Have you ever noticed that society trends towards encouraging us to bottle up everything neatly and tuck it onto the shelf, next to the thyme and rosemary? When was the last time you told someone the truth when they asked how you were doing? We tie up our feelings and thoughts in these neat little bundles, to be deal with later – always pushing them off, to an unknown later date.
Today – I feel sad. I woke up feeling sad. This often leads to an uneasy day, because it’s difficult to reconcile the general sad feeling. I feel as if I should be able to pinpoint exactly what was (and still is) making me feel the way I do, but it’s day like this where that reason is elusive and hard to find. It’s something that I’m trying to come to terms with – you are not required to always know how you feel. It is okay to feel something, and not be able to back it up with logic, with a solid sketch of exactly why you feel that way.
I went to the store in hopes that getting out of the house for a few minutes would provide some clarity, and hopefully make me feel better (I was also on the hunt for bananas, which, let’s face it, would help anyone feel better). As I wandered a bit aimlessly through the grocery aisles, there was still no moment of clarity as to why I had been feeling so down all day. I wandered on, eventually heading out and getting back into my Hyundai to make the short drive home. As I pulled out of the parking lot, it hit me like a ton of freaking bricks – I was missing somebody. The emotion was strong enough to make my eyes sting with the tears I’d been avoiding crying all day. As I blinked them back, I felt a familiar tug on my heart, and realized that I hadn’t thought about my brother in some time.
I drove slowly, thinking about the ways he used to make me laugh, and the times when he would show up unexpectedly – or when he would do something a little bit out of character and it would surprise me – a secret smile shared between us as we caught each other’s eyes. I couldn’t help thinking about what I would say to him if I could talk to him today – about what he would say to me, about what he would think. I tried to frame the decisions I’ve made so far in his eyes… and failed miserably. See, that’s the thing – the thing that makes it so hard – the wondering. What would he think of me today? Would he approve of the decisions I’ve made? Would he be proud of me? Where would I be if he was still here? So many unknowns, so many x’s and y’s in an unsolvable calculus problem.
I miss him. Terribly. And that’s okay – it’s okay to miss someone you love or have loved. Love leaves a powerful mark on the human soul – it fades, after time, but it doesn’t ever go away.
If you find yourself missing someone – stop. Take a moment. Take a few moments. Breathe. Reminisce. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to pound your steering wheel in frustration that whomever you are missing is not there with you.