Life Goes On

  In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on. — Robert Frost

This week, my entire family fell like dominoes. My daughter and I started feeling sick, aches, sniffles and fever persisted for a few days for both of us. While we were recovering, my mom and my husband succumbed to the same virus. At one point, each one of us, laid in bed, unable to move because we were too sick to do anything.

The entire house was quiet. But the noise of the outside world creeped on. I heard cars moving about on the streets, people slamming doors, and the cries of children coming home from school. Noticing the forced quiet in our house, while contrasting it with the noise from outside, I was struck by this single thought: life goes on. Our cars stayed in the garage, the front door didn’t open or close, and our home phone probably rang once during the week. But the rest of the world, it was moving on, with or without us.

My daughter missed four days of school, but the classroom still carried on without her. The same moms who climbed in and out of there cars waved to each other, even though I wasn’t there. Runners lined the street in the morning jogging on the gravel, even though I wasn’t there to run behind them.

I realize what we were feeling was temporary. We eventually would be able to participate in our normal life soon. But  it really made me think how all of us carry on, despite what happens in and around and to us.

I thought of Robert Frost and why he articulated the words, that “it goes on.” In his life, he was plagued by extreme grief and loss.When Frost was only eleven, he lost his father and his family had only eight dollars to their name. Years later, at age twenty-six, he lost his mother to cancer. His sister also was committed to a mental hospital where he witnessed her death at a young age. Robert Frost and his wife Elinor endured tragic deaths of their children: his son Elliot died of cholera at age eight; his daughter Carol committed suicide at age thirty-eight;  and his daughters Marjorie and Elinor both died young. Later in life, his wife was stricken with breast cancer and also died.

Whether trivial or tragic, there are no exceptions. Life goes on.

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Do you sometimes wonder how people carry on despite what they experience? How does life go on for you? Why do you believe life goes on? 

21 Comments

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21 responses to “Life Goes On

  1. Wow–I didn’t know that Frost had such a loss-laden life. I wonder how he endured. I don’t think I would have been able to bear it.

  2. Sometimes life is so difficult we think we can’t go on, but whether or not we seem to go on it continues all around us. I didn’t know that Frost had endured such loss.

  3. I wondered that when my world fell a part. The whole world continued on, walking past me, talking to friends and neighbors, business meetings continued, chores didn’t wait, and I wanted to throw up my hands and yell, “My whole world is falling a part. Why aren’t you noticing?”

    Nothing stops. Not even for a moment. But you learn through it all to stop once in a while and wait, to see if anyone else is holding up their hands, too, yelling for someone to notice their pain, and in the practice of stopping you notice other things, too. You notice life.

    Good thoughts. Great blog.

    • Thanks Nikole.

      There are often times when I have thought the same, “Why isn’t anyone noticing?” I think we all have experienced this. And it never gets easier.

  4. I am sorry that all of you got ill. Life does go on….without us..sadly but true. May you all stay healthy from now on 🙂

  5. I read this very early this morning, and wanted to come back to it when I had more time. It’s beautiful and bittersweet, Rudri. A reminder that we’re fragile, and that we should appreciate simple things as much as we can.

  6. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’m reading a book that highlights some stories of moving on. The author calls it the “new normal.” In small ways, we go on all the time – marriage, childbirth, job changes. They all require us to find a new normal. It’s the big stuff that’s on my mind lately. How DO people go on? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine. I just hope that in the times I’m faced with one of the big changes, I’m able to find my way.

  7. I had no idea about Robert Frost either. Holy cow. Life does go on indeed!

  8. My goodness this is poignant. But here’s the thing, in some ways I find tremendously healing to think about life that way.

  9. Life goes on. It’s at once humbling and reassuring.

    Hope you’re all feeling better.

  10. As I am just entering maternity leave, I am very aware of the world moving on as it stops for you. I had no idea about the tragedies in Frost’s life. That is sad.

    • As a new mother, life certainly stops. With feedings, lack of sleep and immersing yourself with your newborn, it certainly feels like everyone else is moving on. Congrats! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Cindi Reiss

    I find it comforting that life goes on, it helps us to move on. I’ve been sick for the past 2 weeks with this garbage going around and though it’s frustrating to have to cancel and reschedule so many things, it’s healing to have to take care of me.

    • I was sick with the same. I agree that it can be comforting, but it doesn’t feel that way when you are in the middle of it. Thanks for stopping by Cindi.

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