I read somewhere that if I don't blog for awhile, I'm supposed to jump right in as though no time had passed. Which seems impossible. Too much has happened. More than a month of days and nights of living and adventuring and creating.
I have not written, in part, because of a life event that has felt personal, and tapped into some of my bigger fears as well. It's incredible how my heart can beat harder as I write this, as I skirt the issue, full of tremulous anxiety. *deep breathe, and just say it..* My sweet dad in law has had a cancer diagnosis. It feels simultaneously manageable, beatable, and terrifying. What is to come will not be simple, but I feel confident that it will be all right. Yet my history makes me feel utterly tired of the word cancer and all of it's nasty implications. I feel like death is all up in my face, poking me in the chest and claiming every person I love as it's own.
But there is the fact that death is what makes life feel relevant, and beautiful, and precious. It is the thing that makes us say 'carpe diem' and drives us to create the lives we want to live. It's what makes loving sweeter, and joy brighter. The inevitability of loss urges us to be vigilant, loyal friends, to strive toward healing and growing as people. It encourages leaps of faith into our dreams.
Or does it? It can also make us isolate ourselves. To choose to live small, comfortable, familiar lives that don't invite the fear of the unknown. It can make us shut out the potential for deep friendships, deep loves, deep commitments in order to spare ourselves loss and grief. The irony is that loss happens. Whether we love one person or many, one pet or many. And when we lose one who we love, we are faced with grief. That great open space in us that feels unfillable by any but the friend, the beloved.
And it is that deep darkness that makes joy feel so miraculous when it returns. When sun bursts through black clouds and just brilliantly illuminates us for a moment. And through our healing and grieving we experience more and more moments of light. And then there is the blessed day when we can feel joy and love and gratitude while thinking of our lost loves. When their memory brings us comfort, and not pain.
So. I finally said it. Which in some ways means having to be a brave monkey and accepting it. Pappy's diagnosis makes me feel afraid, but strong too. Knowing that I will lose so many people who I love in this lifetime reminds me that I Love. That I am capable of caring for, loving, losing, grieving, healing, loving more, and celebrating the lives of everyone around me. I'm so grateful for that.