Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm 32

I'm 32 and I'm looking for you.
Every nook and every crate,
Night and until the morning dew.

I'm 32, back then I knew I found you.
Not even searching
But then again onto my doorstep you flew.

Before I was 32, I have found you.
Met so many..
But none of them was close to being you.

Before I was 32, I had you.
I was happy with the life I had
And planned on sharing more with you.

Before I was 32, you had me, and I had you.
I've never loved anyone
As much as I loved you.

Before I turned 32, I somehow saw I don't know you
Anymore; the way I used to.
Somehow, you didn't seem to know me anymore, too.

Shortly before turning 32, I lost you.
Broke my heart to pieces
As I lost myself too.

Close to being 32, I knew I already lost you.
As time flew,
I know, I could never have you. Anymore.

And here I am, almost 32,
I find myself out there
Still looking...... for someone like you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The girl in the red hat....

... touched my life in a way that I least expected.

She was just passing by
And wanted a place to stay.
She said it'll only be for awhile
She would go and I, on both our individual ways.

I did not realize
Nor completely fathom
As the days passed,
We were both all around the city and doing a roam.

I started to see again,
The world through her eyes.

Why, such short a stay,
And a stranger she is,
Moved me this way?

Time passed and she had to go,
We bade our goodbyes and well-wishes
And I waved to the girl with the red hat.
Went back to my home, back to a quiet flat.

I wonder, for someone I barely knew,
Why am I enveloped with a certain sense
of sadness, of loss?

Slowly dawning in my head,
She reminded of what I was,
What I dreamed of,
What I had hoped to be,
When I was of her youth.

She reminded me,
Of what I was.
What I loved about life
And living.

She reminded me of that part of myself
I have lost
As I started living in this world.

The girl in the red hat.
I'll never be the same again after that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

O heart..

I've been going through a roller-coaster of emotions since Thursday last week. What was so significant about last Thursday that sparked such a reaction from me? It was my ex's birthday.

Every year, I never miss greeting him on his birthday, Christmas, and New Year. At first, I was hopeful he'd reply back especially during Christmases. But then again, last year, I decided to stop. For this year, I also did not greet him on his day. Not anymore. I did this to show that we're cool, after all that's said and done, we're cool, I'm cool and we can remain civil still.

I knew he had moved on and was in another relationship. My reaction upon seeing his picture together with his new girlfriend was something that surprised me. I thought I'd be cool with it; thought that I'm completely over him. Then why did I feel this way?

He seemed happy, and for that I am glad. It saddened me, because it made me remember the times I spent with him, good and bad, and how I promised him and myself that I will be him as we face more good and bad times in our lives, together. I had dreams: of being there for him as he finished law school, on attending his graduation and passing the bar; getting married with him in a garden in the presence of our immediate family and closest friends; choosing furnitures and fixing our apartment or house and making it a home we could call our own; building a life with him and eventually build a family, have 2-3 kids, and raise and nurture them together, read our beloved books, watch movies, listen to music and talk about these and whatever catches our fancy. I have already pictured our life together and I promised in my heart that I will love him until the end of our days. And even in our next life, I said I'd find him still.

Then he left me.

Now, I don't know where my heart is.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Loss That Is Not a Loss - Part 2

Prolonged singleness can seem like the magic of being sawn in half without obvious wound.

It is like a cut that hurts but does not bleed. It is like falling from a great height without only internal injuries. Prolonged singleness is a loss that is not a loss, and thus it is a pain that we are not allowed to feel or mourn.

Here, in the ‘tween’ time, we who are single must face the difficult task of resting and hoping, of contentment tinged with dissatisfaction. What seeks to unearth us is the uncertainty of our situation. Life seems to involve few answers and a multitude of questions. We stand on a Rock that is Christ but our fears, howling with the wind, cry out:

“Will I ever be married (again)?”

“Does God WANT me to marry?”

“Is God punishing me for my past?”

“Should I wait for so-and-so or should I move on?”

“Should I just settle for anyone?”

“Are my standards too high?”

“Am I already too old?”

And the most brutal of all …“What’s wrong with me?”

The questions are the seeds of frustration that only deepen over time. Time marches on, and we battle not only the loss of hope but also the loss of “what might have been.” Because, to marry now is almost certainly to never have a marriage of fifty or forty or thirty years in which memories on memories are stacked and stowed away for rainy days.

It means never having the husband or wife of our youth because our youth is behind us. It means giving up some dreams like children of our own. It is a loss as any loss and perhaps more perplexing for its very ambiguity—it is a loss that is not a loss.

