This has been a spring of losses and endings and changes.
It’s getting to be a lot to handle at once.
The most difficult was Grandma’s death on March 22nd, just as spring began. We have been grateful for the support of family and friends and are especially grateful for the committal service that we were able to celebrate last week. There will continue to be a lot of work in the coming months – emotional work, certainly, but also physical work as we deal with the rest of the things she left behind and with decisions and paperwork that come with settling her financial affairs.
The week before Grandma’s committal, T and I were singing at the funeral of Father James, a loss that brings echoes of the loss of our parish years ago.
And just after we returned from the committal, we received news of the death of Paco’s only remaining sibling after years of decline with Alzheimer’s disease. He was the third of Paco’s siblings to die from Alzheimer’s as their father had; three other siblings died too young to have developed it. At 91, with no symptoms, Paco is well beyond the age when any of his affected family members developed them. Still, it is bittersweet to have lost all of his brothers and sisters.
There are other changes happening, too, with T moving home to job search after finishing her master’s degree and with continuing family medical issues.
Although it is difficult and stressful, I am okay.
Most of the time.
I do rely on family and friends for support. Recently, when I was feeling overwhelmed, I called my college roommate, just to talk things through. It helps so much. Another thing for which to be grateful.
Eleven years ago, I experienced another spring of loss – the death of my friend Angie, the loss of our long-time parish, and the final months of my father-in-law’s battle with cancer. The aftermath of these losses has continued through the following years and this spring’s losses echo and intensify them in complex ways.
I know that, despite the pain and difficulties, there is the opportunity to grow in wisdom, compassion, and strength in response.
I hope to do that.
Meanwhile, I am trying to be supportive of others and gentle with myself. I am trying not to feel guilty about all the things I am not doing as I would like, including blogging and poetry.
Personal growth can only help my poetry.
It’s possible that my blogging practice may evolve, too. I am spending nearly all my blogging time for now on writing. It feels strange not to be spending hours reading and commenting, but limits of time and brainpower make that the way things have to be. I had thought this would be a short-term mode of operation, but am discovering that this constellation of losses and new responsibilities is likely to cause some lasting re-organization of time, effort, and priorities.
I don’t know where the path will lead or how many other detours or derailments are in store. I remain profoundly grateful to all who are accompanying me along the way, whether personally or digitally.
I would be adrift without you.