Humanity, Living With Loss

Choosing Positivity in the Face of Tragedy

I find myself with a very rare Saturday morning alone. I need it; after taking my toddler to Florida, sans husband, for a week and coming home to the passing of a much-loved friend, it has been a long two weeks.

My husband took our toddler to the park this morning, and instead of staying in bed like a smart person, I rushed downstairs to my laptop and my coffee. Who knows how long this silence and peace will last?

Writing accomplishes a lot of things for me: it organizes my thoughts better than my brain, it makes me think, and it makes me confront things about myself that make me uncomfortable, or things that make me have all the feels that maybe I have been sweeping under the rug.

Like negativity. I am slowly uncovering things about myself in these past three years of motherhood, and one glaring fact is that I lean towards the negative all the time. People say I have done a good job on something: why, what do they want from me? My husband takes my daughter to the park alone: why doesn’t he want to spend time with me? An editor offers completely sound suggestions on a piece I have submitted to them: I am a terrible writer. My sister-in-law does all the work for her baby shower with her sister, thinking she doesn’t want to put the hassle on me: why doesn’t she want to include me?

All of the things I listed above are real events, and my very real reactions. Since having a baby, I have been trying very hard to take a good look at why I allow these reactions the validation that I do. I only see slights; it takes me time to see the positive. Since my stepson passed away, it has been very difficult to see much positive, and to embrace joy. It seems keenly unfair to embrace joy when his life was taken so young. Granted, I leaned towards negativity my whole life, but his passing only cemented it in my bones.

This morning, I am choosing positivity. My dear friend passing away has jolted me into realizing that we really don’t get a second chance to choose positivity. I am seeing all of the pictures on Facebook and seeing all of our mutual friends come together in our love for him, and while it hurts immensely it warms my heart to see how many lives he touched.

His passing is a tragedy. He was the bringer-together of friends, the life of any party, and the group event organizer. He was the helper, the confidant (of things you wanted everyone to know, of course), and the masterful teacher of poker. He was always there with a hand when anyone needed it, and all of his friends were there for him when he needed it because of who he was.

His passing will be felt with acute pain by all of the people who loved him as he brings us all together once again. I won’t say for the last time, because every event we attended in the past will now be attended in his honour, and in his memory.

Today, I am choosing positivity. I didn’t get a last chance to tell Andrew how much he meant to me, so in his honour and in his memory I will choose love and not miss a moment to tell the people in my life how much they mean to me. I won’t miss a chance to reach out to people in need and to try to bring joy to the people I love.

My husband took our daughter to the park alone: I am so grateful for him and for a few minutes alone. An editor offers suggestions on a piece I wrote: thank you for taking the time to help me be better. Someone tells me I have done a good job: thank you.

My dear friend passes away and teaches me to let go.

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