As I sit in the local park on a bright autumn afternoon, I flash forward 40 years when I’m in my late 70s.
How might life be like for me at that point? The world might become brighter while illumination takes place within. I might be surrounded by people I adore, or immersed in the joy of solitude, or both. I might be running around with ease, or trapped in a stationary body, but free regardless.
How will my character have improved? I might be more accepting of the circumstances that life presents. Or perhaps I will challenge each situation with greater vigour and no risk of anything to lose.
Decades of loss as family and friends drop to the ground around me, as will be inevitable for me too. Like a phoenix rises from the ashes, I too can arise now, before much more time must come to pass.
So my wife’s been away on a retreat in India these 5 weeks and I was curious how I would feel about this temporary loss over time.
Friends have commented how I must be enjoying bachelor life while the wife’s away.
In the past, I have felt excited initially (at the prospect of doing what I want without distractions), followed by weeks of loneliness (even when surrounded by family, friends and colleagues) and sadness at the prospect of returning to an empty home. Outer distractions would quickly turn into inner distractions, such as procrastination. Distractions, mostly, from facing up to my inner blockers and vices.
This time, however, it was different. Yes I got immersed in work but also intentionally carved out quality time with close family and friends, and yes some time to binge watch Netflix (!) Most importantly, I actively confronted my inner challenges – calmly, confidently, joyfully.
Doing this has shone a light on what’s truly important, has helped me to clearly define and work on my priorities, and has created more space in my life to do that which is fulfilling and joyful.
This is work in progress, of course, but what an encouraging start.
This year we’ll be married 10 years – and it’s now I see how much I value Heena’s presence in my life. Her creative spirit, her compassionate heart.
Time apart has been as enriching as time together.
Do I worry about losing her? Not so much. Do I love her presence in my life? Absolutely. Would I want to be a bachelor again? No need.
Hello, it’s me again. I’ve been away for a while but realised how much I’ve missed writing on here.
So this is a short note to say hi, hope you are well and do drop me a note or tweet me @surajshah if there are any topics related to loss that you would like me to cover going forward.