This evening I walked out of work and into a much-needed weekend respite, took one look at the sliver of new moon hung in front of the fading remains of a brilliantly orange sunset, and realized that I have spent the last five days mourning.
The loss is not new, nor is its resurgence, but it was unexpectedly resurrected late last Sunday morning. Ironically, the waves of this emotional tsunami knocked me over as I was coming from a place that reminds me of another difficult loss, suffered around the same time. It, too, was vividly revived a couple of months ago, but has faded back into a dull ache, and the place of remembrance has gradually ceased to be a painful reminder as it recedes back into a comforting echo.
The period of all this loss was during my annus horribilis of 2009. The year wasn’t all terrible – I bought my house – but the number of major life events was overwhelming, and even the good stuff was stressful. It’s been three, almost four years ago now, and still it lingers.
Each loss was different. As I turned 50, I mourned my youth. An unfortunate career choice cost me what little was left of my self-confidence, which I’m only now reclaiming. There were the deaths: one a blessing, one far, far too soon. With the first, I grieved not the person nor the relationship – troubled at best – but the loss of possibility, of what it could have been but never was. With the second, I mourned both the lost joy and that we hadn’t had more time together.
That love and loss are the inseparable yin and yang, two sides of the coin, seems to be the inescapable theme of the week for me. This, I know in my bones, grows from my unearthed need to connect with passion to some part – any part – of the world around me. Grasping blindly, my heart meets only air and memory, reliving passions gone by but finding nothing, yet, to take their place. But the memories crowd in, rekindling my heart and leaving me open – vulnerable – to new love, new loss. I am so close I can taste it.
Here I am, life. It’s your move.