Saturday, February 28, 2015

Poem # 7










Sometimes I
am tired
of grieving
&
protest so much
pain

I cannot seem
to
ever get
finally through

Roz said,
“Don’t try”

“The pain of her
death
is part
of
keeping her
alive
in

you”


This is one of those days.  I'm tired of putting on a happy face so as not to upset anyone.  I'm tired of trying to get a movement going to create safe places to grieve.  I'm tired of the loneliness that no one really "gets me" or cares.  So here is that essential choice again.  Do I sit down and give up?  Or do I sit down and draw up a new plan.  Maybe I'll sit down for a while and a new plan will come to me.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oh, mystery of life








Oh, mystery of life
that I
should
feel such
anguish,
such despair,
&
ever
smile again.



I am so tired of being sad.  I can think happy thoughts and say cheerful things, but my gut just won’t keep up with my head.  That seems to be the nature of my life since Sharon’s passing.  It has become a silent, bittersweet journey, the journey is mine alone and I have learned how to negotiate the pitfalls, like today..  If I let the grief come from the toes upward and outward, then the depth of love, laughter and awareness comes from the toes also.  If I don’t then I am sick a lot.

Here’s to grieving, living and laughing, Cheers

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Poem # 23







For those
of us
who are
bereaved,
&
insist
on
facing
our grief,

Life has
a
quality
the
protected
can never
know.



Over the years I have worked with and encountered many individuals that have lost a child, a sibling, or a grandchild. I am not surprised by how many families “die” when one of their children does. It seems to be especially hard on siblings because they often lose everything all at once. The sibling is gone, and the parents are so traumatized they can’t help their other kids deal with the loss. Certainly, the family as everyone knew it is gone. A new family can, and often does, emerge, but the process is painful and requires a vehicle, like ceremonies, rites, or rituals, to allow everyone to grieve. Since no one grieves exactly like anyone else, various family members miss each other’s signals, which increases the depth of the struggle.  It is still hard to know what to do or say because nothing much helps at any given moment.  I have to remind myself over and over that any encounter with a grieving person is unsatisfactory.  That is because neither party can give the other what they need.  My attempt to help cannot resurrect their dead loved one, and they can’t feel better for me.  This simple truth causes much misunderstanding in circles of friends.  But there is hope and healing.  On the other side is a lovely, albeit different, world also.

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Join Me On This Journey

Her death is
no
guarantee,
no insurance,
that I
will
not
lose again.

There is no
way
to
protect myself
from
further loss.

That is deeply
frightening.

What do
I
do with
that?

Well,
I guess
I
notice
how precious
today is
&
how deeply
I love you.



The choice we all have to make over and over is to take the risk of loving again.  The choice to love again, to invest enthusiastically in life, makes all the difference.  Knowing that we could lose someone again and still choosing to participate, rebuild our souls and lives and not bench ourselves. This is the quiet courage of grieving people.  Join me on this journey.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Empty Rooms



The death of my child
leaves me
in
a different world

I feel
set apart
somehow.

My choice
to
face
her
death

has opened
secrets
I
did not know
were there.


I remember the days when I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read a book or write a paper for graduate school.  Then slowly I could and I read lots of things about losing a child and how to get “better”.  Getting better usually means not showing my grief in public, or anywhere for that matter.  So how did I get “better” to have a rich and rewarding life along side the crippling?  Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one in the world on this isolated lonely journey.  That is the nature of grief; it is alone with no guide except my own desire to live. That choice led to my frequently bumping into  walls, stubbing many toes and just wanting out of the struggle.  Over time I discovered that if I could find a safe place and grieve, I always felt better.  Gradually the waves of grief came further apart, not so intense and didn’t last as long.     

I still feel different, set apart from others, I suppose I really am.  Few have to redefine themselves and rebuild their lives in quite the same way as grieving parents and their families do.  Staying on the healing path is an ongoing discovery of how to stay clear that that is what is wrong.  It is easy to get sidetracked into anything but that

“It’s like going through empty rooms.  There is no one to stop you, but no one to applaud either*”






*From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dec 2014









It is worth reiterating that grief is just plain brutal, and has honed my life in ways that I often dislike and rail against. However, the alternative of not going on is worse. For me, there were times over these thirty-odd years when I just sat down on the sidelines. I was out of oomph. Slowly, that began to feel like living in a glass jar. I could see and hear everyone and everything, but I could touch no one, and no one could touch me. This was an attempt to feel safe, another bargain. If I just sit quietly, I’ll be fine. Living as if one is in a mayonnaise jar may be safe, but it is very lonely and brittle. Breaking out of that jar required me to get up off the bench and re-engage, which of course meant more pain, more grieving. Each time I have cracked the jar I have found new comfort and joy also. They go together.

There is something about the healing power of grief that is almost mystical. I have witnessed over and over again that every breakthrough my clients or I have ever made is always after some important grief work. The truism here is that if you can’t grieve, you can’t change.

At this Christmas time, I once again find myself wanting to sit on the sidelines and just stop the world.  This is always an indication that something new is brewing and I will have to break out of the mayonnaise jar again. I suppose I am discouraged that my mission seems so elusive and unattainable.  I sometimes feel like an ant at the corner of a huge football field and my job is to take over that field.  It is easy to kick over an anthill.   So, I heave a huge sigh sit for a moment and get up and start all over again, because I believe that creating safe places for people to grieve is important.