so I read this post in craigslist missed connection today
and when the context hit me it suddenly made me very sad and sort of relieved
which might sound terrible, but ...well, to back up and around and off:
I am hardly one to speak of loss in such a capacity...I mean, I've "lost" friends, as in, lost them to death, and I've lost an old lover who aptly earned the "love" part of that title, and I've lost family members
but I haven't lost an integral part of my life in the midst of such joy and promise like the poster in this ad
And, not so thankfully, I have more than one friend or acquaintance who can not say the same. I've watched more than one person, engaged, or recently married, or in the heights of love suddenly find themselves alone to fates cruel tricks, and only they know how it changes everything. EVERYTHING. That it doesn't just change their romantic life, make them sad and lost for a good long while, but that it changes their life plans and it changes their home and it changes their purpose and it changes their ability to trust life to give them a certain amount of control over their ultimate happiness.
And so, fortunately, I know a lot less about that kind of loss then I would ever want to. But being reminded in such a peripheral way gives me perspective. And this coupled with my own limited experiences gives me guidance and just a bit of relief that I can learn from other's experiences at times.
I mean, I've had friendships and relationships end and I am intimately aware of what toll that takes even when both parties make the decision to do so in full connivance. But still, there is that control. That sense that someone made a decision to end it, that they were given the choice.
And as mentioned I've also not been given the choice.
And here is what I have learned from losing people from circumstances beyond my control and circumstances well within them: humility and gratitude
People ask how and why I hang onto so many friends and why I put so much time into my relationships and how so many of my exes are now friends.
You know, I don't want to be the person in that ad, ever. But I might be.
And I don't want to be in the situation I've been in when a close friend of mine has died. But I might be.
And, sadly, I can't do much about that other than hope.
But mostly I don't want to be the person who loses people to a situation in which I was too busy or stubborn or ungrateful to notice and care about how much they meant to me.
And I can do something about that.
I don't mean you should keep a deathgrip on everyone you meet for fear of death's interfering hand. That would be unhealthy and neurotic and more than a little sick.
And I also don't mean you should keep every person in your life, no matter how outdated your friendship is, or how joyless the relationship is.
I only mean that a certain limited control is granted to you over how you live your life. And though it's limited within the scope of the great big world, it's highly significant within the context of your life. You don't get to dictate how everything will turn out. You wont know what comes next, always. But you can make a concerted effort to appreciate what and WHO life gives you, and to look past the details and ego and other silliness life is apt to deal you note how these people possess the capacity to bring you joy, and decide that such joy is really worth the effort.
The person in this ad lost his best friend and lover and can't do a thing about it. I'm not saying he is hopelessly screwed. I know people who have recovered from such a thing in some fashion or another and moved on to be happy. But to a certain extent he is always gonna know what it's like to be fate's bitch, to resign himself to how it just had to be.
You, on the other hand, can go home and kiss your honey or hug your best friend and forget all the lameness and crap and thank the cosmos and that his reality is not your current fate, and that you have the ability and choice to do so.