It does not count as a loss because it cannot be tallied, cannot be weighed, cannot be measured, scanned, or sorted and yet it is real. Somewhere in the heart of each of us the future is as real as the present and the past. We each live life purposed towards things that are as yet—not REAL! For those living in prolonged singleness, each year seems to steal from a storehouse of hopes and dreams of what might have been.

Ambiguous loss stems from the uncertainty of the loss, the uncertainty that accompanies a traumatic event that has no closure. Pauline Boss, the author of Ambiguous Loss, wrote, “Most people need the concrete experience of seeing the body of a loved one who has died because it makes the loss real” (26). It seems that our dreams have died but where is the body? We have no closure because, while we live, hope still exists.

The single suffers a real dying of sorts, a real hoped for life that, in dying, must be mourned. But it is the ambiguity of the situation that makes this process so difficult. We dare not be premature in making the funeral arrangements. We dare not prepare the eulogy while hope exists. Yet life is lived perilously if it is lived in the in-between—in that gap between what is real and what is hoped for.

The hard thing is to move on, to accept with joy the place in which life finds us, and to accept that God is still with us, still blessing us. But being told to “move on” feels like giving up and I cannot give up while my desire exists. “Move on” feels like surrender and I am a fighter. But what if “moving on” meant finishing the race in whatever state God gives me—even with a limp? What if it means running alone and hoping another committed soul joins me along the way? This I can do. This I am doing.

There are greater truths than the burden of our singleness. Even the married must reconcile the demise of dreams and come to stand on that which is certain. If we seek relationships for love there is the ultimate love of God. If we seek relationships for companionship, then there is the extended family of God. If we seek relationships for children, then there are the orphans of the world. But each of these, while good, is no substitute for the real longing. What our heart craves cannot be dismissed, masked, or replaced but perhaps we can learn to live and thrive even in the midst of the loss.

Boss wrote, “The uncertainty prevents people from adjusting to the ambiguity of their loss by reorganizing the roles and rules of their relationships. …” Not knowing whether we will be married tomorrow, next year, or ever, can paralyze. We must reorganize the roles and rules of our relationships in order that our hunger does not make us ravenous wolves. But the uncertainty leaves us confused. We must reorganize the roles and rules of our relationships so that, as singles, we return to our sense of worth in living.

I do not like to think that I “bear the burden of singleness” as though it were a scar or a curse. Rather, I walk the path of singleness. My role in the community, in life, is determined by the call from God to love Him, love my neighbor, and to consider others as better than myself. While these are the qualities that make a good husband, that make a good wife, I pursue them because they benefit me as a single—because they are good.

My relationships are not determined by my singleness. I do not approach every woman, first, on the basis of her availability but under the command to “love one another.” I do not reject the company of those who are not “possibilities.” I am not immune but I define my relationships on the basis of the greater love in Christ and build friendships because they are worth their weight in gold.

Given the sorrow I sometimes feel, I take God’s promise to heart. With all the years gone by and the feeling that my spring has turned to summer, and summer to winter, I cling to His words, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm” (Joel 2:25). The longing can seem like a swarm sometimes. Yet we cannot live for what might be tomorrow. We don’t know His mind completely. We know only that He loves us and will bless us. What form that blessing will take we are not told. What we have is today; a today filled with flowers, and rainbows, waterfalls, kittens, and so many people in need of love.

Today’s certainty is found in the one who is pure of heart, who calls us saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

I am weary but cannot relinquish hope. I am burdened and long for rest. So, I will go to Him and sit quietly near Him; my tears wetting his feet. My comfort is knowing that He is, “gentle and humble in heart.” There I will find rest for my weary soul. Of this I am certain for He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).

A Loss That Is Not a Loss - Part 1 by Hudson Russell Davis Contributing Writer

Something I read from a friend's facebook account and wanted to share on this page:

I sing songs when I am lonely, and I cry when it hurts. Yet that which plagues me, my specter, is ephemeral—it lacks substance, lacks shape, and lacks form.

It is a shadow; a longing and expectation fueled by desire and sustained by hope. It makes it difficult for me to explain my sorrow to those who would comfort me in a way that they understand. I mourn a loss that is not a loss—an ambiguous loss.

Psychologists use the term “ambiguous loss” to explain the sorrow all human beings experience in the face of traumatic circumstances and it is everywhere. The mother whose son has been kidnapped pleads with the kidnappers, “Just tell me if my boy is alright!” Ambiguous loss! In New Orleans, they buried the last unclaimed body from Hurricane Katrina on the third anniversary of that disaster and somewhere a family wonders if their loved one is still alive. Ambiguous loss!

