Home Everyday Life Hope; a casualty of loss

Hope; a casualty of loss

by admin

You’ve probably noticed I haven’t exactly been studious with my writing for the most part of this year. Apart from sharing hilarious memes, or poignant posts by others, I seem to have ground to a halt with my introspective articles on solo Dad life.

It’s not for the lack of material, God knows having a 12yr old daughter is enough to fill a 3 part tome on the dramatic rollercoaster that is solo parent life with pre-teen children.

It seems I have managed to engineer situations in several key areas of life, that are both promising yet unknown in outcome. Not that this is an uncommon experience in adulthood, without risk there is no reward. But for me, as I now understand, it is not as straight as forward as once was. This feeling, this state of being, is as now as frightening as it is exciting. And I have finally put my finger on it;

Hope.

Living in hope is a double edged sword. It can provide drive and determination to succeed. It can help through dark times. It can give you reason to forge on in the face of uncertainty. Yet it can also render you oblivious to reality. It can wash over truth and obscure intuition. It can become all consuming to the detriment of the present.

And I feel that has been my year so far, in limbo. In hope. In the future.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not naysaying hope. It truly is a wondrous thing that lifts, excites and emboldens. There is no greater place in one’s mind than that where anything is possible. Believe me, I have spent most of my life there! 😂

However,

For me, when Renee got sick, I spent 28 months living in eternal hope. First for the next year. Then for the next month, then a week, then a day. And finally I hoped for the next breath. All for nought. Hope was a harsh and cruel mistress in this case, and in retrospect, it truly was to the detriment of the present that I placed so much faith in it.

So I now find myself in a quandary. Do I dare to hope again? Do I dare ponder a future beyond the now? To what end will it serve me to hope? Or am I just jaded by one horrific experience?

It’s taken me over 5 years to reach a semblance of happiness, of contentment, of peace. I look back on this year so far, one where I have once again begun to hope, and can’t help but wonder if it has been time well spent. What am I forgoing to be in this limbo?

Is hope worth it?

If I were to only engage my rational brain, that shit would be shut down stat. But in quintessential human form, my heart leads the way and cannot be denied.

So for now I will dream my dreams. I will entertain the possibilities. I will permit hope to play. But I will not, cannot, allow anything to undermine this burgeoning contentment, this peace, that has taken so much of my will and fortitude to claw back from despair.

Hope is a form of anxiety, in that it relies on thought of the future to exist. And as the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu says;

If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past.
Of you’re anxious, you’re living in the future.
If your at peace, you’re living in the present.

Smart cookie. And I’ve had more than my share of the first two. ✌️

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3 comments

Suki V December 3, 2020 - 11:08 pm

Nice article. I wish you and yours a happy, safe Christmas. May 2021 be kind to you.

Reply
rachel December 3, 2020 - 11:31 pm

After my husband died I said to my children, probably through tears at the time, we were happy before and we will be happy again, and we will never feel guilty about that. I’m not known for saying the right thing all the time, but I reckon that was right up there. Hope is good, but contentment wins. All the best for the silly season.

Reply
Michelle December 4, 2020 - 11:18 am

My late husband Matt passed away coming up to six years at the end of January. And with two young kids 6 & 8 years, this week seems to have been rather tricky for no particular reason or significant anniversaries. So your article on Hope was exactly what I needed to read today. I’m looking forward to reading more of your comments if you have the strength to post them especially around Christmas Day and all of the emotions that come with this time of the year – Happiness and Sadness in such immeasurable amounts.

And your quote from Lao Tzu – made me laugh out loud and I did think it was particularly relevant for me. As part of Matt’s Cancer journey he spent some time in China studying martial arts, qigong and was a big fan of Lao Tzu….I have a massive artwork which he purchased and it became part of the fabric of our lives and was a prominent feature in each of our homes (not that it went with the rest of the style in any of our homes). The kids and I, now live in a small unit in Sydney but I have dusted it off and I will see if I can upload it….I have often wondered what to do with items like this…..

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