A note on loss, love and a mindful life

The ideas and viewpoints expressed in the posts on the Ideas and Creations blog are solely the view of the author(s). Luther College's mission statement calls us to "embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community," and to be "enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another, by the exchange of ideas, and by the life of faith and learning." Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college are encouraged to express their views, model "good disagreement" and engage in respectful dialogue.

Change, while inevitable, never truly gets easier. We mourn as sun turns to snow and summer to school, and miss those no longer here. 

I know my sophomore year will prove to be a challenging one. Between my parents being away on sabbatical for a year and my boyfriend abroad for the semester, I find it easy to sit around and watch the clock tick and wait for the world to turn, anxiously awaiting the return of my people. 

As I was watching the clock tick, wishing time would pass a little faster, a schoolmate died unexpectedly. There’s no denying our entire campus felt the grip of this tragedy on our hearts— that much was clear in the packed remembrance ceremony the day we got the news. We watched in pain as Bjorn's friends, teammates and fraternity brothers mourned. Even those who did not know him, such as myself, could not escape the mark he left on his people and our campus. Moved by the compassion of our community, I vowed after the initial remembrance ceremony to lead a more mindful, grateful life. I vowed to not sit around, brood and watch the clock tick, because our short lives are so very precious indeed. Yet, within a matter of days, I let loneliness and sadness consume me again, and waited for the world to turn. 

Less than a week later, as I was wishing the world would turn a little faster, a friend died. The heart of my closest friend (from a shared bout of inpatient treatment) failed her in an impersonal hospital bed. It never occurred to me during my own treatment that eating disorders could kill people I know. I knew they could kill strangers, but I always felt my friends and I had some sort of impenetrable power of life nothing could destroy. My own power for life came with time and ongoing recovery. She felt hers lay in the disorder she could not abandon as easily as myself and our other friends had. In her honor, I once again found myself vowing to lead a life I wouldn’t take for granted, and to not spend my days waiting for time to pass. This time, after giving myself unapologetic time to grieve, I began to put my promise into action, one day, one hour, one second at a time. 

I wish it hadn't taken a twofold tragedy to wake me up from the stagnant life I feel I have been leading so far this semester. I will it daily to have been anything besides the lives of two people to remind myself how beautiful a life of the mindful can be. If I was all-powerful, I would issue a campus, nay, worldwide plea to fiercely love your loved ones and to never, not for one second, wish your life would go a little faster.

Luther College: Take a breath, say a prayer, hug a friend, go outside. Throw away a ticking clock and let the world turn exactly as it wishes.

{ Return to Ideas and Creations for more posts. }

Comments

  • September 21 2016 at 9:24 pm
    Guy Nave

    Thank you.

  • September 22 2016 at 6:17 am
    Tabita Green

    I read this again this morning and oh, it's so beautiful. It demonstrates well the power of writing to process grief and loss, find beauty and love, and inspire those around you. I know you'll make good use of this strategy for the rest of your life. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • September 22 2016 at 9:07 am
    Wanda Deifelt

    These are beautiful words and thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  • September 22 2016 at 11:06 am
    Paul Peña, '86
    Condolences for your losses and praises for your insights gained from them. Gratitude for your sharing them with us.

Add a comment

The following fields are not to be filled out. Skip to Submit Button.
(This is here to trap robots. Don't put any text here.)
(This is here to trap robots. Don't put any text here.)
(This is here to trap robots. Don't put any text here.)