Grief: Existential & Otherwise

2018-07-01 - For Post made on this date

Yesterday I participated in a Families Belong Together demonstration in Lancaster, California.  I did it for me!  I needed to connect with others, and I didn’t have the energy to make the trip to Los Angeles to participate in the larger one.  I was grateful to find a local demonstration.

There were maybe as many as 100 of us.  Most were middle aged or older.  I suppose the younger ones were either in Los Angeles for the larger demonstration or at work.  We were a subdued group — too subdued for the intent of this event — maybe because we are older or maybe because we are becoming exhausted with the ongoing drama of Trump’s administration and the consistent level of trauma it engenders.

I’m struggling.  I am at risk of being paralyzed by a grief that threatens to become clinical depression.  Brain fog has taken over again along with fatigue and low energy.  I have to force myself to do ordinary, everyday activities of living.  I have to remind myself that ‘joy’ is a discipline that can be practiced in the midst of suffering — my own and others.

I struggle with deciding where to focus my attention.  I am tempted to discount my own, very real grief because others have bigger troubles.  And yet, if I fail to have compassion for my own suffering, I risk losing compassion for others.  I need to find some balance here, and I’ struggling with that.  I am sure that I am not alone in feeling the way I do.

Much of my grief is personal.  Where once my solitary life was welcome, — or, at least, manageable — my aging body makes it more of a problem.  Solitude too often shifts into loneliness.  I grieve my own loneliness.  I cannot fault anyone but myself for this circumstance.

I’d hoped that participating in the Families Belong Together demonstration would help me find some balance.  It didn’t.  I’m still confused.  I had other city errands to complete after the demonstration ended.  The brain fog and sadness continued.

Today I’ve made an effort to return to a regular ‘practice.’  As part of that effort I did the qigong workout that I’d discontinued while I was working on the series of articles on the medial personality.  I wept during the first part of that workout.  I suppose I needed to do that.

I’m not sure how much of what I feel is my own and how much is a resonance with the suffering in the world around me.  There is a stillness in my body that I associate with deep grief.  I don’t know why I am alive.  I suppose I don’t need to know the ‘why’ of my life.  That I am still in a body is sufficient evidence that there is some purpose for me to fulfill.