Today is Good Friday. Traffic was lighter coming into work today. The stock market is closed. Congress is in recess. Thirteen years ago today, I brought home my beautiful son whom I adopted. And in the lore of Christianity, the pain of death became a reality. So … what really is so “good” about it?
From my vantage point, the good is in the paradox. Today is the day where we reflect on the fact that life wins. It is an inevitability … at some point, we are gonna get dropped on our backside. Any pretense of pride can only be replaced with that bite of humble pie. We just ain’t in charge here, folks. Shit happens … and it happens to us all. People die … disappoint … betray … cheat … get sick … age … fall short. Colleges reject. Pets live too short. Plans get cancelled. Companies lay-off. Kids grow-up. Bank accounts dry-up. Toys get old or grow old. Santa Claus just does not exist.
Nothing lasts forever. Endings are life’s one assurance. In fact, life is change. We live in a constant state of flux with each moment being different from the last and different from the one yet to be.
With that, change brings loss. Whatever we have or thought we had is not for keeps. Like an open hand, we hold onto something for awhile and then bear witness to its certain seepage right through our fingers.
Loss brings pain and grief. The letting go process triggers the emotional process of grief with all its accompanying feelings – anger, hurt, sadness, disappointment, guilt, betrayal, loneliness – to name a few. We hurt … there is just no way around it or a more elegant way to say it. Every inch of our being feels the pain of no longer holding something we once loved.
And, pain and grief are an opportunity for growth. With each good-bye, each blow to our ego, we are faced with a choice. That choice is one of shielding ourselves in layers of defense from further pain in the future … why should I love when I have to let go? Our internal lights dim into cynicism and despair toward risk-free and protected living. Or, we make the choice to expand our souls. To realize that there is a learning here … something that will make me more capable of loving and living at an even greater capacity.
Thus, if we want to stay vital and emotionally present in the days we have, learning to grieve is a necessary part of life. It allows for renewal and hope so that the human spirit and psyche can keep showing up to continue the journey. To say, “I am in” when I know that more Fridays of heartache are coming down the path. Yes, pain is unavoidable but if we stay the course, life’s good does prevail. And, I don’t know about you … but I don’t want to miss any of it.