So on we can go

If you read my blog, or know me personally, you know that my brother and my mother died earlier this year. What you may not know is that a friend of mine died not long after my mother did. So, I think we can say that spring this year was full of loss for me. Grief, even if it is complicated grief, or expected grief can cause us to react and process life in unpredictable ways. My mind, like so many of ours, can focus on the loss. Indeed, whenever I think that I am feeling good, my loss smacks me in the face one way or another again.

Thankfully though, we have the words of giants to help us along when things feel dark and difficult.

Swami Vivekananda often says things just right. If you haven’t read any of his works, do. Your heart will not regret it. Here is something that has been a bit of light for me lately.

The ideal of man is to see God in everything. But if you cannot see Him in everything, see Him in one thing, in that thing which you like best, and then see Him in another. So on you can go. There is infinite life before the soul. Take your time and you will achieve your end.

2019 has been a bear so far

An interesting insight I’ve obtained from having two family members die within 2 months from one another:

This thing is too big to handle in the usual way.

If you don’t know what I mean, think about what you do when something small, and say, more than an annoyance, but less than catastrophic happens in your life. We usually have a comfort zone of how we handle things. I, for example, will generally take refuge in books (generally something that has a half-clothed duke or baron on the cover holding a wind-swept, but lovely lady) and hunker down, waiting for the storm to pass.

When your brother dies, and then your mom dies, all the Julia Quinn in the world isn’t going to help. This is when we have to think about our resources, and not just put out fires, but watch for a hint of smoke, a hard, dry wind, and try to keep the yard damp.

Instead of my usual MO, I’ve called in my people (and there are so many of you!), and returned those phone calls of love, and responded to those texts, and gone to the acupuncturist. I took a couple of weeks off of teaching, am continuing bereavement leave from my other job, and cancelled volunteer engagements that I was already committing myself to for the new school year. My usual way was not, and is not going to cut it here. I have the grief to deal with, but I am also the executor to my mom’s estate, and I have to say, it’s a horrible and onerous job.

But friends, I’m back to teaching, and available again. And for all of you that I’ve heard from, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I am loved. Thank goodness.

Keeping the faith

I think most of us can agree that not much good seems to be hitting the headlines. There is injustice and cruelty at every turn. Really, it’s one terrible thing after another. In the midst of all this misery, I came across this great quote in one of my favorite magazines; The Sun. The quote they chose is from Dean Koontz, who is a sort of moral and warm horror writer.

On an individual level, the human condition changed day by day, even hour by hour, and while you were soaking in self-pity over a misfortune, you might miss an opportunity for a redeeming triumph. And for every act of inhumanity, the species managed to commit a hundred acts of kindness; so if you were the type to brood, you would be more sensible if you dwelt on the remarkable goodwill with which most people treated others.

So, friends, while we are doing our best to prepare for better times, let us not become embittered or paralyzed. Let’s look for redeeming triumphs, any drop of kindness we can find and multiply, and look for opportunities to love and be loved. In this way, perhaps we can make it through with our hearts still intact.