Yesterday, I had a delightful lunch with some new friends from my I Am A Triangle Columbus TriCONNECT group. Louise and Terri and I sat, talked, laughed and carried on for nearly two hours and it was as if we’d always known each other!
Afterwards, felt completely torn with conflicting emotions as I sat in the Jeep before heading back to our new home. On one hand, I was overjoyed by the fact that because of the Triangle community, less than two weeks in our new home city, I had FRIENDS! I now instantly have women who I can ring up or pop over to have lunch with and talk about all of our experiences and where we’ve been and what we’ve seen and … it was lovely. On the other hand, it made me remember again we seem to continue choosing to make decision where we have to say goodbye to our amazing tight-knit community of friends in the places we have left behind. I wanted to instead be back THERE and having lunch with THEM … not here.
As I sat, shivering a bit because winter is coming, and wishing I would quit getting so emotional about all of the things, I turned on the radio and hit scan. I haven’t set my new radio station presets yet, and I figured then was as good of a time as any to make one more “settle in” step. Quite ironically, Let It Matter by Johnnyswim, came on the radio.
In a recent interview about the background story to the song, one half of the JohnnySwim duo said:
“In a season of loss and tragedy a few years back, it often felt like there was an unspoken pressure to be OK and get back to normal. But grief doesn’t work that way. It’s not meant to. We had one friend who calmed the rush in us to feel better quickly. She said the best thing she learned when she had lost her father was to actually feel it. He was worth the sorrow and the longing, and it was her honor to grieve him. That was a healing thought to us and one that we haven’t let go of. We refer to ‘Let it Matter’ as ‘hope in a minor key’ because that’s what it has been to us, permission to hurt in order to heal.”
Sometimes moving from one experience to another, whether it be repatriating, moving abroad for the first time, or simply relocating in the same country from one location to another, can feel like a big, heavy moment with a lot of grief. Mind you, it isn’t the pain or tragedy of a death, and I don’t want to minimize that experience or process. However, when you put your all, your heart and soul into relationships and then choose to move away from the convenience of them (even though close relationships can still exist thanks to the internet, snail-mail and a good ole phone call), losing the in-person support, the awareness that your best friend is just ’round the corner or the likelihood you’ll see them around town is something that for me, has been something to come to terms with.
Just this morning, I spoke with a dear friend about the people we meet who are hardened and don’t get all emotional about their losses and experiences. We wondered a bit why we can’t be “more like them” so that it doesn’t feel so raw or hurtful. For me personally, I choose to “have all the feels” and live out my experiences, grief, celebration, sorrow and loneliness out in the open. I would rather choose emotions and vulnerability than strength, if that means holding it all in.
Let It Matter hit me at a spot where I needed to hear it. Leaving a community where we had been firmly entrenched, to start over yet again has felt like a huge loss for me personally, and I know for our children as well. Let it matter. Feel the feels, recognize the loss … and then perhaps, that is the part of the process that allows one to move from grief to celebration.
Let It Matter, lyrics (video at the end of the blog post)
I don’t want to feel better
I don’t want to feel good
I want to feel it hurt like losing someone should
I’m gonna let my heart break
I’m gonna let it burn
I’m gonna stake my claim with the flame I know it hurled
Run baby run
Don’t you know I’ve tried
But escape is a waste ain’t no use in hiding
you know the best way over’s through
So if it matters let it matter
If your heart’s breaking let it ache
Catch those pieces as they scatter
Know your hurt is not in vain
Don’t hide yourself from the horror
Hurt today here tomorrow
If it’s fragile and it shatters
Let it matter, let it matter
They say you know it ain’t easy
I wouldn’t want it to be
Cause ease is for the shallow
But we were from the deep
I don’t want no distractions
Don’t try to please me for one day
You are worth the joy my love,
you are worth the pain