“I hope you are doing OK, that’s about the best you can hope for. You are still trying to recover from Jane’s death and Robert…too much, too soon.”

That note arrived by email not too long ago. I broke down upon reading it, because it was a relief to have someone put into words exactly what I couldn’t articulate for myself.

The “someone” is my Aunt Jan. THAT aunt. The in-law. The one no one ever said anything bad about. Then again, no one ever said anything good about either.

I don’t recall how I found myself visiting her and my uncle a few years back, but I remember walking away thinking, “Man, my Aunt Jan really f-ing rocks!” I think of her now as my soul-sister. It’s not hard. We have a lot in common, particularly where it concerns the spirit world. Whenever she comes to mind, either the phone rings and it’s her, or I get an email, such as the one from the other day.

In the past four years I’ve lost a sister, a brother and now a mother. Somewhere in between all that, a childhood friend passed away. And just recently, a girlfriend from Nashville—someone who was dear to me—because at the time that we were neighbors, she helped take the edge off my new mother nerves.

The losses have all been beyond difficult, but losing a mother is a tough one, especially when you come from a family like mine. Because you don’t just get to lose a mom, you come face to face with the uglier dynamics that sometimes exist within a family. A terrible energy that embeds itself in the genes and expresses itself outwardly. A mutation that I’ve tried my hardest not to replicate with my own family, yet nevertheless, it appears I’ve failed at this ideal in too many ways.

My Aunt Jan is right, it’s too much, too soon, and I’ve lost my creative because of it. But I’ll keep pushing myself to express, because at the end of the day, I still know what I know.

That talk is the path out of misery. Numbing your emotions brings no escape. Creating a secure foundation for family to thrive upon is difficult to achieve, but is worth trying for. Promises without action are worthless. Meaningful relationships require tough conversations. Living passionately is the only way to live. Fighting against your true nature creates anxiety …

And, the biggie—there’s no way around a problem except straight through it.

Here’s to all of you who needed to feel heard today. To feel solidarity with another human. If that’s you, may this post reach your heart. And enough to know that you are not alone.

The photo: Some of my flock, before they flew the nest.

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