Friday, September 13, 2013

Amor Fati: Love of Fate

This post has been sitting in my "drafts" folder for over a year. I remember writing it after a friend's grandmother passed away, and wasn't quite ready to put it out there at the time. Whenever we hear that someone we know has lost someone it affects us, and lately I've had this on my mind.  In college I lost a very close friend, and it was one of the most difficult situations I had been faced with.  I had been very fortunate, and had really only experienced death as a child when my grandmother and great aunt passed away.  I thought I was completely unprepared to deal with this unexpected tragedy.  But I wasn't.  I can't pinpoint the exact moment I started thinking that there could be something positive found in every situation we encounter, but it was at this time in my life that I started believing it without any doubt.  And, if I hadn't I don't know how I would have navigated the year that followed my friend's death.  More than a few people find it strange that such a terrible event could result in solidifying such a belief, but it is during the most painful times in life that our beliefs and faith are really tested, and if they do not hold up what are we left with?  Finding something, anything, regardless of how small it might be, that positively influenced my life when my friend died was what allowed me to keep moving forward, not give up, and eventually accept what had happened.  I still feel sad whenever this person comes to mind, but it is a sadness I can live with.  The overwhelming unforgivingness that I've seen so many people carry around for years or even their entire life was something I was eventually able to let go of.  The idea that we can allow ourselves to look for something positive, something learned, some growth that came as a result of loss is not welcomed by all.

I also realized how terribly our society deals with death sometimes.  From the moment someone dies until the day of the funeral anything is acceptable, but after that we are often expected to have gotten control of ourselves and moved on.  But really, the process hasn't even started.  Many people don't like to think about death, and aren't capable of supporting someone who's lost a loved one simply because they are unable to just listen.  In the month's following my friend's death, I realized that most of the offers of support from people in my life had expired.  They couldn't talk about it because they were moving on (or so they believed) and even those who didn't know him personally wanted to forget the entire situation had ever happened.  What is moving on anyways?  We don't need to move on.  Years later you can still carry around memories of that person, as long as you can find a way to live with the emotions they will inevitably bring up.

"As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. The key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger and attachment, fear and suspicion. While love and compassion, a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness."  -Dalai Lama

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