I was in the car when the old instrumental, Stranger on the Shore, came up, its plaintive sax wailing sorrow and longing, pinging my memories, hard. Tears welled up uncontrollably, so many that I had to pull off the road and let them out.
This is my season of loss, with so many I loved dying in the last two months of the year. Anniversaries. Even now, people all around me on social media are dying, people I know –but most I don’t even know –and their loved ones. I feel every one of those deaths.
Others are suffering with long-lasting covid issues. Or are starting treatment for a difficult disease. I feel lucky and I feel heartbroken for them.I think of someone I care about who has been destroyed by life and how sad that makes me. I think of my own unrealized hopes and dreams
We’ve all lost so much this year that I find myself on the side of a road in western New York sobbing.
A vision of carefree days around the table with friends in Maui popped up, a trip we are unlikely to make this year…others of a retreat I attended a year go, something I may not be comfortable doing for a very long time. I see myself walking the long corridors of the Munich airport, anxious to get to one of our trips last year. And sitting on a huge stone at the Great Pyramids of Egypt. I consider how our fun life of travel and exploration disappeared in 2020. I feel that loss.
I remember the excitement with which we embarked on our second home and how much we looked forward to spending time with family and friends here. And then, the pandemic made it difficult and now impossible to socialize, at least for those of us following the rules.
I think about the civil war that’s brewing and how unexpected it was that one man could do so much damage to our democracy in such a short period of time. I consider those who believe so strongly in him that a 21st century civil war is brewing. I can only cry.
I know you have your version of these feelings. You feel the grief for all we’ve lost, too. I know you do.
So what are we to do with those feelings?
We feel them. We pull the car over to the side of the road and cry. Or let tears loose in the shower. Or out in nature. Anywhere they come up. We feel them.
We have to feel them. And keep feeling them for as long as it takes for our grief to dissipate. Which is different for each person.
And then, we have to pick up our lives as best we can and walk on. Move forward.
Because this is the life we have been called to live and what else can we do?
See all our grief tools at AHealingSpirit.org/grief/