There are many things you think you are prepared for when it comes to grief. You expect the heavy sobbing, bouts of anger, and sense off loss. What you do not expect? A full-on identity crisis that leaves you nearly incapable of functioning.
Perhaps it is not only grief, but a number of things that have sent my world spinning recently. My mother, issues with young-adult children, the overall stresses of adulting? Birthdays? (There is a chance that I might completely lose my head every year, around my birthday. *clears throat*) Whatever it is, I have been hiding in my cave of a studio, wondering a whole heck of a lot, "Who are you, Kate Jones?"
On Monday I turned 41. I feel like I should have some response to the above question at this point. Truly. But everything I have used to set my perimeters is now missing. Kids are drifting, parents are passing away, friends are shifting. Life is fluid and, at the end of the day, I am left with someone I have not seen since I was 17. I don't know about you, but I seriously have issues recalling things from last-week. It's part A.D.D., a dash of age, the effects of time and maybe a few vices. I am having serious trouble recalling this person I new over 20-years ago. I know she was loud, unafraid. Filter-less. She was also fantastically naive and brilliantly crazy. She thought, most days, that the world was solidly in her hands.
*in walks me* I am a woman who, at some point, realized how fantastically naive she was being. I am a mother who learned she had to shut-down the crazy. I am a person that has learned tone is more important than volume. I am a person who has realized very little is in her control.
Where do these two girls meet? What's left? After you take away mom and daughter?
The heart. The thing in your chest that aches when you feel sorrow, beats faster when you are frightened, flutters when you see beauty. That odd shaped organ that has no scientific backing for its relationship to your soul, but you accept it without question anyway. It's the odd feeling you can not describe, one for which there are no words.
That's where I meet with myself and that is the point from which I journey forward: From the heart. I'll follow it's path in the same manner that I accept its unscientifically proven purpose. I will follow it with faith.
Maybe follow along? We'll overcome some of those fears that make our hearts beat faster; Revel in all the fluttering brought-on by all the beauty; Lift each other up when we feel the ache of sorrow. Because, at the end of all of this questioning, doubt and evaluation, I can think of only one thing (one purpose) that could define any of us as we grow older: Teacher.