Monday, February 11, 2019

RECAP -- LOSS SYMBOLS -- REMEMBERING



RECAP

I skipped a week writing here as some may have noticed.  I simply wasn’t in the mood to write though numerous topics crossed my mind to expound on during that time.  

     The government, our leader and political shenanigans are beyond commentary here, falling into an almost surreal dimension.   There do now seem to be a few courageous adult statespersons among those we pay to govern for the best interest of ordinary citizens who are actually attempting to do so.  Time will tell.      

     The Super Bowl I previously wrote about continued to have decreased television viewership  according to the Nielsen rating service -- signifying what -- I’m not sure -- if anything -- for the popularity of professional football.   

      Meanwhile, the white-capped mountains behind my home appear to have been dusted by a  celestial sifter covering them with snow to an extensive degree I’ve rarely seen here. At our lower elevation we’ve been receiving one rainstorm after another interrupted by an occasional cloud separation allowing the sun to burst through, sometimes even for a day or two. This pattern will continue through the coming week, more closely resembling our typical winter weather.   We’re delighted since this could mean the end of our drought conditions.   

     Unfortunately, further inland the Midwestern states. especially those around our Great Lakes, are being subjected to really cold temperatures, ice and snow, much like Antarctica as my family member informs me.   Also, one of our Michigan blogger buddies has had power outages from severe freezing temperatures, ice on power lines causing other adverse living conditions at her home affecting water lines, indoor appliances, as she was able to briefly describe – click on link above.    

* *  *
CONSIDER.....LOSS SYMBOLIZES MUCH.....REMEMBERING  

One recurring thought has formulated as a consequence of so many memories fluttering through my mind some nights/mornings before sleep arrives.   On those occasions I find suddenly it’s morning, causing me to arise later in the day in order to get adequate sleep hours, but this upsets my day’s routine.   Perhaps expressing thoughts here will put to rest some of those, generally, gentle pleasurable nighttime, but involuntary mental reminiscences.  They’re  partially brought on by numerous unanticipated losses in recent years narrowing the number of my close intimates remaining among the living. 

I’ve begun to realize there’s more meaning to my feelings of loss than just for the individual than I might have thought would occur.    Others  coping with losses, too, might prefer focusing on different topics, but this is my reality which I’ve been unable to ignore as my 2019 posts  may reflect --  perhaps by writing I can lessen some of my late-night thoughts. 

I’ve been prompted by various events or information I’ve received to engage in some checking on some friends from whom I’ve not had contact for some time.   Searching the Internet, also for various city newspapers can reveal some answers.   In one instance, ways in which to contact one friend have become unusually more complicated, since how we’ve always communicated is suddenly no longer viable.  So, I still await learning more about her status.  

Unfortunately, I sadly just learned another friend died -- last fall.   Perhaps her adult children didn’t have a password to her email account to know of our contact all these years, thus to let me know.    But, a holiday letter I wrote this year was not returned, so maybe it’s been forwarded to the adult children I’ve never met and they will yet contact me.    If not, at least finding her obituary on the Internet, I now know my friend’s status. 

I typically don’t leave comments on those Internet public obituary sites – writing those intimate, sometimes humorous private little personal notes I might want to share only with family.   I did write a blog tribute without naming my last life-long friend who died a couple years ago, but letting her family know.   Her younger sister was delightedly pleased to learn from my blog some of the activities in which we engaged when young – including that we were on a dance team foursome together.   

The loss I recognize feeling now, I’ve come to realize encompasses far more for me than the sense of just being associated with the increasing number of my intimates departing life in recent years.   These most recent friends are the last living individuals who were part of my community in that city where I had so many significant experiences both personally, and where I began my intended TV broadcasting career as a young single woman, then later my early married life.   

Each of several preceding years one friend or another died, culminating now with everyone gone from there except for the remaining uncertainty about one friend’s s status.   There’s no one left who remembers “when” ... with whom so much was shared that no one else would know .... a strange awareness there’s no one left with whom to exchange memories -- almost like losing part of my life! 

I’ve come to realize this also seems like a separation from this particular city and state – a place symbolizing so much significance in my life – that absent these friends presence, no longer would I have that sense of returning home there.   In fact, with no one left in that state of my birth, except a couple distant relatives with whom contact long ago ended,  I’m left feeling quite separated. 

These feelings aren’t  overwhelming by any means, or depressing – they just are – perhaps a melancholy -- an aspect of my life long taken for granted that is ceasing to exist.    Never had it occurred to me such a severance  would ever become true.  In a way we lose bits and pieces of ourselves little by little and ultimately our bodies follow.  

No doubt some of you may have had similar feelings attached to your own experiences with particular people, places and life – losses of one type or another resulting in your being the only one left to remember.


20 comments:

  1. Mostly I've never kept in touch with old workmates, so I've no idea whether they're still in the land of the living. But I have fond memories of them all and experiences we shared. It's a sad fact that as we get older, many friends and acquaintances die and we're left only with memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve never kept in contact with most workmates either, though sometimes personal friends shared current information. Yes, that loss as we age is predictable, but somehow I guess I gave no thought to the possibility these friends wouldn’t stick around as long as I did — so inconsiderate of them — and a selfishly motivated expectation of mine. *smile* (they would smile, too).

