Anticipation is often colored by what went before, what went before death turned life around, before death turned the future into the past.
The world lives in linear time. I live in scenes that swirl between past, present and future. Others look forward to the future, but for me tomorrow was a long time ago.
Tomorrow feels untouchable, unattainable. The past has scattered more than their ashes. The past has scattered my tomorrows, my hopes, my dreams, my…me.
So, how do I balance a day? Loss has left me dangling between memory and moment. The pendulum swings and I hold on for dear life in the midst of dear loss. One moment I am here. The next I am there. And there are many moments in a day where I am both here and there.
Rarely can I touch tomorrow without the touch of yesterday. Am I the sum of my parts, my past, my experience? It is more like I am the pieces of my past orbiting the black hole of death. The earth rotates and I rotate around the center of my being. And in that being lays loss lingering in the shadows of life.
I enjoy life. I love life. Yet, life has taken its toll. Loss is a high price to pay for clarity, compassion and love. The cost of living is living in loss. I pay that price every day, within every moment. I love deeply because I know what it takes to love and what love takes. I learned it though knowing what it means to lose many of the ones I love.
I have learned from the past, but the past did not teach me how to let go. It is the present that shows me what it means to hold nothing in the embrace of everything.
The past says I have hurt. The future says I may hurt again. It is only the present that says this hurt that I carry is not what carries me. What carries me through this moment, this day, is the love that both holds my hurt and transcends my hurt at the same time.
In the receptacle of this moment, I carry all of me into all of this. I can no more walk away from who I was as I can push away who I am. Yet, when I embrace who I was into who I am, and let go into all I am, I find a way into peace with who I will become.
But becoming entails tomorrow. And I have to be careful of tomorrow. It can cloud today just as much as yesterday can lead me into a dense, unyielding fog.
I am in a perpetual balancing act. When Matt was alive, we truly lived. The only way I could do that was to let go of the past and release into the present, which in turned would release what the future was to be. I would wake in the morning and say, “Yes, he is going to die, but not today.”
And we lived the day. We lived each moment. Yes, the horrendous past of watching his little brother die resided in that moment. The death of his mother rested within each breath. Even his impending death perpetually permeated our embrace of the present tense. Nonetheless, we lived the moment in joy, in sorrow, in everything.
And we laughed. What I remember most is our laughter. To this day, the past echoes with the sound of our laughter. We did not live a tragic life. To me, a tragic life is one void of love and empty of laughter.
I will not live a tragic life today. The past has taught me how to love, how to laugh. The present offers me love and laughter. Still, I do not know what the future will hold. But I can’t imagine a world without love, without loss, without sorrow, without joy…without laughter.
The best way to prepare for the next moment is to live fully in this one. So, whatever the future will be it will come from whatever I choose today to be. Today I will love. And in the love I will feel the sorrow I feel right now. I will lean into the loss and embrace life. I will not live a tragic life today. For I will love, and perhaps, I will laugh. I so love to laugh.