Give and Take
Because that’s the kind of year that 2010 is – can’t give something nice without balancing it out with something… not. Hello’s to Isaac and Millicent! Goodbye to Lucka (note: “hello” comes with an exclamation point, and “good-bye” with a period).
Let me start by saying that I am not a natural “sharer.” The reason I can write about my vasectomy? I don’t really care about it, and I figured it would be funnily shocking. Easy peasy. Grief? No problem – I’ve been wandering with that for so long it often feels like a second skin. Love, like, closeness? Those are harder. Maybe I’m just playing defense.
Anyway. Here’s the great thing that happened yesterday, in the midst of my sporadic morose-ness (morosity?).
I got an email from Jen’s parents. Last week I mailed them – finally finally – the DVD of Decaffeinated Tragedy, along with some mugs my former pottery instructor had thrown based on some of Jen’s art, and I also put in some mounted versions of a multiple choice quiz Jen had once sent me in campus mail. I have to say, every communication I share with her folks is fraught with some trepidation for me, because of how well they know I couldn’t meet their daughter’s expectations and desires as a friend 20 years ago in the six months preceding her death. Having let them down once indirectly, I think I’m scared to do it again.
This doesn’t stop me from talking to them, and they’ve never given me any indication that they hold anything against me. But the feeling is there.
And they didn’t hold this against me either. On the contrary, just like on all previous occasions, they were warm and enthusiastic and appreciative.
So why is this relevant, except insomuch as it was a wonderful thing to read.
I feel like it’s a guidepost for living, for keeping going after losing someone important, or just after losing anyone at all. We’re marking trails that we have to find on our own. But as Marit sort of indirectly said to me this morning, they’re not trails that we have to find on our own.