Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In Which People Always Leave

So I'm 41, as has already been mentioned, and it seems like by now I'd have had enough life experience with love and loss to not be as affected/effected (can someone please for once and for all teach me how to do that properly!) by it.  Unfortunately it seems to be one of those things that doesn't go away with age and experience.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that it gets worse. 
When you're a kid, you are born with a family and you soon start making friends, and you just kind of assume that things will stay just as they are forever.  That your mom and dad will always be there, that your next door neighbor will be your best friend for life, that your grandparents will always be around, etc...  Then you get a little older, and your grandparents start dying of horrible illnesses, or you move across town and you lose touch with your best friend, or your mom dies suddenly and there's nothing you can do to stop it.  Or, as in my case, all of the above.  (On a happy side note, SOMETIMES, 25 years later you find your old bff on facebook and get reaquainted, and that's nice!)  But it's a sad, sad fact of life that you don't get to "keep" people, no matter how much you love them, for various and assorted reasons, and you must always be prepared for the fact that someone you care about and is central to your universe today might disappear completely from your life tomorrow, leaving a big, gaping hole in your world. 
There's all different kinds of leaving, and they all suck.  There's the death one, which of course is indescribably horrible,  and I used to think it was the worst way to lose a person from your life, but I've discovered that is wrong.
The WORST way, from my own experience, anyhow, is when you lose someone because they turn their back on our beliefs.  When someone you love is out there, living and breathing, but they can't be a part of your life anymore, THAT is the worst.  I have googled my own relatives to find out what they're up to.  I've made packets of pictures that I want to send, and then not sent them.  I've written letters I never mailed.  I've sat with my mouse hovering over the "buy now" button on websites where a loved one's art was on sale, but didn't push it.  Just the unbearable longing to have a connection with someone who has broken that connection through their own choices.  Man, that's miserable. 
Even when you lose someone for a GOOD reason, it still hurts.  If, say, your  brother or a very good friend of yours goes to serve at Bethel.  You know, on one hand, that it's a good thing, even maybe a great thing.  But selfishly, it's still a loss.  When a Simon & Garfunkel song comes on the radio and you're being Garfunkel but you have no one to be Simon, it still stinks, no matter WHY they're not there.  And when something is funny at the meeting and you instinctively look around to make a face at the person you always used to make faces with, but they aren't there, it's a bad feeling, no matter the reason.  You're SUPPOSED to be all encouraging and supportive and say "What you're doing is great!"  and "Keep it up!" When what you really want to say is "I WANT MY PERSON BACK, DADGUMMIT!" 
And so, although some of the people I'm thinking of will never read this at all, I just want to say a little something to each of the people I'm thinking of that I miss and have a hole in my life about right now, and if they happen to read it, they will know exactly who they are. 
I miss braiding your insanely beautiful hair in teensy little braids to make yiggy-yoggies.
I miss calling you Tiny Squatchie and hearing your squeaky little voice.
I miss you mooning me and watching you eat a case of clementines all at once.
I miss watching your nostrils flare and you barely bump your teeth up and down on food you can't stand.
I miss being out in service with you and trying not to scream when the mouse was running around your bible study's living room.
They have that stupid phrase, I don't know who made it up, "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."  I think it's better to have loved and kept! Somebody ought to put that on a bumper sticker!


  1. Cause and Effect, vs. Affection. Use affect when it's an emotion or feelings involved, effect when it's a result of something. Does that help? Probably not :)
    Now that I've got that out of the way: I know how you feel. With my mom being well and alive but DF'd since I was 14, so spiritually dead and unknown by me and my children. It really SUCKS. It's hard to keep back that jealous urge to wish my mom were dead but had remained spiritually faithful. I miss her with all my heart. But I have to keep emotionally hardened or else I WILL send that stack of pictures and letters that have been collecting dust that I so badly want to send but wont. Or I will pick up that phone and call and ask all the questions a daughter needs to ask her mother, things that only a daughter and her mother can talk about, things that only a mother can say to help you through your own children's birth and the years of raising them that come afterwards. Or I will go to her house just to hug her one more time, to make jokes and laugh the way we did so well, our sense of humor is so similar. But I don't even think she knows that, she doesn't know me at all and the woman that I have become. My how I miss her. It's terribly unfair to ever have to lose someone you love in any way, shape, or form. I also lost my best friend in death just months before Alex was born. Also incredibly sad and difficult to deal with even now, even though I KNOW I'll see her again.

    You've struck a cord with me on this one! Sorry to get so wordy. Just trying to say I know how you feel. At least we can still call and write those that are still here, but are far away! Even if we do just want to stick them in our pocket and keep them forever!

    1. You made me cry! Yeah, that's why I said I've realized death is not the worst form of separation. Knowing I can't talk to my mother because it's impossible is a lot easier to handle than knowing you can't talk to your mom because she CHOSE to live a life that would make it where you couldn't talk to her. That's the absolute worst. I'm so sorry! Especially when you're having babies and stuff, that's when you really need your Mommy. Glad you have Marlan!

  2. Affect is the verb, effect is the noun. The blog AFFECTED me deeply, because I too know the EFFECT of losing someone both ways, from death and from turning back on truth. I am fortunate enough to still have my mom, I can't imagine what you two go thru with that. But my best friend/cousin stopped doing anything about the truth along time ago. For years I refused to give up on her getting reactivated, but in recent years it has been clear that she has turned her back on Jehovah, celebrates the holidays, and even though she isn't "disfellowshipped" she might as well be. In fact out 2 of my bridesmaids and 2 of David's groomsmen no longer serve Jehovah, and 3 of those 4 are family members, making it even harder. And then another of my bridesmaids moved way away to NY, and another one and I just, well, we are almost like strangers to each other. And 3 months after Isabella was born, my ever faithful, good friend and field service partner died so suddenly that I feel like I never got a chance to tell her how much she meant to me. I totally agree with you that it all STINKS

    1. Geez, I'm gonna have to quit reading the comments on here today cuz everyone's making me cry! Lol!

  3. Let me make you feel better then. I hope you will continue writing your blog - you are a natural. Love reading it.

  4. Well this all made me cry. and i hate to cry!!!!

  5. Argh. I was going to do the affect/effect definition for you, but Paige got it. (And what you really need is for your daughter to show you, for once and for all, how to open a second window in your screen so you can check for all your definition and word usage needs.)

    Then I got to the tiny squatchie part.

    Yeah, losing people hurts. And losing people because they leave Jehovah is worst of all. Knowing that they've turned their backs on the one who truly gave them life, knowing that they are out there, somewhere, I can't reach them...

    You've watched me cycle through this fight for years. I'll sob myself silly over my lost children, then force myself to get up and get so insanely busy I can't possibly think about them.

    Then I look at their photos on Facebook. Or go through their artwork at home. And fall apart, wishing I could call/email/jump in the car and go down there.

    But don't. Because being faithful to Jehovah means more to me than holding my own beloved children in my arms.

    The New System will be valuable because not only will we not lose people to death, and a simple DEPARTURE will mean nothing, as TIME loses it's power to hurt you when you have all eternity to spend (see you next millenium, dear! Have a great trip!)...but more importantly, there won't be a situation where people can turn their backs on Jehovah with relative impunity for a time. They will either be...or not be.

    Of course, there are many people we hope will BE. But they have to choose to be.

    Not gonna cry. Not gonna do it.

    Rats. Did. Now to figure out how to stop the tide.

    1. Well, join the club. Seems to be what we're all doing today! I wonder, if these people knew the depth of the pain they've caused, would it matter?