I've been mulling over writing this post for the last few days. My hesitation stems from not being a person who is particularly self-pitying. But I've decided to go ahead and write it anyway, with the sincere hope that I don't come off that way. Sometimes dark thoughts just need a little light to turn them into dust motes.
I've suffered some losses, since last November, and I think the finality of these twelve months coming to an end has me feeling left behind somewhere; sort of slogging through repetitive days. I should feel relief that it's all behind me, but I don't. My creativity and my interest in the world around me are at an all-time low and I don't care, which is unusual for me.
My brother died last January. I'm broken, still. As is most of my family I think. I don't talk much about it, mostly because it's unbearably painful at times. During the year, I also lost a connection with someone I love and by whom I was loved, someone who is "home" to me and will always be. I'm not really sure how the threads came apart but this loss is becoming easier to manage, without all the whys to which I'd still like answers. I've lost friends over the last twelve months; people who I thought would be with me forever. I didn't lose them to death. I lost them to indifference; theirs, not mine. Or perhaps my usefulness to them had run its course. I've lost my faith and my belief that loving someone is a gift to them. I no longer see the good in everyone. Broken.
So, loss, defined by Miriam Webster as "failure to keep or continue to have something". Other than my brother's death, can I attribute my other losses to my own failure to keep them? I don't know and may never be able to answer my own question. Loss is such a personal demon. Some of my own can hardly compare to those of poor souls who lose their homes to fires and floods or to the homeless living out on the streets in this bitter cold. I have a friend across the sea whose father is dying and the grace with which my friend accepts this loss is beautiful. I have a close friend who is ill and mourns the loss of her freedom and ability to enjoy the life she really wants to live. Loss...a demon.
Which brings me to my point. I saw a post on Facebook from a friend that brought it all into perspective for me:
"The holidays can be difficult for those who suffer loss, even if the loss was long ago. I wish all who are feeling the conflicting emotions brought by the holiday season peace, love and a return to joy."
Kerry Elizabeth Blickenderfer Black
Kerry's thought reminded me that without loss, there can be no "return to joy". That's the way it's designed to work, the way we're designed. Loss serves to remind us of the joy we've experienced. So, I'll remember what a good man my brother was and how blessed I was to have him in my life for so many years. I'll find joy in loving someone who was good to me and for me, no matter that the threads are broken. I'll remind myself that the friends who have forgotten me, will never be forgotten because of the joy they gifted to me.
"There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this, and after this."
Find your joy, in the spaces between. Peace.