There can be exquisite bloom in doom. Grief is a strikingly connected experience. When we’re dealt any amount of loss it may come bearing new blossoms. Neighbors or strangers might bring us help and faith in a stronger tomorrow. Those we may never know in other places around our city or the globe reach out to support. Long lost friends, teachers, and even idols can sweep in to become a surprisingly sweet part of our world. Community claims courageousness in the throes of weakness. People bond and bring a sense of togetherness suddenly no matter their staggering financial, racial, or other stark differences. There is ‘hope’ in hopelessness.
The exhaustion and disbelief of traumas carry an emotional club kinship. My own history brimming with rough patches of family alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, rape, big financial losses, domestic violence, abortion, and job loss are enough to put me in the mock Board rankings for some personal theoretical life clubs. What collapses us in moments also offers kindred spirits that have come before and can help us rise again. These are the times not to hide entirely. Here are the fences of shame, distrust, loneliness, and fear dissolving. We are not alone and never should we be. If life were not for proportionally inspiring associations to the hilt then we could be a lone dust particle on Mars awaiting the chance to matter and not merely be a spec of matter.
Suffering and loss surround us daily. In California, our recent days are filled with the surreal images typically reserved for Hollywood blockbuster action films. Tucked amongst my local horrific news are global reports of similar devastation. I’ve had dear friends pass away, battle cancer, lose treasured pets or jobs all in this same short time period. More precious ones I know have had their entire homes disappear before their eyes to the raging fires. We don’t get to delete the disaster as it annihilates us, but we can piece together a pattern of love.
While I wake to glistening sun rays against crisp blue skies, this is not everyone’s reality. It’s days like these present ones that I think to take a mourning walk. When I walk in the pristine calm, ease, beauty, and significance of a blessed day I balance any hardship. Sometimes the joy of my alive causes me an uplifting cry. Many times the darkness my friends, family, country, or planet wrestle weighs so heavy. Then, out of the broken concrete jungle protrudes a prosperous life. Sprigs of fuschia pink and emerald green hoist themselves through the desolate urban dankness covering the once-sprawling earthen expanse. I admire their statuesque splendor. I laugh, often snap photos, or even shout euphoric exclamations of happiness. Here is yearning for a bright spot in all days. I call this love by another name. It is just such a reminder that revitalizes the prospect of positivity coming your way once again.
Even so, I’ve always been sensitive to the plight of others. My empathy has felt a friend and a curse at times. Affinity for the tangible roots of rough times outside of myself does not make managing my own feelings easy. Both a deep ally and a messenger of relating, my associating is my way of telling you I feel you, I care for you, I am relating to you, and I am there for you. All or parts of you will be ok. You can ask me to listen or we’ll share to compare notes for promoting a brand new improved side of you. Transition takes time. We are an external work in progress, tasked to surviving the journeys presented to us as equally as lounging in the destinations.
Through it all are sparks that don’t cause ruin. They pleasantly happen no matter what troubles could be nearby. Notices of new life as babies are born to dear friends wanting for so long, romantic marriages occur, and highly valued jobs land in the laps of deserving souls unemployed for too long. The chasm of light versus dark opposites is the polarity of life. In these times, I shift my mantra to alight my blissful perspective: I have abundant loving friends and family, ten fingers, ten toes, effortless breath, clean running water available, usually a comfy space to lay my head for slumber, and the safety of walls and a ceiling for protection. Celebration of life doesn’t always float so swiftly on the wind, as there are times the winds carry fiery rage. Your health and humanity are your gifts for a new day.
May any mourning walk you have be gently cradled in love.