“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
What’s that you say Mrs. Robinson
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.”
People in our life come and go all the time. Sometimes we learn a lesson from the experience yet we should forever try to seek out that lesson for it does continually exist – always. I am thinking a lot about the people who are no longer in my life – some living – some deceased. Some by their choosing – some by mine. Some I am sad about – others not so much. Some may be permanently gone to me (the ones living I mean) – others I hope that is not so. And for them in particular there is a titanic void. I am sure you feel it as well in your own life. There are people who were once in your life – a vital, active and fulfilling part of your existence who you may have counted on for companionship, for laughs, for love, for guidance or nurturing and who were just beautifully there when needed or not. We want them back. We yearn for that – time will tell how that future will unfold. For some of those souls absent, it is our choice to repair the damaged relationship. And for others, we mindfully await their awakening and accept that it is their decision – not ours to make.
The experience with my late father had a bit of everything. Abandoned by him as a teenager, I had no decision in the anguish I felt. As I grew older, matured – to a degree – I still felt that it was his choices hardening the bitterness and the decades old estrangement until I finally figured out something entirely different and only months before he left this life. Are there any relationships that you can think of where you might be able to reframe the animosity and take some personal responsibility for it?
I am not here to preach anything to you. I try to understand more and more each day – for me. I want to learn why some people have left my particular piece of this beautiful world and what if anything can I do about it. Because the more I learn, the better I can cope with disappointments, other heartbreaks and avoid the negative spiral of emotions that can accompany such thoughts. It is purely for the self that I do this.
“You may think that in life, a lot of things happen to you along the way. The truth is, in life, you happen to a lot of things along the way.”
Dr. Shad Helmstetter
With my father and others, I have come to accept my role in outcomes, negative and positive ones alike. We can constantly play victim, pigheadedly doubling down on our errors, or “person-up” and acknowledge the impermanence of life’s ride. What role does judgment have in all of this? Well, I think that is for us to answer individually to genuinely gauge the impact of that destructive thought process. It took a brutally honest self-appraisal for me that resulted in reconciliation with my father only months before that opportunity was lost to me forever, and the closure, which I achieved, would have forever been absent in my life had I procrastinated any longer or felt forever the victim. The gifts I receive from this experience continue every day despite his passing eighteen months ago.
But I can’t end on that note. Dwelling on what is no longer is neither productive nor helpful to me. To those who have more recently entered or re-entered my life – I have deep and eternal gratitude. You saw me as I have never been seen before. I think however one person was able to see me first – and that was me.