      Delete
  2. My husband, a few years older than I, is going through similar. He got an email from a high school friend who had visited the star football player who now had Parkinson's disease and is unrecognizable as well as mentally departing this earth. It happens to us all, but when we see it approaching by touching those we know, it can be so close like the breath of some beast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be saddening news. Only in recent years have I even had contact with a few from our small high school class, but we’ve learned of many others death.

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry for your loss(es).

    Especially disconcerting, I've found, is the loss of a friend long-distance. You suddenly, jarringly, find out that someone is simply gone forever, and you cannot really cope in the same way as you can when it is a person that you have seen regularly, shared time with, and perhaps been able to more gradually accept that a loss was coming.

    This has happened to me several times, and it's a very empty grief.

    Again, I'm sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the distant friends no matter how frequently we may have had contact through letter, internet and phone as we had, is never quite the same as seeing each other in person. There might be a flurry of contacts, then gaps depending on life activities, with the irregular pattern ebbing and flowing, but ultimately one or the other of us inquired about the other — at the very latest at the holidays. Through these years, not hearing earlier we assumed life was busy — knowing we’d catch up later. Perhaps we’ve reached an age when such an assumption might warrant questioning.

      Delete
  4. So sorry to read this Joared and I can deeply relate. I have lost far too many dear ones, mainly in the last 5 years, like you say, it's like body parts being knocked off, no one to share the experiences with. I have one dear friend with dementia but all our history has vanished and I dare not bring it up as it upsets and confuses her. We communicate via text which I taught her and she can scroll backwards through our chit-chat which I keep light and current and uncomplicated. But we had a deep history which I alone now carry.

    It's tough, isn't it?

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have pinpointed my feelings exactly. The status of one friend remains uncertain with possible other unrelated-to-her-situation complications — she would have shared all with me if she was able as we had joked about so much with defiant dark humor, but were realistic regarding this aging process.

      Delete
  5. It is almost the penalty for long life, losing our friends and family and being the one left. I only have a few long time friends left, one a friend from the 2nd grade. We were like sisters and though seldom lived in the same state, we kept in touch for over 70 years. Now she visits me here for 2 weeks out of the year. I try not to think of the day when there will be just one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penalty for living a long life is an interesting way to describe the situation. Glad you can enjoy your long time friend.

      Delete
  6. The line that perks my interest is "absent these friends presence, no longer would I have that sense of returning home there" - I started thinking of the places I've lived and thinking which would I even consider home? That typically revolved around only 2 places - Pueblo, Colorado and Hayward, California. I was born in Pueblo and was 9 when we moved to California. Any friend I had in Pueblo was simply an ear;ychildhood friend and with so much time having elapsed I doubt any friends would even remember me. Hayward is a different story -I spent my formitive years there, met my late wife there and I still have syr5ong attach,ments there. Given that difference, I have often wondered why Pueblo is still a place I consider home. Whenever asked where I am from Pueblo is first backed up by Morthern California. When I hear California Bloodlines by John Stewart or San Francisco by Scott McKenzie or Rocky Mountain High by John Denver there sre significant tugs at my heartstrings. The loss of friends from NorCalis tough I suppose because those were my formative years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting to think about where and why we consider a place home. Can see why NorCal feels like home to you. Hope friends there continue to thrive.

      Delete
  7. I can identify with many of the things you wrote about. The other we get, the more of our old life is gone---friends, places and that sense of understanding the world---the more lonely it gets.

    Thanks for the shout out above. I'm just today starting to get my life back to normal after the ice storm and power finally came back. Had to replace everything in my freezer and refrigerator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironic in freezing weather losing freezer and refrigerator contents. Not a welcome expense. Sounds like water pipes thawed okay, or not frozen and your auto antifreeze adequate. Hope that’s the worst for this winter.

      Delete
  8. Two friends of mine died in November. I was surprised to see their ages, 85 and 78, in their obituaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about the loss of your friends.

      Delete
  9. The last couple of years has been a series of losses for me too and particularly difficult have been that of my younger brother and one cousin to whom I was very close. At my age, I accept that increasingly this will be the case and I have to learn to keep moving on.

    If on the one hand such memories and losses affect me, on the other visits to friends, relatives and visits to me by relatives have a balancing effect. As I write this, my nephew, his wife and two delightful little children have come to visit me for a few days and it is a very refreshing experience to have little children running around and seeking attention.

    That is life. I also find inspiration to write about some of the experiences like the recent one when a long absent friends came back into my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s lovely that others have come back into your life. Young children do often bring a special joy, too.

      Delete
  10. My In-Laws who lived into their 90s said the hardest part for them was having so many friends and relatives who had already died. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would agree, family and friends numbers decrease more than I ever imagined happening. Also, I’ve realized as I mentioned here, much more is encompassed than loss of the individuals.

      Delete