A few evenings ago, I was getting my steps in at the park, listening to The Best of James Taylor on my bluetooth ear buds. Twilight is my favorite time of day and I found myself in the best mood I’d been in for weeks … until I sat down to rest and found myself crying. For some months now, that’s how it’s been. Life has been Bittersweet, that odd mix of joy and sorrow that manages to feel good and bad at the same time. Now I have some friends that tell me nothing is innately good or bad, that it’s my thinking that makes them positive or negative. Sorry friends … I don’t buy it. If something feels bad, it’s bad.

I’ve wondered if finding life Bittersweet is a normal part of being 75. After all, I remember my Dad, who was never a crier, tearing up fairly often when he was in his seventies. Old age certainly brings with it a sense that many of the things that brought us joy are behind us and we find ourselves smiling at the memories while sad that they are gone. In spite of gratitude for the mostly good life I’ve had, it’s apparent that there are fewer years ahead than behind. And the memory of friends departed … both human and feline … brings smiles and tears. Bittersweet.

For years, I avoided sadness like the plague, choosing to be angry about life’s misfortune’s instead of sad. If you know anything about psychiatrist Edith Kubler-Ross’ stages of grieving, you know that I was simply trapping myself in stage two, never completing the grieving process. But the years on the way to seventy-five have taught me something … sorrow opens hearts, making us compassionate as no other emotion can. But only if we express it, let it out by being vulnerable. People experiencing sorrow can find a connection to others not possible through any other emotion. So I call a friend who’s been through similar sorrows. I share in the Hurting Section in my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting. Or maybe I just put some sad songs on the CD player and have a cry in the park. I don’t like sadness any more than I used to but I know that in some incomprehensible way, it’s good for me.  How odd is that?

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3 Comments on “Bittersweet”

  1. Bittersweet, indeed.
    It takes years to realize that dark and grey is necessary to make you appreciate the times of light.
    The human body responds to sadness with internal chemicals – so after what my ancient grandmother said (“wallowing in the misery”), a person does feel better.
    Life is made up of so many types of times – grab them all.

  2. bluestempond Says:

    I think you are becoming a better and better person as you age.

  3. LeeAnn Says:

    Yep, bittersweet…wisdom aligns.

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