As part of a Bible study I attended tonight one of the questions that was asked read: "Do you cling to the past or look to the future?" Our (young) minister urged us to look to the future. Maybe for him as a young person the future is still bright ahead but for some of us the future is hard to contemplate. I can move forward,taking a day at a time, but looking to the future, assuming it is brighter, is not something I seem able to do right now.
In my still grieving state I am not ready to let go of all of the past, some strands are still in place, both as an anchor and as a life belt. I cannot as yet severe those ties. I feel to do so would be like letting go of a lifeline and letting myself drift into turbulent waters. I am getting better at letting go but not confident enough to let go fully yet. For me it is still day-to-day, one step at a time.
I was not the only one looking down at my lap as an older couple had just talked about visiting a much loved sister-in-law and brother both in the hospital, not expected to live long and how painful it is to do so. For them looking into the future the death of loved ones stares them in the face. The thought of parting with two people they have loved as family for over 60 years is not something they want to contemplate, each day they still have these beloved family members is precious.
We are each at a different stage of our journey and it is hard sometimes to see clearly what the other is saying, when we need to be sensitive and agree to disagree, when we need to be able to back-track and reword an answer, when we need to acknowledge that perspective is a generational thing and what is true at 30 is not necessarily true for someone who is 80. I think tonight's questions and answers showed that well.
I love being a part of a mixed generational group but sometimes it rocks me a bit to see how different attitudes are in different generations. It also alerted me to the fact that sensitivity is also a generational things and what is acceptable to one generation may seem insensitive to another.
I try not to need to be catered for in a different way to others because I am a widow. Tonight I was aware of my older friends suffering in their way from what would seem a "normal" process to others, that is the assumption that all old people die. Well they do, don't they? But the loss is the same painful process that happens when our younger friends die. Acknowledging we all suffer in some way from loss helps too.
And I know now that is another area I need to look at and work on. Looking to the future. I need to do this for the sake of my family as well. I need to acknowledge Life is not all about me and my loss, it is about wanting to be a part of a family that can move on together. Maybe I have been slow to see that.
My inability to see any kind of brighter future for myself tonight did alert me to the fact that indeed I do have to make a greater effort to "get over it and move on".