‘A certain darkness’

Day 5 #iWriteDaily

I’ve struggled with a pervasive sadness today. Grief has a way of going underground and compounding, so that when it resurfaces it’s even worse than before.

I’m remembering my dad, my grandparents, my dogs who’ve “crossed the Rainbow Bridge.” [Edit: Holy shit … how did I forget my brother, Brian, the first in my family to die. At 21.]

Luke Perry died, and although I can’t say I’m a fan — I’ve never even seen “90210” — I thought about his kids and fiancée and everyone else gathered at his bedside when he died, and my heart hurt so much for them. He was just 52 and had a massive stroke; I’m sure none of them thought they would have to say good-bye so soon and so unexpectedly.

On Facebook I came across a video of an old chimpanzee dying of a terminal illness. It’s one I’ve seen before: she won’t eat and shows little interest in anything until an old friend, a man who used to work with her, comes to say good-bye.

When she recognizes him she gives him huge smiles, she pats him and strokes him, and even eats a bit from his hand. When she lies back down, exhausted, and her eyes dim to what they were before he arrived, I’m in tears. I’m not sure why: the beauty and the sadness of the moment, their enduring friendship, her captivity, her wizened face and cloudy eyes, her pending death. Does she know?

Then there’s a 4-year-old in our community who is dying of an aggressive form of brain cancer. A story on NPR tells of a New Hampshire mom fighting for paid family leave for all. For three decades she cared for her daughter, who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at age 2 and died the day before her mom was elected a state representative last November.

And always on social media, posts shared about horribly abused and abandoned animals — or even just the dogs and cats waiting in our county shelter and across the county for someone to please take them home and love them forever.

I believe we are here to bring light to dark places, but sometimes the darkness is more than I can bear. Today my heart is too fragile to be a light bearer.

And yet, as Osho says, “A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.” Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be able to step back and gain enough perspective to pick the torch back up. But for today, I just need to breathe and let my heart have some peace.

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5 thoughts on “‘A certain darkness’

  1. Debbie Wollard says:

    Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes, staying in the dark is all we can do. Companions to sit with me in the dark (metaphorically) help. I’m willing to be a companion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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