Last night when it was dark and I was listening to Billie Holiday sing the blues, I read my sister Elizabeth’s Facebook post, “19 years ago today I had to say goodbye to my angel, my soul mate. Polly, I think about you every day and I will love you forever! I know we will see each other again... someday.” Within a very few minutes I was seized in grief. Probably not the best time to listen to Billie Holiday.
I posted my feelings, in the moment, on Facebook, though I try to avoid becoming too personal with people I don’t really know. Then I reached out to my niece Ariel who was also online. I vented, I may have spoken inelegantly, but she listened and comforted me. Then I closed down my computer and continued to listen as the lady sang the blues.
Slowly, I regained my composure and wiped the tears from my cheeks. Eventually, Violet came downstairs and I told her what had happened. She held me in her arms as we sat quietly. Finally, we watched a little TV and went to bed.
This morning I opened Facebook and realized that thousands of people had responded to my post. There were expressions of support and sorrow that took my breath away. Ariel left a message that spoke to my heart as she had never done before. Somehow, my life suddenly felt validated.
I don’t know most of the people on Facebook who reached out to me, but their motivations were pure, good, and provided relief. My sister reminded me of the significance of a very difficult day and the importance of unconditional love, my niece was there to offer comfort during a difficult moment, and my wife held me when I felt isolated.
Life is good.