It has been a long year of saying goodbye it seems. This is not what I thought I would write about today, though it encompasses some of my recent ponderings. Just a few minutes ago I learned of another person in my overlapping circles has died. This is the second death in less than two weeks.
Last summer my cousin lost her spouse of 40 years; someone that has always been in my world even if we rarely had contact also died. Greg's father also passed last summer and just a few weeks ago I was honored to be present for his memorial at Greg's home. During camp last August three members of my Dance New England community lost a parent; coincidentally we had three very pregnant members on site which seemed like a profound and fortunate synchronicity.
Another type of passing of course, was the end of my relationship from Her Geekyness. Though I never wrote on this blog of our problems, and I still will not sully the good of that relationship here, but things had been building for at least several months before things ended in February. I have written about my journey, a bit, since that time of things I feel reside in me that form who I am (and lucky readers, there will be more of that) and the ones that cause me angst and those that bring my joy. I have been grieving, wallowing in finding me, happy, sad, and angry. I have been back in Ohio for about two weeks where all those emotions, and more, have made an appearance. Her Geekyness and I saw each other twice. The first time was awkward, not terrible and not fabulous. Mostly business was handled. A second time we went through the house to go over the belongings and what I would be taking as I had left some things back in March. The end of that visit was hard and the sadness overtook me because there was now no future date where we would see each other, this was the end in a different way.
I have been alone with my animal babies for over a week and it has been lovely but I need to say goodbye, again. Since I left Grace Ellen needed to be put down due to cancer so while she has been largely a quiet presence the last few months, the house feels different without her. Last night was my Sunday Night Knit Night and while it has been lovely to these last two weeks, it was so hard to say good bye because once again like with Her Geekyness and the babies there is not time that I know I will see these people again. Yes, yes I can and will keep in touch but it's not the same as being with the group, random snippets of conversation catching your attention, Emily succeeding in making me spit my tea last night - a feat no one has been able to get me to do in twenty years, someone offering a suggestion of using Febreze on a real hair wig to avoid shampooing too often. You had to be there.
Last weekend Dance New England lost another community member. Judit lost her bold, graceful, humor filled fight with cancer. I first met her in 2000, when I first returned to the community and we talked about her sons, about her first bout with cancer, her fiber arts. Judit was always smiling. Last year she came to camp, fighting hard, dealing with the effects of chemotherapy and her scalp gloriously gleaming. Nev henna'ed her dome and it looked like a crown befitting the goddess Judit was. I am grateful that her husband and sons have registered for camp, that they feel that we can hold them in this moment.
This morning I learned of an acquaintance's passing and tears started to flow. It wasn't just because Mike has left us, it is all the losses, all the transitions; it's about aging. I have moved past the time when grandparents die; now, not only do our parents die but our friends, people our age, people like me. While I enlivened by my life changes, my modern nomad phase, facing with all these losses, I know there are more to come who will be closer to me; my current single status sometimes feels frightening lonely. It occurs to me that I could die alone, that there will be no one who tell people I have passed, no one will know how I would want to be celebrated, or who gets my belongings. The reality is that I am probably halfway through my time here, or less because one never knows. My parents are closer to death, my friends are too as they age. I have thought of this before but I'm not sure I seriously thought that I might be alone, not that I planned to be coupled per se but at this age the reality somes down a little harder.
I do not feel morbid about this but I am sitting in the knowledge that time is finite; that things are temporary because they go away, while the presence is always there because of one's experience of them.
Tell people around you the truth, tell they about their beauty, importance. Reflect on your grace, your expansiveness in this moment. Experience the love in your heart, the love that exists in the sky, in the peacefulness that you can find chopping vegetables for dinner. Love is always there, with someone, alone, in a crowd, with your beloved. Find it and embrace it, remember it when you think it's gone.