I watched a short documentary on Netflix a few days ago about Ram Dass called Going Home. He calls suffering the “sandpaper from the spiritual point of view that is awakening people” and encourages people to make friends with change.
I am trying to make friends with change. It has been two months since my mother died. There’s a hole in my heart that I cannot fill with tears, religion, or tequila. Her death has introduced me to grief the likes of which I have never experienced. Her absence follows me like a tail. Life just feels different now. No matter what I do, I cannot go back to the way things were.
I am trying to make friends with change. I look up at her picture and she seems so alive and my mind wrestles with the undigestable permanence of the loss of the woman who gave birth to me. I know it’s true, but I still cannot accept it.
I am trying to make friends with change, to somehow embrace the emptiness, the vacuum left by her absence. I never realized how much knowing she was somewhere on this earth with me mattered so damn much. We didn’t talk every day or see each other every week. For the last few years, we lived in different states. It’s not the regularity that I miss. Gandhi said: “You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.” Even though I knew how important she was to me when she was alive, her absence confirms this.
I am trying to make friends with change. But I feel so alone. A cord was cut and I’m floating inches above the ground, defying gravity, wishing for the laws of the universe to right themselves and bring me back down.
I am trying to make friends with change. April 15th would have been my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary. My dad spent the day alone.
I am trying to make friends with change. I’m not staying in bed or pressing pause on life. I’m working, meditating, spending time with my kids, making plans.
I am trying to make friends with change, but my mom is gone and she’s not coming back.
I am trying to make friends with change. I’m just not sure if change wants to be friends with me.
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If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start: Living With Chronic Illness Handbook.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in working with people with chronic health conditions with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 13-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old toy poodle.