Goodbyes always wound us

So much sadness, this month of June. I attended far too many wakes, I came to know of too many deaths, both of people I know and know of. I am shaken and my emotions are as jiggly as Jell-O. There is this fragility that seems to have washed over the world in my eyes, and all is just tender, fleeting, at first near but then so suddenly hazy and distant, somewhat lonely.

I know this is a state of mind more than it is reality, and yes, I have no plans of being steeped in this sad broth for much longer. But for now, it is what it is. Trust that I will snap out of this soon enough.

Somewhere along a tear’s way though, I learned something good. There were no prior signs that told me I would; I just woke up one day knowing that I did. Like the gentlest wind, or a soft dawning settling about me, I just knew something was different, something had shifted, maybe even changed. It is a gentle push, so gentle it does not shake up my life and circumstances, but I know it is there. I feel it entirely in its subtlety.

I am still very much myself, just stronger maybe, and bolder when it comes to trying out new things. In the next breath I dare say I definitely have an even deeper appreciation of and for people and things, something I thought I already had so much of, but have even more of now. That is always a good thing.

I received one of those Sunday messages that read “People say you never appreciate what you have until you lose it. The fact is, you appreciate what you have, you just never thought you would lose it.” There is this idea of forever that sits very comfortably with me, and I attach that to both people and things. I take good care of stuff I have so I can use and enjoy it forever, I take care of relationships because I want these people in my life with certainty, for a long, long time to come — yes, even forever. But the fact is, change is faithful and regular; not everything always fits in the little box I built for myself — people come and go; things get broken, get lost, are replaced with new ones. Goodbyes always wound us in some way.

I feel like I have been stretched, painfully maybe, but generally still in a good way. I’ve learned very well in two weeks what it means to step up, to do things even when I don’t feel like doing them if only to honor a commitment, to do right by others and myself. I think “commitment” is the operative word. I am more committed than ever, in matters both professional and personal. I seem to have expanded my mind to embrace fully what it is I have chosen to take on, such that the mantra “anything worth doing is worth doing well” has taken on an entirely new meaning for me.

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Very recently, there was this particular incident at work when I was scared as anything because the bulk of the day seemed to rest on my shoulders. I was so not up to it emotionally, but more than that I was scared by the newness of it all. It was something I had never done before and I did not want to disappoint — all that even as I acknowledged it was an opportunity to show myself I was ready for tougher stuff. Really frightened, I turned to my husband who was many miles away, telling him how scared I was and how uncertain I felt. He said he understood the space I was coming from, but that I had to control my mind. And then he said that courage could be found deep within my fears, not some place far away from it. I just had to bring it to the surface so it could lift me up. That brought me some measure of comfort. After all, contrary to popular belief, I did not have to look too far to find it. And then he said to be brave, and just enjoy the ride. I will feel the rush when it is all over.

So I did that, not in any technical or systematic way, but just going by instinct, and basically making a go for it as it came. I did not analyze the situation too much, I tried not to get ahead of myself; I only dealt with what was immediately before me. I find now it is a good way to do things. Suffice it to say, all turned out better than just the “okay” I had initially hoped for. Thank you, honey. And many times over, thank you, God.

If there is anything I don’t quite like about myself now it is the fact that along with all this nice newfound strength and nice gentle awakenings, I recognize that I am also more weepy, something I definitely was not before. Not many things really make me cry but now only very few don’t. If I did not know any better how I would love to say that maybe I am pregnant already, and that this is just the hormones acting up. But I don’t worry about my very loose tear ducts either, as I feel even that will run its course.

I put on nice, old music and it helps with the mistiness, of both day and memories, and for a fleeting moment all is right again in my world. The sadness that was June ends a little bit more with every song in my “Rod Stewart Great American Songbook” collection. And then, expectedly, it comes back, thankfully only in fragmented bits here and there, like water seeping through already closed windows and locked doors. I take it on again, thankful just the same for the respite that was, however short it may have lasted. It is better than nothing.

All that said, I promise to try and write about a happier, cheerier something next week.

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