Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Loss, Connection, and Life

I have struggled with whether or not to even write this post, let alone, post it for everyone to see... but the heavier it weighs on me, the more I feel like it needs to be written. Maybe for me, maybe for you, maybe for someone I will never really know... maybe not... but this is my space to say what I want to say... so... I will.

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All of us have lost someone... Sometimes we loose them physically to illness. Sometimes we loose them to their lifestyle. Sometimes we loose them to time and space between us.
I have managed all three... and more.
Sometimes the past seems like a different life completely. One that I only grasp in moments, and never as a whole. How the steps we took yesterday shape our life today... and they are steps we will never retrace... and barely recall.
Everyday... every single day... there are people I miss. My heart breaks with some smell, some phrase, some out of nowhere reminder  that they are gone. Every day I feel the heaviness of loss at some point. Sometimes I cry... sometimes only inside. While lost in one of those moments it occurred to me the difference between loosing someone to death  loosing someone to life... if all we do is loose touch, we fool ourselves into thinking that we will, in fact, see them again, and reconnect and all will be as it was... but that is a lie. And I know because I lost someone to life... and then to death... and I have to live with that.
People don't live forever... and they don't sit in one spot waiting for you to return to them. Everyone is moving... we are ever-changing... and getting further from the times when we were connected.

Some connection runs deep... deeper and longer than time... there are some people I maintain an inkling of closeness with, because they hold a spot in my heart. But in the moments when I am reminded of loss, I wish my arms were big enough to stretch across time and space and hold them for just a moment.
I am a loner who craves connection. Little, sweet, sincere connections. I have never been good at letting people go from my heart. And maybe that's why it breaks so easily.  

But how do I hold onto the past, in a safe way and not jeopardize my life today? How to I make connections and suffer through loss without hurting what is right here, already connected and moving with me?

I wish that I could have gone through life and been focused on other things, so that this wouldn't bother me so. But at the other end of the spectrum, I am so thankful for the handful of people who made my life fuller, happier and better. They were the ones who got me to the place to love myself and to love all kinds of people.
I was thinking about, how a couple years back, I struggled with not being in photographs... and one of my sweet friends said, I have many photographs of us, but their in my mind, not in print... or something to that effect... and that meant the world to me. Sometimes the most tangible thing, is not tangible at all. And I thank God that I saw sides of people that were real and special. I wouldn't trade my up-till-3am conversations and bus rides or walks in the halls for any amount of snapshots. I had real closeness... and I was blessed.

Maybe that's how connection works... it has to be real in the first place. And how many people, in our lives, do we really REALLY connect with... only a few... and while we do all move separately... and with space between us...  that connection keeps us close on a real level.

Life and the living it... right now... means to me, fostering the connections I have NOW. Tending to them, caring for them, and making them stronger.
It means making the most of all the days I have with my kids. And knowing when to step back and let them soar without my guiding hands. It means finding that time when John is home to be close, and making an hour worth enough to fill up the space till next we are together. It means checking in with friends that I care so much about, and letting them know they are always on my mind. It means making space for grandparents to be the best grandparents, aunts and uncles to be best friends and extended family to know they are loved. It means making the most of milestones of my own, of my children and of everyone else around me... it means loving the way I am supposed to and letting go of the hurt that keeps us apart.
It means embracing the fact that I was lucky enough to really love and be loved by many people at different stages of my life... and that is nothing to be ashamed of...

It means having my moments to cry when I miss someone... and to hold on to the reasons they made my life better... holding a memory for a little while longer...

And making many more memories with my friends and family and cherishing all the time I have.


Life with Kaishon on June 1, 2010 at 6:25 AM said...

What a very beautiful post. So moving. So real and honest. And the pictures? The pictures are lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Lori on June 1, 2010 at 7:22 AM said...

Lovely post Johnna.

Erika on June 1, 2010 at 10:06 AM said...

Well said. Thanks for sharing.

Jenn on June 1, 2010 at 12:21 PM said...

This is gorgeous and so real, Johnna. We all lose people that have touched our lives in some special way. I know I often look back to times where I had such deep connections with friends who have since went off their own way and although it sometimes hurts to think that they're no longer in my life, I often find that it's also easy to smile through the hurt when remembering the special moments that we had.

Anonymous said...

those are beautiful words. And i think there are many of us who feel the same. Thanks for putting it so eloquently.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face...you said a lot of things that I think to myself often. I lost my mom, who lived with, in December pretty suddenly, and it's weighing on me much more heavily now than it did when it happened. I lost a lot of friends to meth addiction...people I trusted and felt like were my family and they wound up turning into monsters to the point that I had to cut them out of my life. I am at a really heavy, hard point in my life where things are not going well for me and I feel very alone...struggling financially and emotionally and sometimes physically. Bah, I'm rambling now. Anyway, sometimes it just helps to know that someone might share part of the same feelings you do, even though you wish they didn't have to. So thanks for that, and your lovely photographs. :)

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