A new leaf

Forgive the lack of posts here lately. There’s so much to say, and so little I actually want to say. At a certain point in the process of change, I have to shut down and shut things and people out and shut off the words and just try to BE for a little while. I know I’m usually a talker (or writer), I usually process things through words, but even I have to admit there are some things that just need to be pondered and digested before they can be aired and understood.

In a brief post, though, I want to try to say something about good-byes. There is nothing more poignant or painful or helpless than a “forever” good-bye. And the only way to face it gracefully is to do so with gratitude. Somehow gratitude seems to be the proper response to everything in life, the good, the bad, the beautiful, the awful. Why? Perhaps because gratitude is the only active response of the rational creature to his (or her) own natural passivity. We  can only receive, and there are two ways to do so: with bitterness or with joy. The rain falls whether we like it or not, doesn’t it?

I said good-bye last week, most likely forever, to a woman who has been one of my closest friends for the past four years. One of those foundational friends, the sort you lean on and go to for advice or comfort, one of the very few you know you can always rely on, someone you can laugh with and pray with. Needless to say, that good-bye hurt. A lot. And it still hurts. But throughout the grieving process, I’ve been surprised by gratitude, by the concreteness of it. The sadness too shall pass, but that firm foundation of gratitude–for her friendship, for a great four years together–will last. There’s real joy in that, and comfort.

And in the midst of letting go of the old, there has been so much taking on of the new. Believe me, things are weird and confusing and stressful right now. I can’t find any of my stuff because none of it has a place in the new house now, and I haven’t gone grocery shopping in close to a month, so I’m not at all sure what I’m living on (but I’m sure it’s bad for me). My moods keep swinging out of control, so I go from happy and even-keeled one minute, to sobbing alone in a corner the next, to emailing all my friends and telling them to come out on a Friday night with me. (By the way, nobody’s coming. I should be sad about that, but given my current mood swings, I’m actually pretty relieved.) I’m losing my temper with family, roommates, friends, and perfect strangers on the metro, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I snap and say something I seriously regret. And sometimes I just have to sit down and put my head in my hands to get my breathing back under control, but at the end of the day, still and always:

God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.


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