Thursday, August 21, 2008

pretty packages.......

I love to read. My interests are eclectic but I do admit to being partial to fiction. I like the departure from reality, the ability to explore other worlds with only an active imagination packed in my suitcase. The trick is to always remember that fiction does not mirror life. Matters of the heart are always wrapped up in pretty packages in well written fiction. Tragedies and heartache are handled in a finite manner. The heroine goes to Scotland to grieve over a lost love. After a three week journey (accompanied by the requisite new found hunk) the grief is magically cast aside and life is good again.

In reality, most businesses and employers will allow workers a finite number of days off to address issues of death and loss. The expectation is that upon return, the worker is ready to move on. When I lost my mother, my employer was very generous in giving me time to "grieve". I took two weeks off of work and spent all of that time trying deal with my emotions. While it's true that the time off gave me an opportunity to catch my breath and get a grip on reality, I know now that the grief did not have a finite edge to it. It is now a year later and I spent this morning crying as though the loss had taken place yesterday. It lessens for greater periods of time but it can sneak up on me with a fierceness that lets me know it's never far away.

Unlike works of fiction, our emotions can't be wrapped up in pretty packages to be placed on a shelf and forgotten as we move on to the next event. Our experiences are instead interwoven and help to shape our future relationships. Not a gaily wrapped box, but a tapestry, incomplete until our own time is ended. (I love the album "Tapestry" by Carole King!)

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