One week ago, almost to the minute, I was preparing to walk to the podium, tap the mic, and deliver a eulogy for my oldest brother.
While typing the words above, I felt my throat tighten and my eyes sting. I was not expecting that.
Around an hour ago I posted the following on my Facebook page:
“Are there days you just feel CRAZY-BLESSED? Like, more than in a good mood, I’m talking about way deep down in your toenails blessed? Today is one of those days for me. Just wanted to share.”
After I clicked the “post” button, I realized how little I share about the raw, sorrow-filled moments of life. I mean, who wants to be the Bummer-Person? Not I.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. I like to grieve alone. It’s what feels right to me. I like the silence when I go within and feel the loss in the way I need to feel it.
That said, I felt guilty earlier today. Someone had just heard the news and called to check on me. After answering the phone with a little too much chipper in my voice, I heard the voice on the other end of the line: somber and barely a whisper. I immediately thought, Moron! Put some damn sadness in your voice! You are supposed to sound sad!
So I did. I took my voice down a full octave and slowly told my friend of the circumstances around the end of my brother’s life.
After I hung up the phone I returned to my home-office; it was time to get back to work. I saw that today my husband’s grandmother turned 101. And when I tell you she is a remarkable lady, I’m not even close to kidding. I called her last week just to chat. She asked me to hold for just a second while she turned off the iron. She explained to me that she had been doing a little “light ironing.”
“Light ironing? Are you kidding me?” I said. “What in the world are you ironing?” I asked.
“My clothes for tomorrow.”
“Where are you going? Somewhere special?”
“Leslie, honey. When you get to be my age, it’s all special.”
Wow. Yes. Why yes, it is.
Fast forward to just a moment ago as I wrote the Facebook post above. Sitting at my desk, cuppa tea by my side, dog at my feet, older son upstairs sleeping/under the weather, sun streaming in my office just-so, and feeling a deep, deep gratitude for Life. How could I not share that? Feelings like that are indeed special.
But friends, it is only by walking through my grief, by honoring the feelings of sadness and loss that I am truly able to appreciate the feelings on the opposite end of the spectrum.
If you are feeling sad today, or maybe you even feel lost, stop for a moment and sit with those feelings. Honor what you’re feeling and know, believe, that its opposite will come. And when it does, honor that as well! Don’t rush to the next and the next and the next. We all have this tendency to push that accelerator down and GO when we’re feeling on top of the world.
Give as much reverence to the on-top-of-the-world feeling. Honor it. Stop and breathe it in. Trust yourself enough to know you’re strong enough to feel whatever feeling is upon you. Know that that is one of the ways we show ourselves love.
Remember the words of the 101 year-old ironing grandma: It’s all special.
And I do mean ALL.
If today’s message spoke to you, won’t you please share it on Facebook or forward to a friend? You never know, it might be just the thing someone in your circle of friends is meant to experience today. Thank you!