Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are you stressed?

While one report names Detroit the nation's most-stressed city, I'm sure people from across the country would beg to differ.

In Columbus, a recent crime wave has put many people on edge.

I occasionally corresponded with the fourth homicide victim, local musician Heath Jackson, regarding items for our To Do section. I saw him in passing at local nightclubs.

When an acquaintance like that disappears from life, it's one of the most jarring feelings ever.

You're not armed with an arsenal of memories. It's just a name that was a relative constant in your inbox, or a face that sometimes shared your bar space.

Yet even in the absence of concrete ties to that life, you're left with a void.

Living across the country from my immediate family, one of my biggest fears is that one of them will suffer a sudden tragedy and distance alone will prevent me from finding some sort of emotional resolution.

But I know life doesn't accommodate factors like geography -- in the face of tragedy, it doesn't cut you an emotional break just because you're physically close to the ones you love.

There's not a secret advice manual for navigating life and securing the fewest emotional wounds.

Know that, and abide by the next best thing: a heart strong enough to know the presence of today, and the possible absence of tomorrow.