A Serious Case of the Sads.
Since I haven't written in what seems like forever, I'm going to have to just sum up.
I've gone through a shit storm of sadness with people I love dropping like flies. I can't tell you any more than that because it involves others who are private and don't want people to know what's going on in their lives. Suffice it to say that it's been a big struggle, and I have been wading through the muck of emotion for several months.
There have been funny times during the morose moments. I can't detail that yet either, but it involves inappropriate taxidermy jokes.
In general, I've been in Campbell River for months taking short breaks to hit Vancouver (I do have a business there, after all) and haven't felt social or creative during this time.
Whilst driving back-and-forth from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, I managed to buy a condo in Yaletown. After having written offers on four other properties and getting outbid by other (foreign) buyers, I finally got the one that was meant for me. I wake up to the sound of birds (and sirens) and have a view of green gardens instead of a brick wall—what I would've been able to afford in Gastown.
I go about my business of life with this heavy thing hanging in the background of my consciousness. I meet acquaintances in the street and at the grocery store, and they ask how are you. I say fine, and they say, how’s your mom, and I say, oh, you know, getting older, aren’t we all? And I ask them how they’re doing, and they’re fine, and I pay for my groceries, look at the celebrity magazines and depart wondering why anyone cares about the Kardashians. And, god, are they still talking about Princess Di and Jon Bonnet? And I guess I need those distractions, too, so I don’t go stark raving mad because in the end there is nothing. Just another cycle of life. And that’s ok. Because it has to be.
But, I’m finally feeling that a ray of light is beginning to sparkle again and that there is an end to this dim tunnel—even though the darkest part of the tunnel remains before me. I have been preparing for that mentally and emotionally.
One of the things I've learned in the last few months is how unimportant most of the things we think are important really are. Things don't matter; people do.
That old saying, “People won't remember what you said or did, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” It's so true. As well, at the end of our life when we look back on all of it, what will matter to us, too, is how we treated others.
It will matter if we said the I love you’s that got caught in our throat; if we hugged each other a little bit longer instead of giving each other a granny pat and rushing away; and if we told the ones that matter most how much we appreciated them and how much we still do, especially if we've never told them before.
It would do us well to make amends while we can because when we can't, we will be the ones who remain burdened by the weight of those lost words.
Imagine the person you love most in the world. Now imagine that they will be taken away from you. What would you say to them? What things must you let them know before they go if only so you don't have to carry that missed opportunity?
I've been fortunate to have been given an opportunity to make peace and make amends and make sure my loved ones know how much I appreciate and care for them. We never know when our last chance to do this will be.
I invite you to swallow pride, ego, vanity, fear, self-righteousness, and shame and to tell those people what they mean to you. Do it now while you still can. Don't take that weight to your grave because we never know when the ones we care about will wind up in there first.
I'm clearing out the clutter. Getting rid of old things and things that no longer bring me joy. I'm detaching and letting go. I'm starting a whole new chapter, yet again.
What have I relearned?
- We never know when our time is up, but it matters more that we never know when someone else's time is up.
- It takes courage to make amends, but making amends is the most freeing action we can take for ourselves. Bonus: it’s a gift to others.
- No thing matters.
- This too shall pass.
- Love is the answer. When we strip away the distractions that surround us, love is what’s left.
- Take inventory, do only the things I love doing. Ditch. Everything. Else.
- Tell everyone I care for how much I love and appreciate them. Check.
- Make amends wherever I can while not harming others. (This is straight out of AA, y’all.)—Working on it.
- Ask myself every damn day: What can I do today to make me and others feel better?
- Do that.
Sorry so serious. Had to be.