2016 has been a bear. No, not a bear — a rabid, vicious beast that was never a cub, but emerged fully mean and snarling. Wait… That’s not entirely true. The first few days were good. I’d eaten a lot of black eyed peas, so my luck was certain and sure.
But then David Bowie died, and that set the course. I was strangely devastated by that loss — I didn’t know him personally, but I think so many of us had a personal attachment to him. He taught us to be different and be ourselves, and we all collectively grieved for him and our formative, golden years.
Soon after — maybe a week — my mother got sick, and simultaneously, my friend died. And then my cat died, my sweet cuddle buddy, and our house seems empty and still.
And then the worst thing imaginable happened — my mother was gone, too. I loved her more than anyone, and I’m reeling. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never be truly happy again, even though she would never want that. She would be so mad at me for that.
Instead she would want me to find the positive things, and there have been. I tried writing little vignettes while it was all happening, and it helped me cope. I wanted a way to save some of this time for my sisters and me, and anyone who loved my mom. I couldn’t write in a journal, and opening a Word document to write was too daunting. So I posted little things on Facebook.
Then something nice happened. My friends sent my stories to Frank Somerville, who has a terrific Facebook page, and he shared one of my little tributes to my mom, and the outpouring of love and support was such a gift to my sisters and me. It really helped us to read the kind words from good people. And he said that I was a good writer, and that made me feel proud, despite the miasma of really terrible sadness.
I guess it was a sign from the universe (or my parents — I like to think it was them, looking out for me) to write, and to make it happen because I’ve been daunted for too long. So that’s what I’m going to do.
And I’m linking the Frank Somerville post here so that I’ll always have it, because in Internet time it’s already over, though my grieving has just begun.
Okay, 2016. It’s time to stop being so cruel. You came in like a lion, but I’m hoping that eventually you’ll turn into a lamb.