Usually on Fridays I try to post something light, entertaining, funny – life candy. This Friday I'm just not feeling it. It was a long, emotionally hard week, starting with a visit to my parents in-law who are very frail, followed by the news that a dear friend's mother had passed away. Already in a sad state of mind, I learned that a childhood friend, someone of whom I have fond memories but haven't seen in many years, had committed suicide.
Underneath all this, like the ticker at the bottom of the television screen, was the news of a college student driven by cruelty to jump off the George Washington Bridge, the acute embarrassment of a grown man claiming the qualifications to lead the great state of New York behaving like an idiot, middle-school bully, and more death in Afghanistan.
I hesitate writing this because I do not want my patients to worry about me. I am a therapist and therapists are supposed to be perfectly put together at all times, right? No, I really don't think so. I have to admit, it is not easy to walk that fine line between self-disclosure and professionalism, but doing so leads to a deepening of understanding of our shared life experience. I do not want anyone to worry about me because it's not about me. It's about our common humanity.
So in that spirit, let me tell you, it's been a helluva week for reflection on aging, on life, on death, on civility, kindness and the lack thereof. Memories of my parents' last days, triggered by the week's events, rise to the surface and not far behind that is raw grief. As Mary said in her comment the other day, there is no avoiding grief, there is only working through it.
I am grateful I made it to the far side of Friday. Now I can sit in a comfy chair, look out at the beautiful autumn evening, remember, grieve, cry and restore. Thank God.