I have been wracking my brain to come up with something positive and upbeat for this week’s post, but I’m just not feeling it.

Several people in my life have lost loved ones this past week – everyone from a father, nephew, husbands and daughter. It hurts them to have to let go of someone they’ve loved for decades and didn’t want to lose – as if anyone is ever ready. It hurts me to know they’re in pain. I sit here at my computer, wondering about their upcoming journeys and the resilience each will need to bring order to his or her disrupted life and build a new existence. There are family and friends who can advise on the house, the paperwork and the innumerable chores related to death. There’s no one, no one, who can prescribe what has to happen emotionally, or how the survivor fills his or her time.

I have written before about family and friends who unexpectedly and generously cared for me after Rick passed away. New friends emerged as well.  Some couples seemed to drop me from their social circles, relegating me to women-only events.  Other couples reached out to schedule time with me – providing stimulating conversation, mirth and warm connections. Girlfriends have enticed me to attend events that I would have skipped, giving us time to laugh, share confidences and even dance.  In speaking with other widows I understand these relationship changes are common.

There’s a cycle to life and there’s often a cycle to friendships. As I have rebuilt my life, expanding my activities and developing my writing skills, I recognize that I am a different woman from a year ago.  Transforming my life means some friendships just end, or at very least, diminish.  That happened this past week, and it hurts – a lot. While I intellectually understand why these things happen, the little girl in me weeps.

As time goes by, I find my upward emotional trajectories usually exceed my downward spirals. Just over a week ago I was with family, feeling cherished and on a high.  This past week, however, I’ve swung lower than expected.  Stasis will return.

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