There are people who can (or maybe they must) ignore it, avoid the pain and sorrow and tragedy in the world. You know the type, they turn their heads and avert their eyes. Perhaps it's selfishness, perhaps it's self-preservation, it doesn't really matter. The point is that they manage to insulate themselves, one way or another, from the negative emotional bits of human existence. I am not one of those people, even when I try.
But I used to be.
And as much as I can understand the need to bury ones face in one's hands when bad things are happening, I also understand the end result of that, which is self pity. Self pity because you can ignore the pain of other people, but when you choose not to acknowledge their pain, you also tend to miss seeing the good, and all that is left to see at all is your own pain. You begin to dwell on it. Then, having not seen anyone else's pain for so long, you begin to believe that you're the only one hurting, and you fold in on yourself, holding your own pain dear, like a prized possession.
Like I did when I lost Alexis.
But today, I was out doing mundane things, making purchases I could ill afford, and the sun was sweltering, heat index 104, feeling miserable, cruising across the expanse of asphalt that is the mall parking lot. And there in the median, swaying in the waves of heat as they rose from the ground, were the most beautiful plants with vivid purple foliage, and beside them were variegated purple and green plants with feathery 'appendages' (for lack of a better word) that seemed to float above the plant itself, and they were just gorgeous.
I know that a year ago I'd have never even seen them, because I'd chosen, years before, to close my eyes to the world around me and steep in my grief. But Nova has taught me better, opened my eyes to the beautiful contrasts in a world full of pain and happiness. For that, I am so grateful.
Of course it hurts, it makes me do things like continually visit the blogs and photographs from the Middle East. They leave a metallic aftertaste - all those stories and pictures, all those injured and dead and terrified people. They sit like sulfur in my chest.
But it is a lesson that has enabled me to do, to even attempt, so much in the CHD community and with the Heart Walk. Seems he was a much wiser person than I, an old soul with a lesson to teach and a penchant for teaching (and touching) so, thank you Nova. I miss you terribly, and I love you - always.