I am not one to accept loss. It’s more like I shake my fist, pretend like it didn’t happen, or like this sort of things happen all the time and just move on. It is my instinct. Some might say it’s the ostrich head in the sand technique, others would say it’s how we pretend that even if that noise we just heard in the middle of the night is a killer, they will definitely not hurt us because the blanket is pulled up over our head. It’s a reaction that began in my past and follows me. Challenges me to celebrate life and loss, together. The deepest pain with the greatest joy.
Oh, I am all about the greatest joy, but not so much the deepest pain. I cover up, stick my head in the sand. I pretend loss is not there, because if it’s not there then it will pass me by. I won’t have to feel the pain. If I get busy and move right along with life, then it’ll be as if it never happened. But that’s not true, is it?
Yesterday I lost a colleague, a leader at my work. An amazing person who I deeply admired and respected. I had recently even had wanted to carve out some time to talk to her, to gain from her insights. She had most definitely left an impression on me and I wanted to continue to learn from her. In the past she had given me great career advice. I had always been mesmerized by her speech – not because it was grandiose, but because it came from her heart. Her passion was inspiring. And though I had an outside view of her personal life, I could tell that she was a great mom. She left a great impression in my soul, one that is not easily covered up.
Because of the suddenness of her passing, of course I was in shock. But mostly I reacted as my instincts dictate. Keep moving, don’t stop. Don’t accept it and you don’t have to feel a thing. Push it all down. I don’t want to feel a thing. I don’t want to accept that there is loss in this world. That again and again, I will feel loss. That again and again, I will feel the loss of someone who brought me great joy. I want to get under the covers and hope that loss passes me by.
I am at a loss because of your passing. You meant a great deal to me. Though you probably never realized it, you showed me what a relationship with a daughter can look like. You inspired me to be the best that I could be and I only wish that I had been able to express verbally what I oft can only express in writing. I deeply grieve your loss because I will miss you. I will miss the hole that you helped fill. I will miss the laughter and the levity that you brought. You used to quote Maya Angelou, “When a person shows you who they are, believe them.” Thank you for showing me who you are. Thank you for allowing me to show you who I am.