We all recognize Pain. And Joy. It is what makes us human, the ability to feel across all spectrums. It is our ability to wade through what happens in this place called life, and to live it to the best of our ability that defines us as who we are. They are times it seems nearly impossible, and there are also times we don't win. When we lose friends and loved ones and feel that we may never be the same again as part of the life we were comfortable with is sliced away. Sometimes this is very sudden, and sometimes we know it will come and it is just a matter of time.
How we get through these times is always highly individual, and we each have to do what is right for us in this time, and the rest of us simply have to give support, time or space as needed, when needed.
When I was 30 my dad died suddenly, on the other side of the world. When I found out I naturally called my husband who had just started an 8 hour shift and had to honor that commitment (as his job relates to public safety). I went to the home of very special friends who knew they didn't need to do anything to make it better, I just needed to be somewhere that I knew support was. Their at the time 4yr old daughter was a joy then and now and she helped me refocus. Their son, then just 16 months old had never been a baby that was interested in other people. If you were not his parents he pretty much would not come or play with others. This evening he must have had an inner sense he was needed and he crawled right over and was content to sit with me from the time I arrived until it was time for bed - something that had not happened before (and now at 15 would never!)
Earlier this week and again tonight I have had people contact me to cancel social plans because they have had a personal catastrophe that quite simply has to take precedence. In both cases I was told over a written medium (email or text) and in both cases I feel there is no adequate response - that whatever I said was not enough to fully express how I want to reach through the the medium and wrap them in a giant hug and protect them and tell them I understand pain, and I wish I could lessen theirs, at this moment.
I know intellectually that we will all have times that we feel intense happiness, the kind that makes you want to burst. We will all feel the intense perfection of a moment, when you know you are exactly in the right place at the right time celebrating the perfect moment with the right people. That is joy. When pain comes knocking, as it inevitably will, I wish you the strength to give in to the pain knowing you will come out the other side, and the willingness to believe that there are people to support you and to reach out to them.
Being human won't always be easy, but we don't have to do it alone. For those of you feeling pain, please accept this virtual hug in the spirit it is sent.