Likewise, I have come to realize that the degree of surreality increases over time, unless there are reminders that bring it all back as if it just happened.
Certainly. stumbling upon one of those triggers that drags the reality from the surreality, is a mixed bag of experience. Grief becomes more acute. The sense of loss looms large. The trauma of the past reenters as a present crisis. It is like having the whole thing happening again.
Nonetheless, it is in these re-experiences--just like the first time around--that some healing may occur. Each time we are forced to relive the past we are given the possibility that a piece of it will become less jarring, less over-powering, less chaotic. I suppose that is what is meant in the old saying that "time heals."
I knew something was awry within me, about me at age 4. I lost an aunt at age 8. I almost lost my life at age 18. I lost some sense of innocence at age 22. I lost an aunt at age 8. I lost a father at age 43. I lost a mother at age 52. I lost a sister at age 56. I lost a beloved canine companion at 64. And, here I am at age 65 having another episode of undoing the surreality of it all.
The timing, somehow, feels right--it is winter and the week that the season of Lent begins. Each year I find that winter, Memorial Day weekend, and Labor Day weekend all have a way of bringing things to a pinnacle of broken-ness awareness. Thus, the ashes of this coming Wednesday--marking the entrance of yet another Lent--will be an outward and visible reality of dying surreality. Ash Wednesday is the remembrance of from dust we have come, to dust we shall return--the human always and fully becomes tomorrow's humus.
Perhaps this time around I may find myself on the other side of Easter with more healing. Maybe all the losses and crises will emerge real enough again to have another round of chiseling the bonds and shackles that bind the arms and legs of my soul.
Whatever. I will take what I get in the hope that memories become more compromised with comfort, that the past becomes more aligned with remembering the blessings that have come my way, and that nightmares become more infrequent and surmountable.
And, as always: Blessed is God and blessed is God's Kin-Dom, now and forevermore.