Sunday, November 8, 2015

Brilliance uncontained

The body does not die because it is not strong,
It dies because it can only contain the brilliance for so long.

There's no way that I remembered that quote correctly. I apologize. I do not even know the name of the poet, or of the poem. However, I find some small amount of comfort in this idea.

This afternoon I attended a funeral for a woman whom I had never met. Those who spoke of her, spoke of her intelligence, her wit, her "realness", her love and devotion for her family, her directness, and how if you were her friend then you were her friend for life. They told stories of lifelong relationships with their friend, their wife, their mother. They told of how she never gave up herself in throes of the disease that ultimately took her from them. They spoke of how she did not know the fullness of the impact she had on the people and the world around her. 

How I wish I had met her! I cried in empathy for the family and friends. I cried in mourning for my own Nana. Most every word they said, they could have been talking about my Nana. As I was sitting there thinking about my Nana, it occurred to me that I wasn't fully present when I attended her funeral. It was a very different time in my life, a time when I could not have been fully present. I realized that the same was true for my own father's funeral and how I grieved for him at my step-father's funeral. 

Grief and loss are strange animals. They never do go away entirely, but rather diminish with time and by celebrating life. While I had never met the woman whose loss we mourned today, she gave me a gift that I didn't know how much I needed. She gave me the gift of an opportunity to mourn loss with a presence and peace of mind that I did not previously have. She further provided me the ability to see that my step-father gave me the same gift. I only wish I could have realized what he gave me at the time.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The First Sighting

I was out running this morning, my new favorite route. The route goes into the area where my ex lives. I knew there was a possibility that I could run into him one day, but I always thought he would be driving by and in his car. Well, this morning, not only did I run into him, but he was out walking with his wife. Oh, too many thoughts in my head about all of this. I smiled, too big at first. I thought, she might realize that I know him, so I smiled less. I didn't say anything, just kept running.

When I got far enough ahead, I stepped aside and tried to assess what I was feeling. I wasn't quite crying, but wanted to. I wish I got a better look at her, but glad I didn't. I just remember that she was kinda plain looking, kinda pretty, and on the heavy side. I let it get to me...

I picked up running again, made my planned turn around and headed toward home. Lo and behold, they were on the same loop as me, just traveling in the opposite direction. I had to run past them both again. This time, she gave me a big smile. It was nothing, just simple recognition that runners, and walkers, give to each other when they see each other out exercising.

I couldn't let it go. A lump grew in my throat. The sobs came, the tears. I had no idea what that moment would look like when I saw him for the first time after we stopped seeing each other. I never expected that when I did he would be with her.

Then, the self-doubt. All the thoughts wondering what's wrong with me, why not me, what's so great about her? For so many reasons this line of questioning is just not fair to me. Some days I miss him. Some days I'd still like to see him. Some days I think he should have picked me, fought for me. It's not that easy, not that simple. For so many reasons. And at the end of the day, he's the one who missed out.

I can choose to live in that doubt, or I can continue my journey through this life. I can choose to be with someone who cares for me, who chooses me, who fights to keep me.