Are there times and seasons in your life that are like emotional rapids? Where joy and sorrow are like the confluence of two mighty rivers, their flows merging with great power to buoy or sink you?
For me, that’s July. It begins with my daughter’s birthday, then our second son’s. Twelve days later, the anniversary of his death is followed, in another four, by my own.
The birthdays of my late fiance, and my husband’s late brother also fall in July.
It’s a lot to feel. The month that was my favorite, when I was a child, became, in the first years after Elijah’s death, followed by Annalise’s birth, an emotional tsunami that tossed me around like a piece of driftwood. I ricocheted off rocks, had nose and mouth filled with feelings… I couldn’t wholly accept the reality of the experience, the heights of celebration blending with the troughs of grief – or all the places between, where the waters were deceptively calm.
Learning to be present with the fact of these emotions has helped incredibly. I’ve stopped fighting to stay in the happier places, and, instead, these days, I ride the waves, whatever they hold. I know not every moment is going to be a sweet one – like sunshine and the shadows it casts, the loss is pointed up by what exists joyfully…
I don’t know that I have any great advice for anyone else, only something that works for me. I try to be gentler and easier on myself in July, while I live the month and feel all the things – those I can name, and those that are deeper than language could convey. I tend to go more with my instincts and intuition, willing to suspend the normal framework and flow I live within.
This is going to be a short post. I want to mindfully be with my family, with my thoughts, with my emotions….
Until next week, then.