It all started last weekend when we went to see Barry Manilow.
I was thrilled to get to see him again - and with an orchestra yet! - but our seats were lousy (as far as WE were concerned they were............especially since we're not used to being anywhere further back than the 10th row........), and as we listened, it dawned on me that neither Barry nor I seem to be getting any younger. I then started reminiscing over the past 9-10 years.......
.......and that started the building of my cocoon.
Two events occurred that kept my cocoon building going strong.
I learned early Saturday that my coworker, Rachel, lost her 16 year old daughter, Hannah, to a senseless auto accident on Friday night. In just that quick of an instant, multiple lives were changed as 1 life was lost and another still hangs in the balance. I cannot IMAGINE anything worse than a parent losing a child............... no matter how old the parent and child. I still am having difficulty wrapping my brain around the senselessness of it all, and while I work in a field in which I try to help others come to grips with death, I find I am going to be absolutely speechless tonight when I pay my respects at the visitation. There are simply no words that will bring Rachel any comfort. I hope my hug will say it all. The cocoon grew bigger.
I had learned that some very good friends are preparing to move to Colorado. We offered to help over the weekend with some house cleaning duties in preparation for their house to be put up for sale........and when I walked into the house on Sunday and saw things being packed, it made me realize that this move is really going to occur, and that our friends will be almost across an entire continent away from us. Those cocoon fibers grew more dense and tighter.
As I prepared to stay in my cocoon of melancholy and hide myself from the world , my own kids/son-in-law/granddaughter came to the house yesterday for a cookout as a Labor Day-We-Missed-SIL's Birthday celebration. I had a very difficult time letting them all go. I wanted to wrap them all in bubble wrap, and make the world leave them all alone..........just as I wanted to stay in my cocoon, safe from all the "stuff".
However, the reality of it all is that the world is what it is. Accidents happen. Lives are changed. We learn. We grow. We mourn. We celebrate. We support. We encourage. We work. We play. We say goodbyes in many different ways. And somewhere through it all, we emerge, as a butterfly does from the cocoon spun by the caterpillar, changed and better, and perhaps just a bit more beautiful for the experience.
So, very oddly enough, this morning as I was thinking about what lies ahead, the fibers of my cocoon started to fray. In the midst of all the sadness, all the craziness, and all the uncertainty, the comfortable confines I had so carefully constructed started to let daylight in! My work schedule is going to be crazy. I'm headed to the funeral home to support Rachel. I have a to-do list a mile long. I have no idea what lies ahead.......and I generally have very little control over anything or anyone but myself. My cocoon was built of many different fibers, some of which could have kept me cloistered for a very long time. However, as I thought about Hannah, as I thought about those friends moving to Colorado, as I thought about this life and this journey on which it takes us, I realized that, while cocoons have a purpose, they are not built to last.
Today, this butterfly is emerging totally different than she was 2 weeks ago. The wings will need strengthened a bit..........and the flight may end up pretty erratic at times...............and the cocoon may need to be temporarily resurrected sometimes.........
hange did happen..........and the butterfly is now free.