As some may have noticed, I didn’t write my usual post last Thursday. It was my first time skipping my weekly blog since I began in September of this year. Yes, it was Thanksgiving, but for the first time since I began A Wild, Free Life, I found myself at a loss for words.
Last week my community faced an unspeakable tragedy, an unprecedented loss that has rocked us to our very core. To ensure privacy, I will not go into detail about what happened. All I will say is that you are never prepared for the loss of those you hold dear.
What happened to my community will never “make sense.” There are no easy answers. What do you do when nothing makes sense anymore? How do you continue living when the world appears to be such a nebulous, broken place?
I have spent the past week and a half trying to make sense of what happened, trying to feel my feelings of woe without succumbing to them. I have been hit hard, because people I love have been hurt, but also because I don’t have my old mechanism of dealing with heartache and confusion — drinking. I have also felt guilty, because who am I to feel such sadness when I have not suffered a direct hit?
Grief is not quantifiable. There is no handbook for suffering. There is no map to show us where to go or how to get there. So we must find our own way, individually but also, most importantly, as a community. The only way I know how to get through is love.
What these hazy days have taught me is that love is the only answer for heartache, for desperation and loss. Love is the reason we are put here on this earth. Love is the great humanizer, the great equalizer, the greatest depth of emotion, our highest calling, the most worthwhile endeavor. Love.
Love fiercely yet gently. Love yourself, first and foremost, so that you may love others with greater depth and feeling than you thought possible. Love your partner, your tribe, your dog. Love the rain on the roof as it washes away the dirt of yesterday. Love the skin you are in as it carries your soul and heart. Love the skin of others for protecting their hearts and souls. Love someone you do not know, for they are you. Love without question, without a reason why. Love when you feel like hating, because hate is the rot that alters us beyond recognition.
Life may not make sense, but love does. Love is the reason we get up in the morning, love is the reason we survive, love is what makes us divine. Love is the light that pierces through the darkness, reminding us why we are here. To love.
I wish you a wild, free life.