Sunday, July 1, 2018

At A Bend in the River

Morrie and I took a ten day River boat cruise from Kiev to Odessa in Ukraine in May, because we hadn’t seen that part of the world and it sounded interesting.  Interesting is quite an understatement.  We went na├»ve about Ukraine and I came back a changed person.

Ukraine has been disrupted by four waves of Evil in the last century and is facing another by Putin and the Russians again today.  The Jewish communities have been especially devastated, but all Ukrainians have suffered along side each other

In the 1920’s it was the Tsars Pogroms
In the 1930’s it was Stalin
In the 1940’s it was Nazi Germany
Then till 1989 it was the USSR
They have had two uprisings against corruption, 2004 & 2014
They are still fighting for their freedom.

How does one comprehend such horror, terror and grief?   The submersion in that history was life changing.   

I am impressed and moved by how Ukrainians are coming back again.  The thread I kept hearing that unites and motivates them is literacy.  They have a long history of making sure all citizens can read and write, going back thousands of years.  Each wave of Evil tried to stamp that out, because an informed citizenry is hard to fool/rule.  The Nazi’s came the closest, reducing literacy by 70%.  They failed also.  Literacy in the Ukraine is near 100%. 

It seems like a small victory, but captures for me the determination and heroic fight up from the ashes and triumph over four waves of Evil. 

It makes all the screeching and screaming here seem ludicrous.  The protests remind of a scene from the movie Frankenstein, all that is missing are the pitchforks.  The outstanding thing about the Monster is that he was innocent of harming anyone until he was attacked.

At a bend in that river, my perspective changed.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Reminder

This month, April, it has been 40 years since I found Sharon’s body, I buried her April 17, 1978.  So, I decided that has been way long enough to be lamenting her death. I put away the memorabilia I keep around to honor her death day and her burial.  All the music I listen to on those days and all the pictures, tokens, cards and memories, safely tucked away in their respective niches where I keep them safe.

Surprise!  The same thing happened when I tried to do this after 5 years, I started feeling angry and unhappy and lost track of why.  The connection to grieving is tenuous and hard to keep in mind.  But the kicker this time was I turned the hostility inward, against my self.   I felt all the guilt about letting everyone down, all the angst about “what ifs” and “if onlys”.

 I began to interpret behavior and remarks as signs that I am unloved and unlovable.
This was a nasty reminder that not staying current with my feeling, especially grief, always leads to even more grief .

So whether it is 5 years or 40 I still have to honor her death and my grief.

That’s true of all humans.  In my practice, the central issue is, astonishingly often, some significant loss.

Don’t listen to those who tell you to “get over it”.  The death of a child is not something one “gets over”.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

I Wish

I wish that Probation had worked and that MADD would save every life.

I wish that banning Horror comic books would have saved our nations youth as promised when I was twelve.

I wish that the War On Drugs would stop the carnage and that it had saved my Childs life.

I wish that the Black Market in drugs hadn’t made it impossible to find her killers.

I wish that the latest push to ban guns won’t create a black Market in assault rifles and make it impossible to find killers’.

I wish that everyone could understand that grief is the real culprit here and provide safe places for people to cry.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Living In A Mayonnaise Jar

After 40 years of being an outsider, because being a bereaved parent makes me an outsider, I am going back to live in my old Mayonnaise jar.  I am really tired of living in a hostile environment.  I can’t remember when anyone asked me how I am doing or said her name or remembered her birthday, let alone any other important dates.

I really don’t blame anyone or expect them to understand because grief is a walk alone.   But for today I can curl up and feel safe, cry if I want to.  I can see everyone, hear everyone and even smell the roses, but on one can touch me in here or tell me I should be over it by now.  Which of your children would you give up? 

This dark, lonely place I am in today must be honored and fully embraced, then I can break the glass and rejoin the world.   If I don’t I will stay safe and apart from any more pain and any more joy.