The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.
When you experience a life shattering tragedy, as long as you live, tears and sadness are just moments away at any given time.
Even when you seem happy, almost believe you are happy.
It never leaves you, though you can be reasonable about it. . .work on channeling it and so forth.
It isn't as if people have an unlimited space to store sadness, you know?
Sometimes you might think of it. . .say in the middle of normal conversation, and you aren't sure where to go, what to say or what to do. You jumble the conversation and know. . . you failed.
You didn't keep it together. It didn't make sense, and you know folks do not understand.
As time moves on, you may be faced with inevitable, new tragedies, be they large or small. You may have guilt since these events are smaller than what happened before. You wonder how you can feel sad over small things when you have already been through so much more.
You struggle to forgive yourself for even being able to "feel' again. . .
During the aftermath of losing three siblings in fire and my father from 2007 to 2009, to say I searched my soul would be the understatement of a lifetime.
One of many questions that took some years for me to answer happened to be:
"After this, how can I ever care about anything else?"
What I know now, so many years later, is sadness builds up.
You feel, feel, feel. . .reach a point you can easily hold store nothing more. . .and find everything else cuts much deeper than it should because you can only be so full of sadness. There is no where to "hide" it all.
My capacity for despair is as full as it can be and has been for many years. No matter what else has come since those years of my life, large or small. I've felt them all fully and even more than before. More. Because there is no where left to tuck "that" moment or "another" experience.
They simply bounce in and then flow over. Where else do they go? There is no where else to store "more" sadness here.
Sadness is tangible, though we cannot hold it. If you leave with nothing else, leave with that piece of knowledge.
It exists in a way that takes up space. We do not seem to have infinite space that can store all of the the heartbreak we come across.
Previous Sadness doesn't empty out into space to make room for more without consequence.
The recent flooding reminds me of how compassion, empathy and sadness works.
There is a small and still voice that whispers to me when I hear or see horrors like this, "But you have lost so much more, Tinia, this is small compared to what you've seen before. . ." and I stop it.
How hateful and unfeeling.
That is no way to judge sadness. And in the end, it is only a small voice, and I do not truly think that way.
In 9 years, I have lost two younger brothers, my 19 year old sister, my father and grandfather, but when I dropped my phone in a pail of milk yesterday, I nearly cried.
I. Nearly. Cried.
Cried over a phone, over the cost to replace something I cannot afford to replace. . .BUT it can be replaced. Knowing that changed nothing. It made me sad, overwhelmed and there you have it.
How does a person who has lost more than half of her immediate family even care when a phone drops in a pail or a goat on her farm becomes ill?
The photos on it are with people you still have with you. Take them again. The phone is a machine. Save, and then buy another.
"Hush," I told myself. It is a phone. Things are things.
I have been angry that I went down the path where I decided what meant enough to be upset over, that I felt I had to draw such a line.
It varies person to person, but we all have a limit before the small things begin to carry more weight than makes sense.
Mine was passed a long time ago. It was full years ago. Maybe your's was, too.
Anything going in has to go somewhere. I cannot hold more.
It has to go out.
Cheeks. Blogs. Facebook. Conversations and sometimes areas that are darker.
Never marginalize it. . .even when black and white thought would do so.
Grief isn't black and white, and always,
Remember, it builds up, folks.