This past week has stamped 2016 with more universal loss. The year has been a test of our collective capacity to mourn and persevere. The deaths of many beloved people who touched the lives of millions impact each of us and we each process loss in our own unique manner. Our social media avenues provide us with a new found vehicle of connectivity that offers us what we need most during grief: community. There is a deep sense of universality, that everyone, near and far, is experiencing the loss and there is solace in this kinship. At the same time, the media we engage in moves rapidly and new stories wash away the hours old and we are left with ourselves and our experiences.
We can effectively harness our experiences and the associated feelings and thoughts and move forward with meaning by being and becoming aware and insightful. This practice is fluid and as we travel into 2017 we tether our 2016 experiences with us because we can’t leave them behind. Our shared losses of 2016 oblige us to integrate them rather than abandon them. Integrate means to bring together as a whole, unite, and combine. Individually, this becomes our daily task. Acquiescing to our emotional lives to whatever degree appropriate sustains our awareness and insight. It’s like keeping a nightlight on in the bathroom just in the case you can’t see too well in the middle of the night. You know the way but sometimes the darkness encompasses our senses.
So, we ring in a new year with grief and hope, sadness and delight, pain and comfort because the art of losing isn’t hard to master.