Finding Joy in the midst of sorrow

A month and a half ago I was just coming home from a festival and was mentally gearing up for what I hoped was going to be profitable couple of months as I finished out the festival season.

I had been out of cell range for the weekend and received an urgent message from my sister.

“You need to try to get up here Mom isn’t doing well,”

My heart sank. I had just seen her and she looked weak but I thought we were still in the optimistic phase. In my heart though I think I had known. Mom was always upbeat and positive and couldn’t wait to talk to me. The last month or so had been different and while I ignored those signs with the good intentions of trying to stay positive her demeanor had changed noticeably. Not that she complained or moaned and groaned at all. She had just gotten quiet.

I planned to head up to Akron first thing in the morning but I received the message that she had passed and I collapsed. I felt I had let her down. At the end when she needed me I couldn’t even show up on time. As I berated myself, my higher self hugged me and silenced the inner asshole who can drive a man to well..ya know..

I told myself that this gift of knowing her was so special and so divinely arranged that I would be tarnishing it with my guilt, and anger. Yes anger at having only just met the previous year. And yes anger at having just met and just buried my biological dad who died from stomach cancer. I had a right to be angry I told myself.

But did I? How many people in my position, adopted, and in the dark about my parents identity for 50 years, got there too late? How many never got to meet their biological parents?. How many when they did find them were told they weren’t welcome? To please just go away I can’t have you ruining my life? How many weren’t given up for adoption but were kept in poverty and systematic abuse that spanned generations? So many people did not have my experience. My experience was good. My experience provided closure and healing for both my parents and myself. I didn’t need to forgive them because I always felt thankful to be given a shot at life. But both my mom and dad needed me to tell them I forgave them and that I didn’t harbor any grudges. I gave that right off that bat because it was the right thing to do.

The loss of mom made the loss of my dad even more pronounced. I have spent the last month grieving/celebrating my mom’s transition to the great beyond. I used to have this all figured out and had the faith to weather the losses of loved ones. While I still have faith , my view of what comes next has become a little more cloudy. I won’t visit that haberdashery of hyperbolic philosophy upon my faithful readers. At least not today.

Today its about being present in the moment. I’m acutely aware of the fact that two people I had begun to love deeply are no longer In my presence. But I’m also exploring the idea that just because they aren’t here doesn’t mean they are gone. They are just in a different space. Or frequency or’s one that I haven’t been able to access mostly because I wasn’t thinking in those terms as I grieved. Their memories are alive and with me and they always will be. It’s possible to be both filled with joy and sorrow I have come to find out. I have found a couple of beautiful things in this dark place. They don’t hold my gaze for long. But they do hold it long enough for me to begin to heal. They say time heals all wounds and I suppose there is an element of truth to that. But really love is what heals all wounds. I love them both enough to not allow the pain I feel to steal the joy I feel from having been given the gift of knowing them. I hope you all can experience the love I have been shown, the unconditional love that holds you upright when all around the world seems to be collapsing. That’s the one thing we have that no one can ever take. We can give unconditional love and in doing so help to heal our broken world.

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