I’m thinking about loss. Why? It was a discussion in my Artist Way Cluster Group today. I have been meeting with two friends for nearly 12 years now. And someone’s dog died.
Okay, now its time for a piece of chocolate. Time to bring something “good” into my moment. And Being in the moment is my Mindfulness mantra. Not looking through the rearview mirror.
Nor going into my fears. The fear of a future loss…. “Anticipatory grief”, a term given when one is expecting the death of a loved one. Or the loss of something or someone important.
Oh, those losses. Those painful memories that pull me back. Playing them over in my mind. Reliving that feeling of grief. Until I stop my thoughts, and shift to something different to focus on. But what can I focus on that will be strong enough to drown out that strong emotion?
Time for another piece of chocolate.
Two months ago my older brother was diagnosed with cancer. And it’s a bad one.
I heard that cancer may be considered a “chronic” disease now. Everyone has a story of a friend or family member who lived “years” with cancer. “There are so many treatments for it now”, a friend said. But she doesn’t understand this is a bad one and he is really sick. He may not be able to play with me anymore. No more 1 1/2 hour Zoom calls. No more vacations together. No more meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking together, He may not die, but he’s so sick now I don’t know how it can ever be the same.
But wait, some of my thoughts aren’t just about him. One loss leads to another. There were others who died. I don’t feel the same grief for them anymore. The hole their loss left in my heart has healed. Like the scar on my oak tree where we cut off a limb. The tree has found a way to live with it. And I guess so will I.
Is there a way I can prepare myself so I don’t get overwhelmed with these emotions of loss? The losses that come as we age and see friends and family members get sick or old and die.
Can I allow myself to still experience happinesses in my life? Will good self-care be enough to keep me afloat and weather the storms? Can facing the hard fact that loss is part of life be enough? Is there a “skill set” to fall back on? Friends. Others in my “life raft”. Friends who give me the space to experience the pain, and not try to talk me out of my feelings. They just hold my hands and just be with me as I bob in and out of the grief — the anger, the sadness, the confusion, and the love. And know that I will be okay.