You’ll have noticed that it’s been ages since I’ve written. I apologize if the posts you may have looked forward to haven’t been there, but I needed to withdraw and turn myself inside out a little bit. Since late August I’ve witnessed a remarkable amount of sorrow, loss, and grief and rather than sit before a computer screen, I’ve been compelled to spend more time with my children and my partners. I’ve just started to really miss writing here, and so my heart seems to be telling me that it’s time to return to writing.
Our dear friends lost their baby at seven months pregnant. I suppose I was foolish to think that such a shocking, staggering loss could never touch my inner circle. We have no such control over these things, do we? My heart was utterly broken by this, and these brave parents have been nothing but inspiring in the way they are moving through this life-changing event.
Those of you with pets will know that saying goodbye to a companion animal can be just as difficult as losing a human who you love and care for. My dear friends lost their sweet and noble dog, who had been their small creature to care for and nurture for years and years – I feel like this wonderful dog has been in their family all the time I’ve known them. They gave her such a wonderful life, and they adored her so completely.
My dear aunt Carmen, my fairy godmother, the cool, hip aunt that I idolized in my youth reached the end of her journey through cancer. She is my third aunt to die from this stupid disease and my mother’s fourth sibling to die from cancer. She too was incredibly brave, and positive, and like the dear friends mentioned above she was somehow able to find some light in such a dark turn of fate. My daughters and my Sarah and I sang at her exquisite memorial, at her request, and my heart found so much solace in the beauty of harmonizing with my beloved girls, and witnessing how their cherubic voices touched so many strangers. To live my life in the hopes of being remembered so passionately and beautifully by my friends and colleagues is now my goal.
Fate grips us and tears things apart just as much as it fills us and gives us such abundance. If these difficult lessons in feeling real gratitude and savouring each blessed moment weren’t enough, the universe sent some cruel irony my way in the form of the news of a somewhat distant colleague from the performing world. She chose to end her own life quite suddenly only a week ago.
The idea of suicide was one that filled me with scorn and contempt not long ago. It was hard to find compassion after watching so many people suffer because lives were ended/ing too soon. My older, more humble self shudders to imagine a day-to-day reality so painful that one must snuff out their own light to escape the bleakness of their lives.
It’s so fragile. We are so fragile.
All I can think to do in this landscape of so much love and so much light and so much loss is to gingerly make my way through each day. My sage therapist urges me to create the memories I want to have when I look back on my life, and I’m trying so hard to do this every day.
Please dear friends, take a moment, right now and breathe. Feel what it is to have the chance to draw breath, to move through space, to think and feel and hunger and love. Think of the challenges and hardships you face, and think of how many blessings you have to balance that.
This year, consider what you are giving rather than getting. We’re changing things up this year and trying to help the children value time and experience more than toys. Our plan is to spend Christmas on a beach somewhere, healing our hearts and indulging in the company of our little darlings. I hope you too can find meaningful ways to spend the season….
It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?
So many things have happened since I was last here, things both profound and perplexing. I’ve been aching to write down my thoughts, but too compelled to just stay in each moment to put my fingers to the keys.
Last month I had a teacher appear who helped me learn how much I’ve grown. At first, I thought this teacher was cruel and immature, but then a wise woman reminded me that everyone we encounter has a role in our lives. It was clear to me that this person had crossed my path to illuminate how strong I am in my family, and in my circle. How secure and happy I feel in this life. After four years of navigating this very alternative relationship, I’ve largely been met with acceptance and love. One small moment of rudeness has nothing on that. Thank you teacher, for helping me discover this.
The universe wove another lesson while I was away. This next one was a random, and deeply painful lesson in our own vulnerability and fragility. It was the kind of lesson that serves as a reminder of how we have no control over where our paths will ultimately lead. To me, that truth is both terrifying and revealing – it forces me to see only the next steps ahead and to savor each crunch of earth beneath my feet, and each little breath my children breathe. My heart won’t heal from this lesson, it’s going to be one that remains for the rest of my days here. To watch people you love experience such grief is humbling and it strikes you with an absolute feeling of helplessness – both in relieving their pain, and shielding yourself from tragedy. This lesson in savoring each precious moment has been repeated again and again in my life, and I cannot help but wonder at that.
Each day here is crisp and fresh as we begin to watch the seasons shift. We’ve started our little school this week, and though we are only on day four, I am certain that teaching my children will be the best thing that I’ve ever done. Are you living the life you want? Do you have everything you need? What steps can you take to bring yourself closer to telling your own great story?