Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sad guy

(well, sad girl)

January's been tough, and as it comes to an end, I'd like to write my first and last post of the month as a recognition (I was going to use the word 'tribute', but thought better of the positive connotation it insinuates) of loss.

This month, two people whom I love, care for, and cherish very dearly have walked abruptly out of my life. One was foreseen, and the other just disappeared without a trace or word of warning. Although experiencing this kind of loss in those two different ways provided me with alternate ways of acceptance, it made neither easier than the other.

I am not going to go into detail about either of these situations, as most who read this post will have already spoken of the details of these two losses with me (at great lengths, even (and if you're reading this (and you know who you are), I am sorry about going on and on and on...)). However, as I was laying in bed last night, thinking of both of them, a familiar poem came to mind. This particular poem, a classic, is a favorite of mine, and reminds me that in times of loss, that we are not alone. It seems through the wisdom of the ages that poets and lovers alike have written of the same feelings:

by Langston Hughes

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There's nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began ---
I loved my friend.

A good, good friend, Patrick, has been a rock of mine for ages. In my times of trouble, like Hughes, he always knows just what to say. The following were words he remarked to me in a Facebook chat more than 2 years ago, which I copied, pasted to my desktop, and refer to often. In this situation, his words again guide my thoughts and actions, and I refer to them often to remind me to take the high road. He famously (well, maybe not famously to you, but to me) quoted:

The point is this: you have no control over what people will do. All you have control over is what kind of person you choose to be while you go through all this. You can honor and acknowledge everything that swirls inside you --- hurt, anticipated loss, exclusion, etc. --- and then look outward and still see every opportunity to be happy...

Thanks to Patrick, I am taking my losses for what they are and wearing my big girl panties about it (the moral high road, as some say). Mostly, though, it's' another (continual) reassessment of life's ups and downs and our reactions to them, and that no matter what, I'm not alone.

Experience is a brutal teacher. But, my god, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis