Felicity wrote those words in an email discussing the sadness of old friends passing away.
Mourning is hard and sad and lonely. But times of celebration with others build our emotional strength, build our emotional reservoir, and build our community of support. Sharing moments of joy builds the relationships that we need to share moments of sorrow. It lets other people model patterns of life, patterns of responding to existence. It reveals the internal worlds of those around us. Joy, as much as sorrow, cuts open the geode and shows the arrangement of things inside.
These words particularly struck me as I consider the bulk of my friends.
We don’t always have the expected societal points of celebration from my parents’ generation (wedding, birth of children, anniversaries of those events, buying houses).
Instead I seek other achievements and moments to celebrate
- new job
- obscure historical events.
Instead I seek fun things to do
- gin club
- Shakespeare readings
- movie viewing and discussion
- picnics and cocktails by the river
- hot chocolate overlooking Brisbane.
Safe people. Recently we held dinner with friends. Some of us physically sick, some heartsore, some exhausted. But we knew the gathering would be full of safe people. A space of fun and friendship. At times one of us would duck off for a quick nap or some alone time. We listened well to the joy and the sorrow of recent events. We attempted the 50 states game again (Missouri!). By celebrating various times together we have build a community where our emotional strength and resilience grows.