On Life, Love, and Loss
I've been thinking this week about my least favorite part of being human, and that is the inevitable loss of people we love. Whether temporary separation or permanent split, from relationships turning sour to the death of a loved one- it's going to happen. None of us are immune to the ravaging of time. Where we love, we also mourn. One of those funny/not funny juxtapositions of life.
I've been fortunate in my life that at 40 years old, I haven't yet had to bear the loss of immediate family. My mom lost both her parents when I was just a baby, and I'm so thankful that we still have our parents and children with us. However, just as I am somehow 40 years old, I know that everyone else is aging, too, and it's only a matter of time. I wonder if we eventually will be inured to it?
I've dealt with loss, of course, of friends and extended family, and each time I reacted differently. I guess that's part of the challenge of being human. In my early twenties, I found out that a good friend of mine from high school had died suddenly of an aggressive cancer, just a few months into life with his new bride. A few years ago I lost my best friend from high school to a drug resistant bug. The grief I felt was related more to regret over missed opportunities to reconnect, and grief for their families left behind.
A little over a year ago, I lost my cousin to an aggressive cancer. If my husband was writing this, he'd know exactly what kind of cousin she was, with degrees of removal and numerical importance. He has a very large family. My family isn't so large, however, so I just thought of her as my cousin. Her death hit me like a sledgehammer, and my coping method involved sitting outside alone, ordering pizza for many dinners, and drinking wine. Not the healthiest choices, maybe, but that was as much as I was capable of. Truth be told, I'm still grieving.
This week I suddenly lost a friend to the turmoils of life, and I'm still processing it. So far my coping skills have involved writing, listening to music, and going outside to walk. A lot. I can't seem to sit still for long or stay in the house. Luckily, the weather is cooperating. I only got spit on a little bit by the sky this afternoon.
One of the songs I've been ruminating over talks about every day things that just happen, and depending on who it's happening to and at what season in their life, can have opposite interactions. It's probably one of my favorite songs, and the band one of my favorite bands. "Funny The Way It Is"- Dave Matthews Band.
Speaking as myself, the meal planner, not a psychologist- if you're grieving, just let it happen, and unfold as it will. None of us can predict how we'll react. It's one of life's mysteries. I'm finding myself mulling over the last 20 years of my life, almost frame by frame, freezing snapshots of moments, contemplating choices, reflecting on words spoken or unspoken, and so on. Sometimes I feel really removed, like I'm watching this unfold from a distance. Or that it might just be a really intense dream. I'm pretty sure it's real, though, because life goes on around me. The kids are back to school in 3 weeks, I'm working for a client, and I get to register for yoga on Monday.
I know this post has nothing to do with food or meal planning. Let's file it under "personal growth" and move on. I've danced this dance before; one way or the other, things will work out. And in the meantime, I've got a snuggly almost first-grader and a hilarious almost seventh-grader to keep me on my toes, and a patient husband who pours me a glass of scotch before I know I need it.
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