Yesterday, I was chatting with Amy and I asked her how everything was going. She told me about the things going on in her life and with her family and the struggles they are experiencing. She said that recent events have made her all too aware of our mortality. Her words hit me hard, like being hit with a rock. You would think that you would only need the lesson of our fragile lives one time in order to be fully aware of our mortality. You would think that your first loss would help prepare for the next one and the next one and the next one. In some ways it does at the very least make us aware of the inevitability of loss.
I told my therapist once that I was really good at throwing away things. I told her how I'd thrown away a whole rats nest of cords only to discover later that one of those cords was the power supply to my external hard drive. The weekend everyone left my house after Chris died, I pulled all of his clothes from the drawers and closet, stuffed them into bags and took them to Goodwill. I did it partly because it gave me something to do, but also I knew that if I didn't do it right then, I may never do it. When I come into savasana and practice the act of saying goodbye, I have no problem saying farewell to all things. Farewell sun. Goodbye to this moment. Bye bye life as I once knew it. I should be really good at loss by now. Yet, I, like so many others, fall victim to complacency. I get caught up in the day to day chore side of living, cleaning up dog vomit and fixing microscopy problems. I let myself believe that loss is easy because of how well I can throw things away. I let myself forget that those abilities to say goodbye are on my terms. I'm the one in control and loss, true loss, is something out of our control.
Of course, I have always known this. It is why every day is important. I am grateful for these lessons that make me stronger. I am thankful for these lessons that remind me how important it is to reach out to others in loving kindness. I am thankful for the reminder to make the most out each day. I am grateful that Amy and her family are safe and sound. Tell those you love that you love them. Put the phone down and turn off the TV and sort through a pile of old photos together. Practice saying goodbye to something you find impossible saying farewell to and allow for a loss of control.