom.
There’s not much that can be done about the grief that’s foisted in and over our spirits—the event that’s just taken place—but the empty spaces can be vacated with life-giving light and peace for the overwhelming minutes and hours, as they attend.
Hope is very much a created thing when considered at a practical level. It needs to be conjured, then believed, then practiced repetitively in the mind, before it then filters into the heart so better hope-filled feelings are felt.
Any effort on this count requires honesty and courage to face the fears—this, the cost—but it also involves the opportunity for recovery—that, the benefit. But we don’t push ourselves too early or too hard. Caution always precedes matters for growth, for caution is a sharper version of peace than losing our momentary sanity.
Designing Plans – Devised in Commitment
Overcoming grief is very much a commitment to planning and execution of plans—but of plans that are devised and re-devised. In this, it’s a matter of being committed to recovery—to redeeming the good, even if that ‘good’ cannot be the same good as before.
The overall essence is there’s no room for the ultimate ‘give up’ as we note that whilst bad days are inevitable, they cannot keep us down too long. Recognition is given that to fight our way out of such grief via a hope-bolstered faith is the best thing overall.
We must continue to try. Filling the empty spaces with hope-filled things is a good, practical first step.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.