For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
T. S. Eliot.

I like lists. Lists of things to do. Lists of things done. Lists of things that make me happy. List of things I want to release. Lists of promises to make to myself and lists of unapologetic grief.

My List for End of 2016

  1. In January I had a nervous breakdown. I spent the next four months just trying to stay alive.
  2. My grief shifted and changed. The first half of the year was all about losing my son and my father, and then it gradually shifted to grieving for the entire world.
  3. I was blindsided more than once. My mental health issues blindsided me. My lack of employment blindsided me. My excruciatingly slow recovery blindsided me. My lack of focus, motivation, and energy blindsided me. The election blindsided me. The country blindsided me. My anger blindsided me. And always, always the grief.
  4. I used books as an escape. I read 53.
  5. I stopped writing… for there were no words and no energy to find them.
  6. I started singing again. In May there was the Verdi Requiem, a piece that filled my heart with joy and healed big parts of me. In the fall I started singing at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
  7. I met a new circle of powerful women’s voices that continue to influence and inspire me daily.
  8. I got to spend a lot of time with my granddaughter and we have formed a strong bond. I love that girl like air and water.
  9. My kids are doing great. They’ve all had a year of incredible growth and adjustment to being three kids instead of four. I am exceptionally proud of each of them as I watch them navigate their own lives.
  10. I worked for a poet for a while. He was angry and bigoted and mean and crazy. I lasted 5 weeks. Good lesson.
  11. I love caring for Carolyn. I find joy and grounding and peace. Sisters are the greatest gift.
  12. We lost so many wonderful people this year. It is true of every year, it just seemed to hit me harder.
  13. Grief is cumulative.
  14. I fear for the future of our country, and I am angry that we elected Trump. I am still formulating my plan on how I am going to cope with his presidency, but I’m going to try to let him have as little power over my feelings as possible. I don’t want to give him any more power than he already has.
  15. I got three sinus infections this year. Yes, likely uncried tears.
  16. Family is everything. Got to spend time with all the sisters and Nina and time with Kjarsti and three trips to Phoenix.
  17. Tarot baby. Just beginning. Still waiting for the magic to happen.
  18. I wanted Bernie. Still do.
  19. I went to a peace rally with Carolyn. Black lives matter.
  20. I tried running. Stopped. Body thanked me.
  21. I just want to get my mojo back.
  22. I practiced meditation, patience, sleeping, thinking, and living.
  23. I need more practice.
  24. January 1 is just another day, but centuries of humans giving it so much energy have created a kind of gateway that we all must pass through. It’s just another day. Every day is a gateway.
  25. And at the end of it all I think I’ve learned how to hold two opposites at the same time: grief and joy, hope and fear, love and disgust, faith and despondency, achievement and sloth. I leave this year with gratitude, glad that is done, and ready to speak tomorrow’s language.