2016 has started out to be indifferent. Yes, we are 11 days in and there have been days that I have already wanted to throw in the towel and already tragedy has found its way into my life. I have found myself wondering when does life start to settle down and when do I get to turn the page without it already covered in chaotic scribbles.
Then I discovered maybe it is my thinking. I have always been a positive person that sometimes lets negative grab ahold of me and take me through a little spin in the parking lot, making so many donuts that I vomit the second the car stops. I have let negativity carry a dark storm cloud over my head and follow me around like a lost puppy dog or a kitty sitting on back porch waiting to be let in. I have found more struggle in 2015 with letting positive things take me for a joy ride. Over the course of this last week, I have thought about how maybe I can be proactive in my thinking to become more positive, even when the situation is blatantly negative.
Such as death. Death has yet again cast out in my sea of 2016. A school mate that I went to grade school with fell on the dark path soon after high school and eventually made good for himself, was on the road to recovery, but like many of us, couldn’t find the reason or purpose that he was here. Couldn’t take life anymore and eventually ended it. He was the one guy, through all tragedy; you would hope maybe he would get it right. Now, he is at peace. No more worry and no more sorrow, for him or any of his family. After the news broke on Saturday on the confirmation of his death, I moped all day. I just want myself and I couldn’t get into the groove of the everyday things that I needed to accomplish. Then, lying in bed at 10:30pm, it hit me. Don’t be sad. In all the deaths that occurred in 2015 and even this young man’s, there is a reason and a time for death. My religion tells my so. My Bible tells me so. Sure, some timing of deaths is self-inflicted but that is because the person has abused the power of free will, but others are because it was time.
I will circle back to my dad’s death for just a moment as I used it as an example in my thinking while lying in bed. I wondered for 27 years where my dad was, what he could possibly be doing and why I wasn’t speaking to him. I found him (or he found me rather) and I didn’t worry so much about what he could possibly be doing or if he wanted to get to know me or why he wasn’t looking for me BUT I still wondered if he was safe (truck driver life) and wondered how his health was. ALL things that a daughter worries about with their parents, especially ones that are never home, far away and have brief contact with, I worried about. Then, when I processed the magnitude of his death and how lucky he was to pull over his truck because someone hit it just moments before his heart gave out, I knew. I didn’t have to worry any more, I know exactly right where my dad is. I know where he is not and I know that I will see him again someday but this time, I won’t have to go and search with dead ends, unanswered phone calls, wrong addresses, and disconnected phone numbers. He is right where I need him to be. In my heart.
I mentioned to Andrew the other day that I have decided not to relieve myself that at any time death can strike, because it can. It makes grieving easier this way. Some may think this is negative thinking, and sometimes it may be, but I think of it in the light of I am able to comprehend and process their death faster to help me remember the good things in the wake of the bad. It helps me not have to put my body through the grieving process because I know how I internalize that (hello, emotional eater). It is understanding that death happens. Sure, it sucks the big one when it is your family, friend, or close loved one. It does, I will never deny that BUT what is not needed is letting it steal you, wreck you and bind you to a place where you don’t deserve or need to be.
I have found solace in myself enough to be there for those that are grieving. To mourn, but still allow myself to be me without having death take a hold of me. I have learned things this week. I have learned that I can’t and won’t let death nor negativity of any sort defeat me. So, those chaotic scribbles, I just need to turn those into beautiful pictures. Color in the blanks and turn the next page. I can’t wait for life to settle down, or wait for “my” time because it is always “my” time to do something with my life, it is just learning how to juggle other things with it.
As we lay my friend to rest Wednesday, I can only hope that he has found peace. He has found his way out of what he found to be a troubled, burdened life. Most of all, I hope his family finds peace that they know where he is and they no longer have to worry about where he is, who he is with, if he is getting in to trouble or if he is dead somewhere they don’t want him to be. Peace, hope, and love are the things the Lord gave us, I rejoice in that and I find strength in that.