Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Mantra: What Remains Behind

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Find strength in what remains behind

Lostfog co.
There's a pile of papers to my left that I need to sort through, catch up on, organize. There's a camera full of pictures that I need to load and delete, just so I can take more and then start this whole process over again. There's a couple of dogs laying next to me that need a good, long walk (and at least one who needs a bath- stat). There are emails to respond to and expenses to bill and final travel plans to secure. There are plans to make this week around picking up my friend from the airport and driving 3 hours out of town to attend a funeral of another friend who died unexpectedly. There's my brain, which is not quite functioning properly because of all of this.

I wasn't as close to this friend as others were and I don't want to act like my pain is somehow as equal or significant as theirs. I was closer to some of the other people who are suffering right now, which is heartbreaking in an entirely different way. Best friends broken and trying to figure out how to piece together the new reality of their life that shattered so suddenly. That I know, that place- I've been there before. I know what it's like to have a friend pass away suddenly, too young, with too much life left to live. I know this kind of heartbreak. It's overwhelming, unbelievable, devastating. It is a mixture of disbelief, anger, shock. It is a constant game of acceptance and denial at what life has given you.

I don't want to make this about me because it's not. This isn't really even about her. I wouldn't dare try and sum up her life when so many others were closer to her and when so many have already said beautiful things. This, instead, is for everyone who has been left behind. For all the everyone's that are always left behind.

For a while, for a time, you may want to cage your heart. You may want to lock it up and keep it safe and guard it ever so closely. You may decide to do this because even the gentlest breeze that blows might seem like too much- like it could tip you and your entire world over. Like any single memory that blows through your mind might be the one that undoes you. You wouldn't be entirely wrong.

You might, on the other hand, choose to charge head first into everything that is coming your way. You may want to remember every moment, relive every laugh, open your heart and let it break, piece by piece, memory by memory. This may feel better. This may be what you need.

They say time heals all wounds. I've found this to be both a truth and a lie.

There are times when it will be easy. There are times when it won't. There are times when you will be in such a state of disbelief that you will negotiate with God at almost any cost to change what you've come to know is true, yet can't accept.

There will be times when your memory fails you. When you forget how they looked, how they sounded. There will be times when you will remember the exactness of every detail that made them who they were.

You will find pieces of the person everywhere you turn- in nature, songs, stories. For a time, they will be all you can think about. But then, without even realizing it, you will forget. You will let go of the loss and the heartache and you won't realize it. Until you do. Until you remember. And then all you'll do for a time is remember and remember and remember.

This pattern of remembering and forgetting - it will hurt you, it will heal you, it will become a new normal. It will fade, it will lessen, but it will still remain. You will still remain. You - with all of your broken, sad, happy memories pieced together - you will remain. You will overcome. You will be stronger and braver and better, eventually, better.

Cage your heart or let it break open completely. Or, perhaps, find another way. Find comfort in the time you had together and don't beat yourself up for all the could've/would've/should've thoughts that we all get in times like this. Be grateful for every little thing, every little memory, that remains.

"Though nothing can bring back the hour, of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind." - William Wordsworth

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