I never meant not to write here for a whole year. It just happened. The reasons are manifold, but really can be distilled into one: grief. Last February 18, in the late hours of a dark winter night, my father died. Our family had just enjoyed a great celebration of my mom's birthday and my parents' wedding anniversary, some of us had gone dancing, and then we all went to bed. And as soon as I knew it, my mom was shaking me to get up, get up, get up. He's not breathing. But it was too late, my dad was gone as was the celebratory glow of good food, good wine and great conversation we'd experienced just hours before.
After almost a year of feeling like someone hit me in the face, of wanting to go to the mall and scream at strangers, of wanting not to get out of bed (or not get into bed in the first place), I've re-entered the land of the living. I just called a friend--a good friend--after several months of avoiding her calls. I got a second, much needed, job. I am making plans for the future. I'm doing life now, not just wading through it.
People say death changes you--profoundly, indelibly. I hope so. I don't want to be the same person I was before. I want to be stronger, wiser, kinder, happier, closer to God. I don't want to be one who delights in pain and loss--like a sadist or masochist--but I'm not operating under avoidance rules anymore, or at least not as much.
The way I see it, it's only a matter of time until sadness and loss, with their friend, grief, come knocking. So instead of waiting for our own sadness and loss to break down the door, why not prepare--think, discuss, pray--together? In my experience, the only way to get to the joy in the morning is to make it through the long, dark night. And the best way to make it through the night is to wait with friends.
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