If you had told me that I’d be here—here being an emotional descriptor, not a physical location—at this exact moment last year, I don’t think my mind could have comprehended it. That’s why it comes in stages I supposed.
This time last year I was in a hospital. Scared. But not realizing at the time that the grandmother I knew was gone forever. The sweet, often childlike woman left in her place is still cherished and loved. But it’s different.
The loss creeps up on you if you’re lucky.
Or it gives you time to prepare for it like it did with two of the deaths that touched me this year. I knew they were sick. I knew it was coming. But I wasn’t ready. Never are we ready, are we? Racing to bedsides. Praying that the loved one will. Just. Hold. On.
But he didn’t.
Other times the loss blindsides you. Driving in the Christmas traffic, following the trail of red tail lights through the foggy night it hit me again that the Australian is dead. A third death. The one I mourn silently. The one I never in a hundred years saw coming.
So much loss this year. So much pain. And change too. Good change. Challenging change. Unexpected change.
The me from a year ago wouldn’t recognize my life now. She would be excited for me. And a little scared. Ok… maybe a lot scared. But wouldn’t admit it.
Here’s the kicker. No one told me that when you are a grown up you really don’t have a fucking clue what you are doing. We think as kids that adults have it all figured out, but that’s simply not true. Grown ups are just big kids, who have enough mistakes under their belt to muddle through, doing the best they can to make it through another day, another week, another month, another year.
But, there is hope too. Always hope. Because through the loss, through the pain, through the change, the challenges and the mistakes, there is life. And sometimes even love.
So here’s to love. Even in death… so much death… the love lives on.