I just realized it.
I kind of caught myself by surprise.
I decided to be super efficient and write all my stories in advance, which I do often. But this time, to make them suit where I was at the time. That’s how I wrote the ‘storyzines’ that went out while I was away on vacation.
So, ‘Home Sweet Home’, that posted last week, was written 3 weeks earlier and I realize now that I was projecting what I thought I would feel when I was visiting Ireland.
Here’s the thing though, the reality was quite different.
And now…it feels like a big fat lie…
It was exactly a week ago.
I found myself in Dublin, in the graveyard where 4 generations of my family are buried. Including my father. First, I went to his. It’s been almost 20 years and yet feels like yesterday. Sad.
Then I started to walk around looking for my grandparents, friends of the family and others.
Suddenly, I felt the weight of a lost world heavily on my shoulders. I began to cry.
My boys just faded into the background while I mourned the loss of my childhood community, the whole world I lived in that doesn’t really exist any more – certainly no for me.
And it didn’t feel like a story, no, not at all.
Last week I wrote:
“…that familiar old missing….again.
Missing my first home, missing my freedom, missing all the people who had left my life for various reasons, missing a sense of security.
And it was all a story.
Seriously, just a story.”
I realize that telling myself or anyone else that something is ‘just a story’ – as if it’s not important, as if it didn’t really matter, as if it’s somehow less than something else, well that’s just unfair and untrue.
Memories, nostalgia, sadness is real, as real as any moment in time or sentiment. And it should be respected.
The story deserves to be told, it deserves the space to live as long as it is alive. The story should always be told and never dismissed – no matter how painful, sad or old. The story is a reality that has a life and should not be buried because it’s uncomfortable or painful.
The sadness of my lost world that I discovered in the graveyard last week has not entirely left me.
And so I return to my life, my work, my world and I see that this sadness is a truth I have discovered that I don’t need to run from. Perhaps it is now a little mixed with the sadness of a lovely experience that has already become a memory – a rare and precious time spent with loved ones, exploring beautiful places, experiencing different ways of living.
And what I’m left with is the realization that while I was busy lying last week, I didn’t notice how my oldest son, who never met his grandfather, cried at his graveside. Wondering how strange it is to be sad and mourn someone who died years before he was born.
I didn’t notice that the rain stopped while we were there. The sun came out, we opened our rain jackets and linked arms as we walked away… another generation, connected.
Please share this story with someone you feel connected to.