Thursday, January 01, 2009

Limitations of Loss

You win some and ya' lose some, or so the story goes. Sometimes though when it rains, it pours. These past few months I've felt like an in-patient post-open heart surgery; and it feels as if the staples have slowly popped off and I lay their dormant with my heart open and exposed to the elements. Drifting aimlessly in and out of consciousness it has all been a mere-blur; unsure about such a plethora of life's circumstances.

Food is food to a starving child. A Big Mac renders little taste differentiation to a Roadhouse Steak to one who merely seeks to eat, not to savor. such it is with these past moths. I've tasted so much yet nothing palatable enough to spark recognition. I remember a time in life where people, places, and things had such distinct flavors.

I've always been a people person; a blessing and a curse I guess. Both before and after losing my father at 16 yrs old I have always been intrigued by people. I loved being around crowds of people submerged in the beautiful aroma of good company. Being alone has always been a fear and I've combated it by surrounding myself with people; on a rather consistent basis for these past twenty-some-odd years.

I've never dealt with loss well. I've never managed abandonment in a favorable manner. those two things have haunted me and systematically shaped me for so many years. I really cant track it back to any specific or particular incident but I see it as a patter in my life; from childhood to adulthood.

I remember as a 5th grader my father having a massive heart attack and undergoing a triple-bypass-surgery. I was left to deal with the shock and awe at such a young age; is dad going to die? For months aft4er the surgery I was bewilderingly blanketed with this dark and dreadful fear that he would die. I began seeing a youth counselor who soon became a close friend and helped me through that atrocious sickness I had been in. However, after some five-years my father did pass away-in horrific fashion- all the counseling in the world wasn't going to help me then.

That loss has since then cloaked my heart and mind, no matter how often i attempt vigorously to shake it off, to find its way back to me. It wraps its dark, deep, and cold arms around my soul and squeezes the very life and breathe and joy out of me; rendering me in lacking of trust and desire to ever let anyone that close to me again; my passion, my love, my very being and that of those who feel deemed worthy of entering.

The true sadness is that although i feel at times holistically unable to truly let anyone in, i convince them they have made it. Every relationship and friendship I've been part of has had this dualistic nature; a visible and an invisible. The visible bares fruit of many a great hings. The invisible excretes an aroma of falsified hope, defiled trust, and inaudible love. Its not that I don't want to connect with these people, its that i tip-toe on the thin ice of distrust with more faith in the ice breaking than it holding strong.

Maybe its a matter of expectations? Being plagued with the loss of so many close friends this year I have been left feeling so utterly empty and helpless at times. It all began back in June post graduation when the three closest friends I have had to move away because their real lives were beckoning them. One moved to Minnesota for graduate school; the other moved to California to pursue a pastoral position; the other to Bend to discover the vast wonder and adventure of a landscaping career.

Everyday for the first couple months everything seemed so somber and stoic-every place I went to felt like a reminder of them. Every coffee shop I ventured to and through so that I could just sit around in a crowded place and forget about the loss would thus turn into some sort of matrix like frozen-in-time pin-dropping silent place of mourning; the absence of noise and the potency of nothingness was brutal. Regardless how loud the voices and music-the laughs and cries- the tomb of silence continued to haunt me.

Every person I ran to in times of trials and tribulations and joys and sorrows was gone. Although a phone call was the only realistic separation of relationship that existed- the miles between us stacked up like bricks to make a wall; better yet, a room. No windows to gaze into their hearts anymore; seemingly trapped in this cage to deal with the hurts and pains and traumas and blows this life struck me with, alone. Abandoned? No, self abandoned. Held inside a wall that I built with these hands of despair; stuck together with the mortar of a lonely soul- one who found life only in others- now left to live through his own shell.

Cowardly running to and from a multiplicity of life's offers of happiness i found myself running to what i had left; a few select people who "didn't" leave. The months went by and the pain of the losses was still blemishing a potent and prudent odor of loneliness about me. Somewhat unaware of my own sickness i grasped tightly to a few of the things i had left and began to squeeze the life out of the relationships that I actually had left. With no knowledgeable regard for their well being I just took and took until their was nothing left-a panicked addict of bitter-loneliness on a crash course for destruction. Destruction of himself and the few people i had left in the arsenal. Unintentionally, I drained the last drops of patience, love, and persistence out these once loyal friends and they gave in- falling like dominoes one after the other- throwing in the towel on a longstanding friendship in hopes of helping me- selfless acts that burned me from the shirt to the core; dismantling my very being.

I sit here now with my iPod on and a cup of java in my hand at this corner-store coffee house here in Eugene, Oregon. Gazing out into the outside world their is rain pouring down and people scampering too and fro with their busy lives- busy with their wants- busy with their need. I'm a chameleon of hope- being changed by the need of the inside adapting to the purpose of the self- the appearance only for the external- caught in the faith that this life is full of more than pain, more than this dyer loss, more than this sickening feeling of abandonment.

I know I've done things so wrong and have let so many people down. I see things now that I would have been blinded to had i not gone through this process of losing- what seemed to be everyone and everything. Their has always been my family- who never leaves me- who loves me for who I am and understands me like no one can. I've strayed to foreign places of my heart that i hope to not venture to ever again. The cost of not finding myself earlier was great but it doesn't outweigh the joy that will be experienced when i do. I pray that I will never seek to find myself through others- but through seeing life through the clear lenses of hope and love- no longer will i view life through a dim-lit-glass of uncertainty.

I am alone, but I'm not lonely anymore.