April 15, 2003

Random Entry

This entry is my contribution for April 2003 to the Random Acts of Journalling Webring/Collab.

Topic: Random Passage from a Book:

My grandmother told me once that when you lose somebody you think you've lost the whole world as well, but that's not the way things turn out in the end. Eventually, you pick yourself up and look out the window, and once you do you see everything that was there before the world ended is out there still. There are the same apple trees and the same songbirds, and over our heads, the very same sky that shines like heaven, so far above us we can never hope to reach such heights.

Alice Hoffman


Regular readers know that almost two months ago I lost a lifelong friend. I'm not going to harp on the loss aspect - I wrote enough about that at the time.
I have been meaning to write about how I've been changing, and this topic is a perfect opportunity.

If any one person's death could make me feel like the world was gone it was this one.
When I first found out, along with the grief was a very real fear of how I was going to cope with it. I never considered myself a very strong person, probably because of all my problems with depression. Depression is not caused by weakness but while my mind now knows that, instinctive habits of a lifetime don't necessarily change with one's mind.

The first two to three weeks were bad. It felt pretty much like my worst depression only it wasn't the illness, it was a normal reaction. Depression is when you feel that way without a significant external cause.
I tend to grieve fairly intensely but for a shorter period of time compared to what I perceive is the average.

Eventually I did look outwards and saw first my children and gradually my other interests.
They were still there.
That did bring some comfort. Actually, a lot of comfort.
I still had me, banged up some but intact.

I never put much stock in the saying, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." And I still don't. I think that what doesn't kill you can often weaken you.
However in this case it did make me stronger, or at the very least change my perception of myself.
I have survived one of the worst things that could have happened to me.
There is some peace of mind in that.

And as this latest loss begins to settle into perspective, I find myself thinking more about my father, who died two years ago next month.
Not so much thinking, actually, as feeling.
I've dreamed about him twice recently, both vivid emotional dreams.
It's not entirely unpleasant because while it recalls a loss it also lets me feel closer to him.
It's part of my remaining world.

And as regular readers also know, I've become even more of a news junkie than I already was, with gusts towards politics. That used to be so not me but it does seem to be me now.
At first I thought I was using it as a distraction, which may be part of it, but it is a venture a little further along the path I've been waddling for some time.

I'm actually seriously considering joining a political party, the Canadian Alliance. It's doing quite well in western Canada but not in Quebec. Quebec's politics are notably nouveau-leftist, so much so that the party named "Liberal" is actually on the conservative side of center.

Speaking of which, yesterday we had an election here for the Provincial government. After nine long years the party dedicated to separation from Canada was turfed out of power in favour of the other mainstream party here, the aforementioned "Liberal" party.
Whose leader, when he was involved in federal politics, almost became the leader of the Progressive Conservative party.
We are nothing if not confused, here.

Anyway I had the privilege of watching my youngest exercise his franchise (that sounds slightly perverse!) for the first time. It was a heartwarming mother-moment which I fully enjoyed. As we were leaving, I couldn't resist pointing out how lucky he was to live in a country where they do this. Of course he rolled his eyes but the message might stick, as my mother's eventually did despite my best efforts to the contrary.

Much world does indeed remain.


Linque Du Jour:   Snoofmadrune

So many weblogs out there.. but this one is special.
It's written by an ex-Montrealer who lives in New York City.
He understands first hand both the Canadian and American perspectives and he's not afraid to use them.
Best of all - he agrees with me!



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