This is a post about loss.
I write this over and over again. Ambling through the labyrinth trying to think of just the right thing to say. I don’t think there is a right thing anymore. If you haven’t become an intimate friend with loss, with the emptiness that comes from the missing, then you will, and then you’ll know.
I find it’s not the reading words about loss that brings healing or even a glimmer of relief; it is the permission to write it out for yourself.
This is a post about loss.
It starts innocently enough I suppose. For me, it’s when I’m cuddled up in a darkened room next to my daughter as she tries to fall asleep. She can’t fall asleep unless she is touching some part of me and I am trying so hard to stay awake so I look at my phone. I’ve been terrible about remembering peoples’ birthdays so I figure I’ll go ahead and check Facebook. “Why is her name different? Ah, she just got remarried.” I scroll through the pictures and see a familiar face, but one I haven’t thought of in years.
Memories are funny things. Sometimes I don’t remember anything from a whole chunk of years; other times it all comes rushing back. I become so inundated with memories even the air somehow smells different and I am suddenly somewhere else. Last night I was back in Massachusetts. I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember the look on her face, turning white then red and I knew I lost her. I don’t remember what I said when I tried to talk to her, I just remember knowing for the first time this is what it feels like to see a relationship dissolve. .
Unexpectedly, I am missing her.
I want to tell you something about loss. There are times when loss will be large and painful, the kind of devastation that tattoos itself on your heart and makes you stop to catch your breath. Death. Job loss. Broken hearts. The sudden diagnosis. I’ve had these but I don’t think there’s anything for me to say. You’ve had these. You know.
Then there are the times when everything is hard. Everything is painful and full of ache and we hold on, white knuckles, sweat dripping in our eyes. The constant loss and pain give a sort of strange comfort because it is always there, reminding us we are still alive, still moving forward, be it ever so slowly. We are still here. Breathing in and out.
There will be days the sun is shining bright and hot and you drive down the road singing along to the radio when you hear that song. Not the one that reminds you of a breakup or something sad. The one that brings you back to a different you, the carefree younger you and suddenly you are mourning the loss of yourself. (“I take one, one, one ’cause you left me and two, two, two for my family and three, three, three for my heartache and four, four, four for my headaches and five, five, five for my lonely…”)
This is a post about loss. I am still circling, wondering where it ends. I guess that is the thing about loss, it never really does. But I hold onto the someday, the day when pain and loss and tears will be wiped away. I hold onto it for me. I hold onto it for you.