It was an exhausting weekend for me - on many different levels.
I'd had an idea that my friend Jim would pass away on Saturday. He'd had emergency surgery on Friday that was extremely risky. I was already worried about losing him most of last week. I was in a deep sadness after seeing his last Facebook status on Wednesday that said, "I'm sorry, everyone. I did my best."
This weekend was also my daughter Rose's 9th birthday. She'd asked to host a sleepover and invited 10 of her closest friends.
Yes, you read that right. 10 9-year-old girls.
And Grace was there with her 6-year-old friend too.
12 girls, ya'll.
I should be given the Mommy of the Year award for that. I'm just sayin'.
Most of the day on Saturday, before the party, I sat at my computer with my cell phone in my hand. I knew the news was coming.
Rose and Grace were my little party planners all day. Rose was obsessively cleaning house and Grace was putting together party bags.
I tried to be present with them. I tried.
The party was a huge success, thankfully. My girls are growing up fast.
This weekend is also the 3 year anniversary of my father's death. And Gentleman Jack lost his father 5 years ago this week. I remember September 1... Gentleman Jack said, "September sucks."
Funny enough, he's been having some difficulty with MY processing of losing Jim.
I'm sure some of it is subconscious jealousy. I mean, I am mourning, feeling extreme emotion over this man that he doesn't know. And to top it off, I knew Jim from the blogosphere... something else Gentleman Jack doesn't understand. He can't figure out how someone could mean so much to me when I'd only spent the maximum of one weekend with him.
But countless phone calls with Jim over the past few years have brought us close. When we met, we clicked as we knew we would from our blogs. Jim was the sort of person who always cared for everyone else. He SHARED who he was... not just with me but with many others in the blogosphere and elsewhere in his life.
It's difficult to explain...
My man wants me to be happy. I understand this. I honestly think that when I am sad, when I am processing something, he fearfully thinks I will get stuck in some sort of quagmire and never crawl out.
I ALWAYS crawl out!
Sadness and death are two things that seem to make people uncomfortable. In my experience, most of the time, the people who are the most disquieted by them have been the men in my life. I know it is a helpless feeling...
"I know you're just an emotional person," he told me last night, "but I don't like to know that you're sad. It's not like you didn't know Jim was going to die. I thought you'd be better prepared for it. I don't want to sound heartless but I almost feel like you're choosing to feel sad."
I've thought about this. Yes, I do choose to feel sad at times and I told him why.
"This world feels like a VERY heavy place for me. Many times I feel the weight of it and need an outlet. My 'choosing to feel sad' means that I am acknowledging the pain of it, the heaviness of it and now that I am sad, I can find release with tears and emotion. Once I've done that, I can be buoyant again."
I've witnessed the discomfort of death plenty over my adult years.
I've seen people grieve before and after a death. I've seen others not grieve at all. Some grieve silently while others look for someone to share the loss with. Some grieve for minutes. Some grieve for years. Some postpone their grief for some not-so-convenient future date.
Some people get angry. Others feel that they weren't involved enough. Guilt sets in. Some will show up out of the blue and lay claim to the person as if they'd held the hand of the dying when, prior, they were no where to be seen.
Others lay claim to the property of the dead. We become such scavengers in this place. Our belief in lack makes us appear very ugly at times.
Death is change. Change causes fear. Fear is the cause of most everything we do or see that we perceive as 'bad'.
I understand this.
I also understand the human psyche and how my personal processing goes.
When I feel that the world is attack, a place of torture and pain and guilt and sin and death, I most surely cannot find support or peace here. Not in the world of attack.
But when I turn it around and see the world as a place of love, blessings, birth and rebirth, joy, lightness, then my peace is acknowledged. I am aware of the gifts that I've received, no matter how briefly they appeared in my life.
I am turning it around now that my friend is at peace.
I'll be buoyant again soon.