sorrows weave a web of joy

I spend my days caring for people who are living with loss. Sometimes its the loss of an identity as a healthy person.  Sometimes its the loss of a long life expectancy.  Sometimes its the loss of a breast.  The loss of estrogen. The loss of energy, vitality. The loss of long, sexy hair that trails to the small of a back. The loss of trust, the loss of a belief that everything will be okay.

I don’t know what it feels like to have breast cancer, and I didn’t know how it feels to be a mother to a dying child when I worked in pediatric bone marrow transplant, and I didn’t know how it feels to be a homeless, chemically dependent and mentally ill AIDS patient when I was a med-surg nurse in a county hospital. But life has a funny way making us let go, and let go, and let go some more, and after all this letting go we turn to other humans, who murmur yes, I understand what its like to see the most precious dreams fly away, I have felt the texture of the walls and the weight of the thick black air of a world of darkness, and I have come out on the other side. I have always enjoyed my patients, but I’m a different kind of nurse now.  Its subtle, probably not noticeable. But there is a slight shift in the air, a longer gaze in which I say without words I can better understand you. 

Sadly, loss breaks a few of us and there are casualties along the way, but more often than not, it simply destroys that which no longer fits. We need the heartbreak in order to open up more fully. And with this miracle of the human spirit we can then weave together the threads of our sorrows with those of others. We bond. We make a web of connection, and it captures the joy and blessings of this bizarre, difficult, beautiful world.  The details of our individual suffering is always unique, but in the collective experience of loss, we turn to each other with a soft and courageous stare and say I may not know, but I understand. 

13 thoughts on “sorrows weave a web of joy

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    To be honest with you, I don’t know that I could cope with the loss of my son, if it happened. I truly do not.

    You do awesome work, to help people through loss. Excellent post.

  2. kellig

    I read quite a bit, and I love movies, so I watch quite a few. sorrow and death scenes always made me cry, because I am an empathic person. but now, now that i have experienced it first hand, and know intimately its textures and the drag of the seconds, can feel them in my bones… they are almost unbearable. drenched with feeling and emotion. so much so that sometimes i cannot watch, cannot feel it all again. other times i am amazed that the writer, and/or the actor was able to capture it all so perfectly.

  3. Swimming In The Mud

    Absolutely loved this sentiment and insight about loss. There are so many examples of loss but you are so right about letting go of your loss enough to realize that someone else can relate and we are connected in that way. Thanks for putting it all together so beautifully.

  4. Holly M.

    Hello and thank you for your raw AND graceful writing about loss. Today I’ve been catching up with bloggers who Liked or Followed my Urban Yoga Den blog in 2012, and there you were. Gratefully, because loss is a constant and your blog allows me – and many – to know we are not alone. Thank you for reading mine…and for writing yours. OM Shanti. h* (PS – do you have a Facebook page for your blog? Mine is “Urban Yoga Den (Holly Meyers)”. It’s been an effective way to share the blog beyond WordPress. Just a thought…)


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