Re-reverb: loss, ad naseum


reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

I’ve been putting off answering this prompt all day. Haven’t I already responded to this question multiple times in slightly different ways all month?

It occurs to me that I’ve been rehashing loss ad naseum over the last two months; a series of losses that has defined 2010 for me. Losing Connecticut, Big Kitty, and Deimos has taught me I can’t deny death, and that I’m not really in control. That life can be snatched away on a whim, no matter how much love or time you have invested. You would think I would have already learned this. From the death of my mom, 20+ years ago. From the death of significant relationships. From losing my step-kids. From the death of several cat friends, nearly 10 years ago. 2010 has ripped one big aching hole in my heart with a jagged rusty knife. The good in this: Is there good in this?

I’d like to think there is. I’d like to think that it has made me stronger, has made me more resilient. I’d like to think that feeling this way opens me up to others who are feeling the same way. I remember after my mom died: I was 20 years old, walking around in amazement, suddenly acutely aware that there were others whose worlds had just been completely upended. It was beautiful, in a way. Every moment titrated down to a drop of concentrated feeling. Ordinarily, we travel through our days, eyes clouded by cataracts, blinding us to the bright pain of our friends, neighbors, coworkers, animals. Grief neatly excises the cloudiness. Sure, we’re momentarily blinded by shock, but soon we begin to stagger around, arms outstretched, and as we’re recovering, eyes adjusting, we begin to see that we’re not alone, far from it. So there it is. If grief makes me more empathetic to my fellow humans, and to my fellow non-human animals, then that’s something, if only until I forget, again.

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