“Before you know what kindness really is, you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment� only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for and then goes with you everywhere, like a shadow or a friend.’ -Naomi Shihab Nye
The Future feels like it is dissolving around me lately: dreams dissipating, relationships abruptly ending, and young people overcome by their possibilities, or lack of them, are taking their own lives. This is what my days have been full of. One has only to pick up his or her local paper to bear witness to the loss and struggle that characterizes the lives of so many. We are collectively awash in things lost and running as fast as we can to re-imagine a future, any future.
Loss and the stages of grief that accompany it are universal. Little by little, beneath the anger, denial and depression, our sorrow carves the unbelievable into our psyche, making the grooves in our brain expand to accommodate what our hearts cannot hold. This is the truth of deep sorrow; it changes us bodily if we allow it. Refusing is no good; although it is unfortunate no prizes are ever awarded for the mighty efforts made to resist our own pain. The resistance becomes its own storyline, which the Tibetans call ‘shenpa.’ This is the places where loss hooks us, and rather than actually experience the depth of our sorrow and pain, we devolve.