I was at work Friday when I got the call, the relative of someone within my extended family passed on. The man, though elderly was very involved in his life. Among other things he was a brother, a husband, father and friend. After a troubled week in hospital, he graciously was able to return home to die, his brood surrounding him free of the confines of hospital visiting hours, visitor restrictions and the like. His death set a dozen or so actions in motion, not the least of which was the planned drawing together of his tribe. They will all pay tribute to him today and if I could be there with them, I would.
I’ve a theory that all deaths are related, more or less. Less when we have no emotional connection with the departed, more when we feel it’s effect close in, like a dart thrown in close proximity to a bulls eye, the nearer to the center, the greater the effect. This death hit my psyche in an inner section; a high point count. Even though I resided as a literal and figurative long-distance annex in his family tree, I have to admit — this death is leaving its mark.
Life works that way, contingently, diagramming, circling, the mind associating one unrelated thing with another so that eventually over time even if we’re trying to concentrate say on spring in Vancouver, we end up ruminating on the last time we ate ice cream in fall. As humans it is our nature to seek out patterns—so the leap from the residual backwash of anguish of this man’s death to the avalanche of memories particular to deaths of my very close loved ones hit my bull eye swiftly. From the moment I heard this man was in decline, I found myself mourning anew.
March 1st begins a six month universally which fuels family and domestic energy big time. Truths convenient and or otherwise, cannot be ignored, especially in our current Universal three year. Three years bump up the truth stakes.
My truth: I am, like so many, made uneasy by death, I am plagued by past deaths that threaten to over take my present, my emotions ping-ponging off a web of sadness, six degrees of grief.
This speaks volumes about a three year’s more subtle lessons:
- To learn to work out the leftover sensitivity of past losses. To learn to release these painful remainders not in silence, but uncritically and in community. That turns out to be the purpose of this month’s forecast…to acknowledge that latter day triggers can be the ‘Willing Sheppard” of present day discomfort. But like most pain, it is prescriptive and diagnosable. And, potentially curable.
Don’t put off connecting with family of choice and good friends. These ties are vital, they keep you strong. No, not all your problems will be solved. But you’ll feel a lot better when you make yourself visible, unconcealed. When you move forward, not in silence, but in community, you get that much more of the joy of life promised for the remainder of the year.