So good to see my good friends John and Pam last night. It’s a rare treat to see them these days only because our lives are changing and morphing and taking us in a myriad of directions. We have all experienced so much loss over the last several years and John always asks really good questions.
He was curious if the most recent loss of Laura somehow weaved its way into the overall theme of loss I’ve experienced over the last decade, or if this was more of “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” I think that’s a GREAT question because loss is something we all endure over time, and we all react differently to it. While we can relate somewhat to other people’s feelings, we can’t really ever know the depth of what another person is feeling because we are not them.
For me, the loss of Laura was a breaking away of sorts. It has broken me beyond any other loss in my life – but it’s a brokenness that somehow transcends what humans equate as something negative. It’s a pouring out so to speak of who I am at the core – to not be afraid to venture into the second half of my life a more confident, vibrant woman who will not tolerate mediocrity, who is no longer afraid to establish and keep healthy boundaries, who finally believes there ARE deal breakers in relationships, and who will go to whatever lengths necessary to practice kindness to the world around her. Kindness is something I can practice to myself and others no matter what political, social, or religious upheaval abounds in the world.
Did I come to these conclusions because of Laura’s death? No, they are conclusions that have been brewing for the past decade or so, however the last 5 years of Laura’s life and her death in January were catalysts to help me realize I really do have permission (and an obligation) to not settle anymore.
John and Pam have been spiritual mentors to me for 18 years, and I’ve seen them go through their own periods of profound loss and tragedy. Through it all, their faith never wavers. It’s like a steady beacon I have always been able to look to when my own faith was dangerously shaken.
Our night ended with a question I asked them – what GOOD is happening in your life right now? Ah, what a delight to see their eyes twinkle as they stumbled over each other to elaborate on the good! Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could stumble over each other with excitement to tell each other good things?
I certainly think so.