The orbit is sure.
I orbit my grief as the earth orbits the sun.
My seasons come and go, and thankfully I’d been able to enjoy somewhat of a lengthy respite from the burning loneliness.
Until a couple weeks ago.
A couple weeks ago my Facebook feed burned up with news of a family fighting cancer.
A family that I have never met, but know by name.
A family that lives in the next town over.
He is a teacher. A coach. A Husband. A father of four young children.
And he has Melanoma, just like Ryan. Brain tumors, just like Ryan. The same mutation Ryan had.
And in one fell swoop all the emotions that have been sitting on the edge of my consciousness whooshed in like a tsunami of untethered grief. I was taken completely off guard, and in my moment of panic, I did what I’ve always been taught to do in dangerous situations.
I stopped (being happy)
I dropped (everything important I was working on)
I rolled (into denial. Trying to pretend it wasn’t happening.)
But my tactics failed. Haven’t I learned so many times already to just embrace the grief? To acknowledge it and talk about it? Taking my feelings and trying to hide them under my pillow full of tears was only exasperating the problem.
The loneliness swelled.
The despair of my loss heightened.
And the anger? Fierce. I HATE BEING ALONE! Why? WHY!!
Suppressing the emotions has been a feat in itself. I can’t explain how hard it is to fully function in society under such conditions. I desperately tried to "fake it till I make it," but as it turns out, desperation is anything but a salve for the wounded.
Actually acknowledging it was happening turned out to be the turning point for me. I could feel the fog laying heavy on my life. The emotional weather so debilitating I could almost see the cloud following me around as soon as my eyes opened in the morning until they closed at night. The longer I allowed it to happen, the heavier the burden became.
So one morning I woke up, looked the despair square in the face and said, “I have hope.”
“This won’t last forever.”
“I don’t want to live like this.”
“I’m going to try to change things.”
“Experience tells me that light chases away darkness.”
So I called on the light, praying for help.
And it came.
The season is shifting and I feel the warm wind of spring on my face. I’ll be able to continue forward, but now realize…I must pay it forward too.
There is a family in the darkest of circumstances who needs financial help. The father, the only provider, cannot work. Can you donate a few dollars to their family?
Turning my back on them was not the answer. Turns out helping other people makes you forget yourself.
“Sharing what you have is more important than what you have.” ~Albert M. Wells, Jr.
“God loves the world through us.” ~Mother Teresa
“Sharing makes you bigger than you are. The more you pour out, the more life will be able to pour in.” ~Jim Roh
Help if you can. And help if you can’t. I have a feeling if you do, you will be blessed tenfold.