Loss comes in many forms. I got a late night call from my daughter this week to tell me her long-time friend Michael had taken his life. I had an intense maternal need to wrap my arms around my baby girl to protect her from the tidal wave of grief that swept over us both. I could feel the emotional aftermath that was hitting all who knew this talented and brilliant young man.
As I tried to make sense of it all, I rewatched Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on creative genius. She talks of the fear of being a creative person and being undone by those gifts. We know when we have seen the artist who is lit from within, when they give a performance that is transcendent. When we have this experience, we see a glimpse of the divine.
Those who knew Michael saw his transcendent gift as we watched his hands fly over the piano keys when he played. Perhaps the burden of that gift was too difficult for him to bear.
The universe has been whispering to me of the seasons of life. While Gilbert’s TED Talk spoke to my intellect, it was listening to Joni Mitchell’s song, The Circle Game that unleashed the tears.
My daughter is looking at a spring college graduation, just as her friend Michael was. A year from now she will probably be living in a far off city. While I want to hold her close to me, it is my job to encourage her to fly.
We can’t stop the seasons from going round and round. Pain and tragedy are part of living a full life. As a parent I hope I have given my daughter the tools she needs to enter her new adult life and the inner strength to sustain her in difficult times.
We leave our gifts with the world no matter how long we walk upon it. My week ended with a baby’s christening, a life just starting, full of promise and possibility, blessed by the universe.
The seasons they will continue.
Continue reading this post on Connie McLeod’s blog, My Creative Journey