I have a friend from childhood. When it comes to curveballs, she is someone to admire and learn from. I don't mean in baseball or softball. I mean in life. After years of sobriety for her and her husband, living life on the back of a motorcycle, seeing the world, and enjoying being a parent and grandparent, one of the biggest curveballs of all time came calling for her. Her husband died of covid.
He was a strong, healthy man. He should not have been one of the many called from the earth by this pestilence. He should have been able to fight it. He fought hard with everything in him. She was shattered.
What makes her so admirable? She is doing what many find too difficult to endure. She is allowing herself to feel the pain and grieve. It is visible from her social media posts and the way she is carrying herself. She is walking through the pain of this heart-wrenching separation with grace and mercy for herself. She isn't avoiding it. She isn't self-medicating it away. She is reaching out to others to help sustain her through it. Best of all, she isn't trying to get around it. She is standing tall, feeling it, and walking through it to the light on the other side she knows is there. It's a beautiful sight to behold.
Have you experienced such a tremendous loss? Something as painful as the death of a beloved? Or, even the loss of a treasured relationship? A loss of self? If you haven't experienced such pain yet, stand in front of a major league expert pitcher and ask them to throw a curveball at around 93 mph that nails you right in the center of your chest. That ought to give an appropriate level of pain right where it counts. On second thought, don't do that. That kind of damage could stop your heart permanently. Instead, imagine if you can how that must feel.
In our society, people are encouraged to buck up and deny the pain of curveballs. Denying the pain is denying necessary emotional medical care for a deep wound. Infection can set in in the form of resentment, bitterness, hostility, condemnation, wallowing in self-pity. Don't do that to yourself or to others.
Walking through the pain, walking through the valley of the shadow of the death, is the end of life as you know it. There is no greater pain. That valley is dark, frightening, dangerous. There are concealed pitfalls everywhere.
So why not avoid it if possible? Because there is no avoiding it. If you don't walk through it, it finds you and forces you in it with no roadmap to get to the other side.
Are there roadmaps? Yes. Find others who have gone before you. Find lanterns to light the way in the forms of self-care and acceptance. Find those who love you, those people do exist, to light those lanterns for you.
On the other side is a banquet in your honor. The guests are all assembled. They are waiting on you to join them.
Thank you for reading,
Humor In Chaos