I lost someone this past summer. I didn’t misplace him, he died. He was very young and it was tragic and it has caused immense pain in my community, starting in his family and rippling out to his friends and to the rest of us: the parents of his friends who are also the friends of his parents.
Grief, I am learning, is a strange thing. I think of this person a lot and at odd times. I see a book I know he liked. I am reminded of Yosemite and I remember our families’ trips there together. My van’s automatic doors open and I remember him describing them as being powered by “magical unicorns”. He has visited me in my dreams a couple of times since he died. It never makes much sense when he does, but there he is, and I wake feeling sad and have to remind myself that he is gone and he is never coming back.
I actually have to remind myself of that most days. Someone told me recently that she had a theory that we have many layers to our selves and each time I remind myself it is me informing another of my layers. I must have a lot of layers because it has been five months now and I am still reminding myself: he’s gone forever, he is never coming back.
I am not sure what inspired me to write this today. I was going to say that nothing reminded me of him today but now I remember seeing a book on our shelf that I know he liked. I didn’t seem him very often anymore and yet I still feel his loss in my life. I feel the loss of his potential. What he could have been and never will be. What my son will be now that he has dealt with this loss.
Anyway, grief, it’s what is on my mind these days. It is what is coloring my outlook on life most days. It is what I think about when everything else is quiet and my mind is not occupied.
I finished another hat! It’s also too late to donate. Now that I have two I will probably keep knitting hats to donate to Bay Area Cancer Connections. The pattern called for bulky yarn but I knit this one in Cascade Fixation. It is one of my favorite non-wool yarns for chemo caps. It is cotton and elastic, so it’s machine washable, without too much synthetic content and it is pretty soft. It’s easy to knit with and it comes in a variety of colors. I also seem to have acquired a sizable stash of it somewhere along the way. Since I finished it, I was able to pick up my blue sweater again! I am working on the first band. The end is in sight! I might even get there before the weather changes!
Speaking of weather, it has been beautiful and clear for a few weeks. We had a beach day last week to take advantage of that. My 12-year-old spent a bunch of time at the edge of the water, kicking at the waves and building drizzle castles. He will be 13 next week and every time I see him off playing like this I wonder if it is the last time. My 16-year-old has no interest in the beach anymore but he did dig in the sand when we went to the beach for a week with their cousins. Kids, man, they grow up fast and you turn around and they are almost adults. Sunrise, sunset and all that!
I ended this year with a hike with friends. My friend Bobbi took some wonderful pictures of Docker, as usual. She has such a good eye and I feel so lucky that she shares her talent with us. Hiking and friends fit in with my intentions for the new year. I don’t like to set resolutions, because it feels like a failure if I don’t accomplish the things I set out for myself. Instead, these are some of the things I intend to do this year (in no particular order):
Continued regular exercise (10k steps per day, closing Apple Watch rings, yoga every week, at least once)
Less (or no) time on Facebook (unless this results in less time spent in person with friends)
From a list I saw on Twitter:
Deal with my ego
I hope that is not too many things to think about. I think that all of them are things are important for me in the coming year. If you set intentions or resolutions, I hope you are also able to find ones that are meaningful to your life and that set you up for personal growth and not just a feeling of defeat if you don’t reach them.
I leave you with my oliebollen (Dutch donuts, traditional for New Year’s Day. They are not an intention, but I make them yearly because my husband and kids love them. They are the one thing I deep fry.
Let’s all hope that 2019 treats us better than 2018 did!