I am in awe today of the resiliency of the human spirit. I listen to what people have gone through or are experiencing right now, and yet – they are still living, still striving to make sense of things, still wanting and trying and hoping and if not moving forward, at least working to not move too far backwards.
I know that so many have struggled with so much this past year and a half. This pandemic has taken a toll. Yet I see families getting back together, emerging from the isolation and from the hiding and now smiling and laughing and reaching out to hold and hug each other. That spirit to live and love has not died. Not by a long shot.
And I see in myself my own process of grieving this past year. I live alone, have no family that I am in contact with, and so my furry companions become my family. I am so very grateful for them. This past year, I have had the painful experience of losing three kitties. Two were 17 years old and had been with me since they were kittens, and the third was a 12 year old kitty that I adopted when her owner died. I thought we were both grieving at that time and could perhaps bring each other some comfort. She became very ill, and after many visits to many vets, I lost her after 4 months. My heart was broken again. I retreated from the world for the most part. I simply let myself go deeply into the grief, not being sure that I could find my way out at times, yet believing that I would at some point get through enough of the grief to be able to feel like I could breathe again and start to rejoin life.
So here I am. I am deeply sad and missing my sweet furry companions. I am not ready to bring another pet into my home yet….I need some time to re-center and find my inner home again.
I find that I have been wanting to paint again and have been doing that for several days. There is something very healing about the time that I spend painting….I lose all sense of time and am completely in the moment. I am working on a painting of a stag that has come to visit me on the back of my property each and every time that I lost a kitty. I need to paint this stag – he has been a special visitor and I want to honor that and honor the visits. Something felt very special and almost sacred about them, about him.
I wrote in my journal today after not having done so for some time. And I am writing this post for my blog, to reconnect with myself, and with any who may read what I have to write. I’m glad that you are here.
We are amazing, we humans. We live, we age, and we lose….more and more as we age, I find. As I have written before, grief becomes a more frequent companion as time marches on….We lose dear ones – family, friends. We lose our definition of who we were as an employee once we retire. We lose the social structure that work may have brought us and we have to redefine ourselves. We lose relationships. We lose some of our physical functioning…..we perhaps move more slowly, may not hear or see as well, and many other age related changes. And yet, we persevere and we live. We live.
I am still here. I have lost pieces of my heart, both human and the furry kind. I have lost pieces of myself over the years, and yet I find that I discover deeper pieces that have been there all along, but that I may have been too busy or distracted to attend to or listen to. I may be older, but I am still very much here and very much alive. Perhaps I define being alive differently now – defined more by all the internal dances and emotions and stories….and perhaps more by each encounter with another being that I now can attend to more deeply and with more time. To really see. To really hear. To really experience. To really cherish each moment….
Each moment becomes more precious to me as I sense that there are fewer of them ahead of me than behind me. But, that does not rush me into a frenzy of action with pressure to do more and accomplish more. Rather, it quiets me and helps me to be more still….and to be more able to notice life around me and life within me. To get to know, once again, the spirit and soul that I have always been, but not always focused on. I am grateful to have reached this stage of my life. And I want to live each moment that I may have left with that awareness and gratitude as much as I can. To breathe into each moment. Pain, grief, sorrow and joy, happiness, peace …..all are part of the canvas of my life. I want to welcome them all and feel them all. This is what being alive is, after all. The will to live is strong. The resiliency is deep, until we reach our own individual time to go. But let us not go before our time. Let us embrace each moment, let us embrace each feeling (even the bitterly painful ones) – let us live while we are here. I appreciate being able to write this and to any of you who may take the time to read what I write. Thank you You are also part of the canvas of my life.