When I was at the library a little while ago, stocking up on my reading for the next couple of days, the librarian asked me how I was doing. I told her I was doing great, and it was the truth.
At that moment, I did feel great. And why not? I was at a library, warm and comfortable, rosy from my walk, talking to a very nice woman, filling my carryall with books I want to read. Nothing else existed. Not any pain bleeding over from the past, no thinking or worrying about the future (except for thoughts of cozying up to read later in the day).
I had that same feeling last evening. I was reading a book about a sixty-something cop who was in his final year of work, and no matter what happened, he felt that each moment was golden knowing that the work he loved was coming to an end. I stopped to think about the golden moment I was living through and realized again, as I have done so many times before, that no matter what, each moment of our lives are golden.
Some of those moments are breathtaking, such as watching the setting sun paint the skies gold with a never-again to be seen piece of art.
Some of those moments seem dimmed by the pain of loss or the ache of age, but still, they are special in their own way — once in a lifetime events that will never be repeated in exactly the same way.
Admittedly, when things are difficult or we are in the middle of the seemingly unending angst of grief, it’s almost impossible to see the gold in the moment, but those traumas teach us to live in the moment and not look too far ahead. No matter how agonizing, you can live through the moment.
So later, much later, when joy or peace or wonder unexpected steals over you, you can take the discipline you learned from grief and live in the moment. Experience it as if it were a once in a lifetime event.
Because it is.
Wishing you the joy of your moments.
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.