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The Season of Quiet Mourners

swing sadness

Dec 1st has come and gone, meaning the “Christmas season’ is in full swing. For many, this is all joyous. But for so many, it means a quiet reconciling of loss. Seasons of parties and pictures, family and gatherings, punctuate loss.

I have friends who have recently (or not so recently) said “goodbye” to someone, or some-thing. It seems odd that joyous occasions punctuate loss, but it does. Do you feel it too? Sure, I know there is a season for everything. There is. But there are seasons more difficult than others, Joyous seasons are difficult to sojourn in mourning. No one wants to be a “downer” in the midst of a party season. Smiles are draped like luxurious clothing. I think we must take time to see beyond the “clothes.” We must look past the lights and music. We must look into honest eyes and share in kind with honestly; with genuine care. We must see, really see. It might be as simple as a word of acknowledgement, or a release for tears among smiles; a touch on the shoulder. There is beauty in acknowledgement. Sometimes it is enough to admit we don’t know what’s needed. That’s a start.

Almost EVERYONE I know intimately deals with mourning silently. It is human. Beautifully human. The band of “Quiet Mourners” is real …and thoughtful, honoring and noble in a world full of tell-all, “exploitation at the cost of everyone” photos. Things happen that sometimes can’t be talked about or shared. It’s ok, It doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable or authentic. It may mean you are respectful of someone else, There is no shame in quiet mourning. It’s a reality. In some ways, it gives a beautiful dignity and poignancy to something real.

I would like to take a moment to honor all of the quiet mourners.

Your dreams have gasped their last breath without celebration or fanfare. Your heart may have broken silently with the loss, at times being so interwoven with someone else’s, that there was no liberty to share the pain. That doesn’t mean it’s less important. That kind of mourning still matters because… you still matter.

You. Matter.

 

 

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The Volatile Peachy Life

roses

 

Maybe you’re waiting for, longing for, hoping for the life we would describe as “just peachy”. And who doesn’t love a good ripe Georgia peach? But the thing is, “peachy” is usually referring to a life full of smiles and Sunday’s best dressed. It’s full of beautiful sparkly eyes and words of endearment, with beautiful music that makes your heart hurt. It’s the easy instagram, fb photo kind of life. It’s the perfect date and the perfect night of loving and being loved. It’s the beginning, the newness, the freshness of babies being born and new buds on the trees. And trust me, I so love that. It has its place…

But the reality of life with living, breathing souls, living real dreams, well, this comes with eventual staleness, mustiness, oldness…seasons, bouts of melancholy and then temper tantrums, disappointments, loss, grief. Life with blurry eyed people who have cried a lot, hurt a lot, carried a lot. Tired souls with no relief in sight. Longing, oh so much longing with such small amounts of fulfillment that it is so easily forgotten. Life comes with self-doubt, insecurities and not-so-loving words. Sometimes. It’s full of a dream not yet realized, a contribution not yet given, a poet scouring dictionaries for words, but left wordless. It’s a song waiting to be finished. The book is half read and the drama and storyline is begging for a conclusion, but the reader stops reading. It’s a life longing to find its way home, needing to belong. It’s not all that easy because babies die and old people live. And while no one is to blame, the unfairness assaults our senses. It is still hope-filled, but the hope is buried under layers and layers of the dump truck’s pile of rocks. And it will take diligence and time to get those moved. And do I have the time? Energy?  It’s a loss of innocence and perfection, both in reality and in illusion. The party has been rained out. Everyone is leaving.

And while even writing this I feel sad. It’s daunting and depressing, BUT there is an amazement in the midst of this. I’m amazed at authenticity. It’s not hard to understand love in perfection. But love in weakness and honesty?  Yes! And that’s what real life represents. It’s days of being unstable, unloving finding that somehow I am still loved. It’s feeling remorse and apologizing and realizing that I am forgiven. It’s having so much more doubt, more doubts than faith and still knowing that I am accepted. It’s in knowing life isn’t all rosy, yet still being able to enjoy the roses. I wander outdoors and choose to hunt for them in the garden and cut them from the bush. They sacrifice themselves in that moment as I put them all together in a nice bouquet.While in that vase, they blossom out before me… in between living and dying they are the most glorious. Oh the irony. I’ve plucked and unplugged them from the life source, and yet for this moment they are astonishingly most beautiful. And THAT is what true “peachiness” represents, the land between. It’s all of the honesty and hurt and all of the love and kindness pressed out like magic elixir. It’s a place further down the road where I have grown to accept the reality of hurricanes. And though I’m hunkered down in my pursuit of safety, I’m there with confidence knowing that storms pass. There may be damage, but they DO pass. I know it’s all so temporary, both the pain and the pleasure. It’s the circularity nature of real life—the volatile peachy life.