Sunday, January 23, 2011


I heard from an old friend from college this morning, who's flying out here with her mom because she just found out her 35 year-old brother died suddenly. Unexpected, out of the blue, here one moment, gone the next.

Death and loss are hard enough as they are, without them having to upset the natural order of things. Your children, your younger siblings, aren't supposed to be gone before you are.

I could think of very little to say in the way of consolation, other than to scrawl something lame about God needing him home now for some unexplainable reason while still needing her to fulfill some purpose on this earth.

Life doesn't make sense to me sometimes.

And then, out of the blue, somebody on Facebook posted some wisdom from Lao Tzu. It's about acceptance, the futility--and even the harm that you can do to yourself--by always seeking more.

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
...The only path to serenity.

No matter what we do to control things outside ourselves, things are not under our control.

I'm dealing today with my own loss of sorts, a change in the nature of a friendship. Funny how our first inclination is to always latch on, resist change, fear that which is different. And yet change, loss, suffering, are the only things you can rely on. It is the human condition.

We grieve, we mourn, we accept, we endure, we heal.

And we move on, a fact that makes all of us beautifully and tragically noble.


Tedi Trindle said...

The program helps me a lot in dealing with loss, knowing that there is a plan, and that it's better than mine. I've learned to change my focus. As people pass out of my life, more people come in, and they are awesome in their own right. I know when I was expecting my granddaughter it felt weird to know in advance that there was someone coming to me that would be important to me for probably the rest of my life. And she is, already, amazing. Life is so mysterious, so sad, but so joyous, each minute, and each person, a gift.

Joyce said...

I'm reminded of that line that Wind in His Hair (I think that's his name) tells Dances With Wolves in that movie. He'd initially taken the death of his friend pretty hard, but he tells Dances With Wolves that "now I think he went away so you would come."