‘You are not the same person I used to know.’
It was meant as a criticism, but I took it as a reminder of my human-ness. No one is the same person they were a year ago. We all change constantly. Sometimes we change togehter and sometimes we change separately. This one of the hardest things about ‘long-distance’ relationships. The change that each of us experience is significantly influenced by the people we regularly spend time with and the context or community in which we live. When that community is different or significantly different, it can be hard.
But even those we spend regular time with, we still need to attend daily ‘funerals’ of who they were. Perhaps they have lost some of their joy, their energy, their drive, their wonder, their grace, their job. Each loss is a type of funeral. The thing about funerals is that we can’t bring the person or thing back to life. Funerals are for those who remain. We can remember, honour, and cherish the one gone, but funerals are also about holding & cherishing those who remain. Similarly, when our friends, colleagues change and we remember who they were, perhaps more time should be embracing and cherish who they currently are.
In some ways, knowing someone for years or decades means we see them change and attend ‘thousands of funerals’ of who they were. But we also get to cherish ‘thousands of births’ of who they now are.
So yes, I am not the same person you used to know. Neither are you. And isn’t it wonderful?