The shadowy figure of loss

Last week, our family marked a sad anniversary because it’s been four years now since my nephew died. In another month, it will also be four years since my sister-in-law died. Yeah, that was a tough summer. So much changed. So much stayed the same. I’ve been canning this past week, too, which always makes me think of my Gram. She died in 1996, followed two years later by my other Grandma–the last grandparent.

I miss them. Even so, I realize how blessed I’ve been to have enjoyed their company into my adulthood. Not everyone gets that opportunity.

My nephew was mischievous, witty, and a brilliant snowboarder. My sister-in-law was outdoorsy, loved sports, and delighted in all-you-can-eat sushi. My Gram was stubborn and opinionated in her life, but also in her faith, and she lived what she said she believed. I have grown to love that most about her. I’ve learned about myself from each one–sometimes the things I like, more often the things I don’t (but can change).

Organizing my thoughts into coherent sentences and paragraphs has eluded me recently.  Much has happened, and I know more loss is on the horizon. It seems to be a season of waiting-for-it-to-happen, not only for me but for some friends as well.  After a few days of fretting, I’ve realized (again) that not only can I allow myself a period of rest and regeneration, but I’ll be a better person because of the solitude. The shadowy figures of loss keep me company, yet are steadfast in reminding me to make the most of the life I’ve been given.

So today, I leave you with wisdom from Mary Oliver, read by the poetess herself.

 Do you have a favourite poem?  Share in the comments.

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