Monday, December 17, 2012

Grief Takes Its Time, and For Posterity

This has been a difficult few weeks to be a human. I haven't properly grieved my friend, because even though I know she's gone, I see her no more or less than I have in our adult lives and there's no proof of her absence to make it real. And so I'm in emotional limbo, and drinking too much wine and both seeking and pushing away the memories, the private jokes, the good times.

And now I grieve with the nation for people I don't know, but know all too well. The sweet little ones who died were everyone's kids. The teachers, our teachers. The survivors who witnessed the horror and have to live with it, we know them even if we don't. The family of a very sick person, and the sick people who live with their sickness and aren't able or willing to get help. They are all of us, and even if they're not now, they will be someday. And there's nothing about it that isn't awful. And there are many points to be made, and examples to be used when all is said and done. How we can make sure it doesn't happen again. How to tap into the broken roots of society and repair them. But to me, for now, there's only loss. We all react to loss differently, there's no correct way to do it. But turning into animals to each other when we're all feeling the same thing just doesn't sit right. So I recede back, and back, and read less, and speak less.

I've stated before that  I don't believe in a higher power or an afterlife. That is my own personal belief, and I don't think I'm smarter than anyone else or have more answers than anyone about anything. What I truly believe is that something's coming for us all, and for our babies, and it's cancer and it's guns and it's natural disasters and there are no guarantees so there's no time to waste in getting right with ourselves, with our loved ones. We can protect as much as we are able, but ultimately there's no protection, including for our own hearts. So there's no reason not to love as hard and extravagantly as we can, right here, right now.

This weekend we had our annual gathering with Mike's family to exchange chanukah presents and have a celebratory chow-down and spend a day in each other's company and it was nice like it's always nice, but it was especially gratifying this year because HR and his cousins are at the point where they know and love each other, and play and get into shenanigans. And watching them all I could think was, this is why we do it. In a miserable scary world. This is why we go on. This is why we take chances and release our precious babies even if all we want to do is hold them close. Because nothing makes sense. Because there is beauty in the chaos. Because sometimes we're lucky, and sometimes we're not, but we do a disservice to ourselves and our children if we don't roll the dice. Because there is love and light, it's there, I swear it. I don't think of God as one thing, one person, a force that has a plan or can make judgments or control or save anyone or anything. But that love and light we all have access to, what we do with it, that is God. To me. The very suggestion that those innocents were killed, or at the very least not spared, because one idea of one god is not sanctioned institution-wide for every individual (whether they believe it or not) is so offensive to me as a person that I can't be silent about it. That doesn't mean I don't respect your beliefs, if you said something like this. It just means I feel this way of thinking is so disrespectful to all other beliefs, and does nothing to ease the pain of the families of the victims. Why even say it? Just take care of your own beliefs and you'll be OK.

I still don't think I'm back to writing every day. I just had to get this out.