The book, Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live With Unresolved Grief, has been a balm to my soul. Just seeing the title I thought, “That’s it! Finally what I feel has a name. Finally the pain of singleness has some describable grounding.” The single, too, must learn to live with unresolved grief. The chapters made sense for the single life: “Frozen Grief,” “Leaving Without Goodbye,” “Goodbye Without Leaving,” “Mixed Emotions,” “Ups and Downs,” “The Turning Point,” “Making Sense of Ambiguity,” and finally “The Benefit of a Doubt.”

“Frozen Grief” describes a situation in which the loss is unnamed or unnamable. It describes a situation in which the mind considers whether it is right or whether it is time to mourn? “Goodbye Without Leaving” explains the confused sorrow we face when a loved one slips slowly away due to illness or—old age. That person is there, but not there. “Mixed Emotions” correspond to being content but not satisfied. The others are somewhat self-explanatory. All these fall under the heading “ambiguous loss”—a loss that is not a loss and thus difficult to mourn.

For the single, ambiguous loss takes the form of longing for a person who is not there and a family that does not (as yet) exist. The divorced single must face both the longing for what might be and the sorrow of what might have been. Both share the sorrow that is not only difficult to define but difficult to resolve, a loss that is difficult to mourn—a loss that is not a loss.

As with the wife of the soldier who is MIA, singles struggle to keep hope alive, to dream and to keep from growing cynical in the process of waiting. Singles also struggle because, while rejoicing with those who rejoice, they must constantly wonder why their dreams and hopes remain unfulfilled. Growing older, they mourn as though something has escaped their grasp. And yet, because marriage is still possible, because hope still exists, they cannot really say goodbye, cannot really give up or mourn the loss as a loss. It is a loss that is not a loss. Which makes hope a struggle and a proper goodbye—impossible.

There are two reasons, the book suggests, why ambiguous loss is so devastating to a person’s well-being. First: “Perceiving loved ones as present when they are physically gone, or perceiving them as gone when they are physically present, can make people feel helpless and thus more prone to depression, anxiety” (7). Secondly: “The uncertainty prevents people from adjusting to the ambiguity of their loss by reorganizing the roles and rules of their relationships…” This is compounded, the author adds, because “meaningful connections can’t happen if people in the community never validate and ambiguous loss as a traumatic loss” (79).

The first point is true because “the loss is confusing” and because the uncertainty is baffling. The ambiguity paralyzes. We are unable to make sense of the situation. We can’t problem-solve because we do not know whether the problem (the loss) “is final or temporary” (7).

The single, called to “prepare for marriage,” must perceive “loved ones as present” though in reality they are not. So the woman who has, for years, walked the aisle in her head can smell the roses on the pews and hear the wedding march in her ears. Marriage is as real to her as the air she breathes. She can hardly differentiate the possibilities that have been lost to time from what never was. Having never been married, she feels like a widow. How is she to mourn what has never been and who will listen without rebuke?

The man who longs to play ball with his son or know the comfort of his little girl’s arms works as though he is already supporting his family. He saves and plans and prepares and approaches despair at the thought that, for all his responsible planning, he may leave it all to someone other than his posterity. He may not have visualized his wedding but neither did he imagine he would be alone for so long.

There are mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, mourning children they hoped for by now to have spoiled rotten. We are not alone in our fears of growing old alone. Our parents, too, want to see us cared for and they, too, know the baffling sorrow of ambiguous loss.

All must find a way to store these desires without burying them; to nurture them without allowing them to become household gods—idols. There is an inexplicable loss that is not a loss. There is a sorrow that seems unfounded and yet it is a real sorrow and a real loss—an ambiguous loss that must be mourned.

There are many ways to cope with ambiguous loss but trying to master the confusion, attempting to harness the wind, will lead to disaster and certain depression. Our enemy is not flesh and blood that we cannot throw it to the ground and beat it into submission. Neither can we, by the power of our will, reason it away. For now this confused longing and loss is something we must live with and even thrive within.

“Be still and know that I am God,” means simply, “If you know that I am God you will cease your struggle.” He is God. Let us be still. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” BECAUSE OF THIS “we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

“He lifts his voice, the earth melts.”

“The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

“Come and see the works of the LORD … He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth …” and He will make the wars within us to cease.

Our comfort in the midst of ambiguity is the certainty that God sees our need and is concerned. “Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psa. 121:4). BECAUSE OF THIS—we can be still. “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psa. 46). In this there is no ambiguity.