Standing Still

It’s been a year of change, and for me this has shown up as being the one who is left behind.

Shortly after my mother died in March, I learned that four unrelated close friends of mine are moving away. One moved three hours away, another back to Texas, and a third one, today, is leaving for Colorado. My fourth friend is still searching for somewhere out of the bay area to land, and I’m confident they will be gone by end of summer.

It happens to us all. Having been left, and having twice been the one leaving, I know it is harder to be left. The person departing is focused forward, on new adventures, on change (most often) of their own design. I know my friends will miss me. It’s just that I feel acutely, right now, how immobile I am. I don’t even necessarily want to move anywhere. It’s just that this pandemic has stopped everything.

My mother’s death still feels abstract. She was 3,000 miles away, and I couldn’t travel to bury her. My friend who is leaving today used to be part of my daily life, but the pandemic shut that down. We’ve still connected by text, Marco Polo, and a few socially distanced walks. The first two options remain.

It’s just hard to wave good-bye when I’m the one standing still.

So it’s time to be gentle, let myself feel sad, and important to not attach to the feeling and get stuck in this story. And maybe it’s time for a little chocolate.

2 thoughts on “Standing Still

  1. Robin Petro

    I so understand these sentiments. For 2 years now I’ve been the one leaving. Medical problems caused me to quit swimming with a group of people I really like. Two of my favorite people were in that swimming class. Every time I thought I’d get back, some ill wind blew me further away. Thank God for my husband. The most rewarding thing we do now is to locate a destination with a lovely view and bring a picnic. The best is on some land owned by a religious community of monks. We park out behind the main buildings and next to the sea wall. We watch the individuals trying to catch fish and wonder if they’re hungry. I always sing songs in Hebrew or Yiddish so my grandfather in heaven doesn’t have to worry what I’m doing there. So far the songs are working.

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