Grief Gives Way to a Pencil

Months of a deep fog, of getting hit hard with death so that it makes life seem so strange and wrong.  No, death isn’t new.  Not when you’re 40.  But then it happens that the loss is so supremely different than any before.  When it becomes the loss of not just what you had, but what you will never have again.  That’s when it is the kind of death that moves you to die a bit, too. To gasp for air.  And so it has been.  And so it has been hard.

And so it is that the strong, good voices shake out, rise to the top. (Including your own, eventually.)  And again, your world is changed to see friendship and love for what it really should be.  To see your past wrongs, to forgive yourself, to move on, anew; humbled, loved, afraid, and ready for something far more real.  So the people, your people, emerge and stay.

It’s a time of “yes,” we now say to one another.  We just say yes.  We must. Because right now, we don’t want to regret any “no’s.”  Each of us has our own “yes’s,” big and small.  More road trips, more loving talks, more forgiveness, more cheap tickets to good events, more face-to-face, less Facebook. And for me, more pencil and paper.  And more clarity on this moment, and those to come.

Saying yes to one’s passion is a bit like saying yes to a sweetheart.  It’s a whim, it’s full of lust, full of a perfect dream.  Here we go, praying this thing that drives us so deeply will prove true.  Perhaps it will, perhaps it will fail.  Yet who are we but vessels of hope that need to clutch moments of utter truth–what we know to be right–right now–and hold them up like torches.

They say the biggest regrets are those of a wasted something: time, love, chances, risk, peace.  Then you watch a beautiful friend lose a battle she never asked for, that she wasn’t even ready for.  You realize you are a grown up.  And you realize all those sayings so true.  And we must pick up pencils, passports, the telephone, our confidence, our “Fuck you, Past,” and make our way, better.

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