How can I mourn my loss when people across Colorado are mourning much bigger losses? This is the question that has been plaguing me for the past few days. How dare I feel sad? Why don’t I simply feel grateful for all I have? Doesn’t something like the Aurora shooting put everything else into perspective? Over the weekend, on lovely San Juan island, I had a moment where I thought I might get there. Maybe I could be done with mourning. I don’t spend every hour of every waking day mourning, certainly. But when it gets me, it gets me. My brief possibility of something else came to a halt yesterday. After traveling, a lovely weekend, the build up to my 2nd big performance on the stand-up comedy stage, and the actual performance (which was a blast and well attended by my lovelies), I woke up yesterday flat and flattened. I got to cry, then laugh with my women’s group yesterday, then continued to randomly shed tears off and on. Then today I awoke with the funk alive and well and camped out in my brain. Yes, I absolutely adore my new car and get quite happy every time I drive it. Yes, I love my dogs and take comfort when I smell their sweet heads. Yes, sleeping next to Tigger leaves me content even when he twitches for most the night. Yes, I love my husband and my friends. Yes, I am healthy. Yes, I need to mention that fabulous new car again! And, yes, we are a short time away from 2 plus weeks on our sailboat – thank God.
And, today was 4 months. I sobbed while reading my clients writing about losing her mother. I sobbed for her loss, loss in general, the inevitable loss of my own parents and for the loss of my home. Later in the day, I cried in thinking about that sweet oasis perched on the side of the hill that I will never see again. And, mostly, today I did not make myself wrong. I talked to another client who was feeling bogged down with some unknown angst only to discover in our conversation that she is mourning a few losses after dealing with her own brush with cancer and the disappointment that came when a friend couldn’t be there for her. I read memorials for some of the Aurora victims and thought about the memorial for my uncle next week.
I found myself hesitant in writing – wondering just what more there was to say, along with more of the above tragedy comparison thingie – and then received a sweet email from a regular reader who unknowingly gave me the words I needed to hear: “Please keep writing – you are an amazing, inspiring, one-of-a-kind special person!!”
Writing is how I make sense of it all in the way where I stop needing to know the why’s and how’s. In tragedy, we ask why and how but maybe there really is no why or how. If one why or how fits one tragedy, it probably doesn’t fit another. We falsely believe that if we can just understand why or how then maybe it won’t happen again. And, it will happen again. Things will happen again. We don’t know what or when they are but they are out there happening as I type and as you read. People are dying, others are mourning, many are questioning. So what do we do? We go on. We order takeout (this time Thai food) for the incalculable number of times since the fire.
What else do we do? We do stand up comedy which is one of the scariest things I have ever done in my entire life. We snuggle with dogs who open my heart like not much else. We laugh with our friends. We watch bad tv occasionally. We remember to be grateful and then we forget. We connect with some strangers and judge others. We complain about the weather, taxes, the divorce rate, the school system and whomever is in office.
And, we go on with the day. Today, I celebrated the release of Apple’s Mountain Lion operating system which I still have not been able to download due to a slow internet connection. Being a loyal convert, I eagerly awaited the new apps and functionality promised. David comes home from his last trip to Seattle until September which means one step closer to the Bahamas. I am setting my clients up for their 3 week plan while we won’t be speaking. I did my third to last show on Contact Talk Radio as I will be downsizing and moving back to BlogTalk for a while. I watched my video from Tuesday night at the Improv and only hated some of it while knowing that I can’t really see me objectively. I took a lovely walk with my hostess Jessie and chose to stay in to write versus go find a stronger wireless connection. So, here I sit having lived many lifetimes in one day. Many moods passed through my psyche. Many spaces and places. Many thoughts – many menial, some deep, quite a few negative and judgmental. I sit in the quiet and listen to the swamp cooler suck in it’s cool air. I watch the sun twinkle on the grass. I think about my poor broken down trailer who looks abandoned and lost in her temporary home on the way to getting fixed. I contemplate returning in September and wondering where we will live. I ponder having a kitchen where I might actually cook something for a change. I worry about the many things I haven’t done or cannot do before we go.
What have I learned? I still don’t know. Who am I becoming? Jury is out on that too. Seems like some version of me, most likely.
I always hoped that tragedy would deepen who I am as a person. One thing is for sure, it has deepened my devotion to containers. I think if I just find the right container, the world might make sense.
Or, at least, I would have somewhere to put it.