I do really well most of the time playing the hand I’ve been dealt in life.
Did I really use a game metaphor? Apparently, it’s not just gardening I see as a game, but life itself. This isn’t my conscious view of life — life has thrown too many tragedies and tragic consequences my way for it to classified with amusements such as card games or ball games or even gardening — but it does seem at times as if fate is willy-nilly dealing out experiences. Wealth to this person, beauty to that one, grief to another. Admittedly, at some point most people deal with grief, as if it’s a wild card that can fill out any hand, but still, I don’t think life is a game with distinct winners and losers. Nor is life playful or amusing as games should be — it’s generally too serious. (Though people who do manage to deal with life’s vicissitudes in a playful manner — people who believing the underlying energy of the universe is that of a child at play — find that things go their way more often than not.)
But all that is by way of an aside. I really came here to write about a moment I experienced last night. As I said, I do really well most of the time playing the hand that life and death (not my death, obviously, but the death of various loved ones) has dealt me. In fact, the cards I am holding at the moment are great ones — a comfortable home, a yard to get creative with, someone to call when I have a house emergency, a job that pays for such trivialities as groceries, good friends.
And yet, there are those moments . . .
Last night I went into my bedroom to turn down the covers in preparation for sleep, when suddenly I was hit with a vast wave of loneliness. I have no idea where it came from or why it chose that particular moment to engulf me, but there it was, stopping me in my tracks.
I let that devastating moment pass through me, though a faint sense of being alone lingered as I finished my task.
That’s all there was to it — just that moment. It wasn’t enough to send me spiraling into grief, but it was enough to temporarily overwhelm me.
And it was enough to make me take stock and realize that after all I’ve been through the last decade or so, I really am lucky to be doing as well as I am.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.