I’ve always thought through life on a grand scale – The excitement of positive possibilities. How magical it would be to have an amazing job, a beautiful home and grow old with a true love. I guess the problem with being a big dreamer, now that Clayton has passed away, is that with big dreams can come big heartache.
Maybe it’s my personality, maybe it’s me getting older, maybe its experiencing deep loss, probably a combination but I know my patience isn’t what it used to be. I’ve tried to go through life giving people the benefit of the doubt. Some would say that I give too much to others and I wouldn’t be as frustrated if I held back a bit but I can’t help it. I think the part that gets me the most is when others forget to do the math and add up the times I’ve shown up. I’ve learned I am a strong person, stronger than I ever knew, but being taken for granted is definitely my weakness. However, it’s my decision to show up so I can’t fault others for not meeting me half way. Some days, honestly, it feels like a lose-lose situation but it wouldn’t feel right to hold back trying my hardest. I just have to remind myself that it’s the authenticity in the trying that really matters not in the validation from people who choose to look past my effort. Clayton would certainly remind me to stay focused on the possibilities and not to waste time worrying. It’s a tough memory actually remembering hearing him say those words. If we only knew back then that he was speaking his own truth faster than we knew.
I catch myself feeling like I have a shorter fuse now that Clayton is gone. Where I’d hold on and look past what others said or did before, now I catch myself just walking away. You’d be amazed how many times in a week people who know you or what you’ve been through will forget it and say something insensitive. It’s an interesting view on this side of loss. I’m burdened and gifted all at once with this widowed perspective. Through this lens of loss I see many take for granted the things they have and the experiences they haven’t had to endure. When your life has little worries, they seem like big worries to you. I know because I used to live there.
I can’t push my perception on others yet require their benefit of the doubt. I can’t go through life demanding that everyone know and show empathy. My loss is one I wish no other would go through. I also can’t expect everyone to remember what myself, and others have experienced. The best I can do is openly share what many of us hold inside. No matter how much time passes parts of us stay broken.
On behalf of those who have suffered loss, I’ll just ask that anyone who reads these words try to walk through life giving others the benefit of bereavement…