I woke up feeling so very sad this morning, I am not really sure of all the reasons why, but here it is. And so I ask my sadness to talk with me.
Sadness is part of life. And it, for me, is especially so as I continue part this aging process. Losses continue. Losses within my own self and all around me. Grieving is my companion. And will be, as far as I can tell, for the rest of my life. It’s ok. It’s part of the journey.
I have lost family, I have lost partners. I have lost dear friends.
I have lost all that comes with youth. The youthful body with skin that bounces back. The youthful energy and optimism. The looking forward to the future. The quick mind that now seems to take more time to work, that can now more easily forget things. The denial of age related declines that are indeed a reality and will continue to be so.
I have lost my sense of direction at times, my sense of purpose, my sense of self.
I have lost that feeling of being a part of a group when I retired.
And I have gained much (and not just the added pounds that are so challenging to lose!)
I have gained a deeper quietness about life and all that it holds.
Appreciation for the earth and its beauty, with all of its precious creatures.
The deepening of friendships that are now lifelines.
The deepening connection to that inner Self and Spirit that now, that I have more time to be still and quieter, I can invite to speak to me more. I can listen more deeply.
A more vivid awareness of the reality of mortality. The fear of it, the sadness at the thought of letting go of life. This brings so much more gratitude for each moment that I am graced enough to still have.
A deepening self knowledge and gratitude for those parts of me that were there all along but that I had to set aside while I was busy making a living.
Friends that have become my chosen family.
A sense of humor about it all and realizing how vital that is to keep on keeping on.
And yes, the sadness. Sadness that reminds me of my humanity. Sadness that helps me connect with others and understand their pain. Sadness that helps me appreciate the poignancy and bittersweet quality of life. Sadness that helps me appreciate the darkness as well as the light.
So today, on Father’s Day, I will go to the mausoleum and share a cup of coffee with family gone and all others who are there. And then, I will go take a slow walk outside and feel my feet still on the ground, feel the sun and wind on this body that is still alive. And make eye contact with strangers as we share this brief moment in time.
My sadness is a gift, albeit a more painful one. It reminds me to feel everything, see the gift in it all, and be grateful for this experience, this journey, this life.