I don’t even really know where to start. 2 weeks ago my grandmother passed away and I have so many feelings about it. They are all mixed up. She was 94 and lived every day of her life. Her illness was not lingering, she was not suffering. She basically lived up until the final day. The day before she died she sitting up in intensive care talking to me, loving me, and living life. The next day she was gone. That cannot be a bad thing.
But for me, I miss my grandma. And now I am looking at another loss. I see this news headline and 7 children died in a fire. How do parents survive that? I mean, that is a tragedy. That is a loss. Everywhere I look I see losses that seem to me greater, more significant than mine. I think for me, it is just adding them all up. And I feel like it is wearing me down.
My life feels so different now. Quick view: 3 years it looked like this: I was living in my home of 20 years, I had a mom, I lived with my son and our 2 dogs, my sister lived on the next street, my sister was healthy, I was healthy, I liked my job, I had a grandmother.
Now much of that is gone, I lost the house, my mom died, my son moved out, we had to put one dog to sleep (old age) and re home the other. My sister and I live miles apart. My sister had a health crisis and our relationship is changed. The stress comes out through a variety of health issues. One of my best friends moved away. The work environment has changed and I am unhappy at my job. I tried to have a romantic relationship, that failed. I am trying to get on feet financially and help my son, it is a constant daily struggle. Now my grandmother has died. It is all adding up. I did the lifestyle stress test, I am in trouble.
And I can feel all of this in my body and I have to fix it. I am starting to have more nocturnal anxiety attacks. My hair continues to shed, I am tired, I have gained weight. Everything feels like a struggle and I have no emotional reserves. I was so drained from the whole losing my mom, my home and all that went with that. I was just starting to get it together when my sister had a big health crisis last summer. She is my best friend, and now it has changed so much. And now a few months later my grandmother is gone. Could all of this just please stop?
I can tell you I am trying to mitigate the stress as much as possible. I meditate daily, I take long walks to clear my head. I pray. I try to spend time with friends but it seems that laughter and fun are missing these days. Everything seem intense. I really just need to fucking relax and let it go. If you have to work at relaxing is that really relaxing? I don’t think so. But I have to start somewhere. When I see my son, what I say is “are you having any fun?” Could I say that to myself? Because apparently I am on a roller coaster ride these last few years. I guess I need to learn to love the ride.
I keep thinking of losses, I have lost this, I have lost that. That feels sad, that feels pathetic. It is a pity party. The truth is I have lost nothing. I still have a mom and a grandmother. They are not in physical form, but I will always be a daughter and a granddaughter. The souls we share lives with are never away from us. I know that to be true. And that goes for every being, human or not, that I have loved. Everything else is simply stuff.
I still have a home, a different home. My relationship with my sister is different, but perhaps there can a deepening from the shared journey. My son, he loves me, but he lives his own life. Isn’t that what i raised him for? Friends? Well, even the ones I don’t share my time with now, I can love them and I can know they love me. And I can welcome the new relationships into my life. Work? I can keep in front of me the knowledge that I can only do my best, I am not in charge of how others respond. Because at the end of the day if I have loved some, laughed a little, relaxed, been honest with myself and others, prayed, meditated, had a good meal, took a walk and breathed in nature, and laid down my head safe in my home, what more can I really ask for? That is life, that is the good life.
So I have to accept change again. I am doing this guided meditation with Deepak Chopra and the end he says “it is time to release the mantra”. My mantra has been ” I have lost so much.” It is time to release that mantra. Because it is not about loss, it never was. It is about change, and change will always happen. Change causes me to grow, to stretch myself, to look inside, to be honest, to be brave, to be compassionate. Change makes me better. And I will always ask for that, to be better. And if change is the price, than so be it, I am willing. So no more loss, this is about growth. This is about life. And I am grateful.
And so it is.