This has been a rough year for losses. It literally began on new year's day when the husband of a friend, who was himself a friend, died following complications related to treatment for colon cancer. He left a devoted wife and a teenage son.
My Mom has been hit particularly hard. Two friends made during the early years of her marriage to Dad died within weeks of each other a short time ago. These weren't just friends made, but friendships that sustained and enriched Mom's life from that time forward in myriad ways. Dad died in between those losses. And roughly at the same time, the husband of my "other mother," Anna, passed away.
About a week ago the father of another friend passed away. He was also a friend to me, as was the entire family during my early, seeking years of renewing faith. The spiritual mentoring I received, not to mention the love and support shared so generously from the hearts of that family, were of profound and significant importance in my life.
It is not a shock that successive losses among my mother's peers, and the parents of my own peers, is taking place. People die in their 80's with some regularity. Still, when loss comes it hollows our hearts and parts of us are forever altered. It is our time to be caught in that cycle of loss, remembering, savoring, and endeavoring to honor whatever legacy has been our privilege to inherit through the people we love and the treasured saints who have shaped us.
This has been, for me, a period of extensive reflection on the relationships I cherished, and the manner by which I honor, or fail to honor, the relationships I have now. I have a long way to go before I feel good about the latter. The good news is that I have begun to shift away from inertia and toward action--something of a challenge for an introvert. I believe that that, too, is part of the cycle of growth that is the fruit of loss, rooted in love. It is a shift past time, but not too late.
This post is written in honor of Hannah (beloved Sheltie), Eric, Bob, Dad, John, Sally, and Bill, late of this life, and to hold in the light those feeling their loss. May the souls of the departed rest in peace, and the souls of those who mourn be comforted.