– Author unknown

It seems as if much of what I’ve been watching recently touches on the theme of loss. The passing of someone close, the pain of lost love, the disappointment of an unreached goal and so on. It is a credit to a show, play, song or other creative expression when it can draw you into the drama and evoke an emotional response. Even though the people, and happenings that aren’t real.

Although, in some ways, they are. As they’re often based on, or inspired by, something that has actually happened. Using themes and realities of the everyday, storying the tapestry of life, with it’s often messy reverse side. Complexly interwoven with joy, sadness, success, failure, celebration, mourning…

I think it is that, which taps into, and touches on our emotions. Sometimes providing a cathartic outlet, for an as yet, unexpressed feeling. Sometimes touching a spot, one was previously unaware of.

Living overseas, sometimes thousands of miles from your home/passport country, you inevitably miss out on a lot. The good stuff, and the not so good stuff. You can sometimes have to compartmentalise, or not fully engage with the news from ‘home’. Not because you don’t care. But because you have to weigh up both how much you can actually do from so far away, and how much you can bear from so far away. This is quite a natural response, and can occur sub-consciously. I think it’s your mind’s way of navigating the everyday. Something we all do. There might just be some added dynamics, the further away you are/live.

The challenge can be, that you may actually be suppressing the loss, and delaying the grief. Stocking up your emotional basement. Which will, eventually, reach capacity.

So is it better to just engage straight away? The reality is you may not be able to. Practically, or emotionally.

For example, back in July when I heard that my cousin had passed, I was in another country, in the middle of a training session, taking place in a cramped room with no easy or discrete exit, and with more than an hour to go. I was staying in someone’s house, a new friend, so couldn’t quite be anti-social. Then went from there to a 5-day conference, where though I had my own room, the schedule was pretty packed, with solitary escape doable, but not quite acceptable. I also wasn’t certain, that if I gave myself a moment to truly cry, that the dam wouldn’t burst. This wasn’t the first loss of recent times, there’s been a few.

However, you must make the time, so that you can. And as soon as you can. Delaying, though possibly necessary in the moment, can be damaging in the long run.