It’s day forty since my brother’s passing and I wake feeling refreshed.  I notice I’m breathing fully. Perhaps it’s the nap I gave myself yesterday which was followed by bed at 8:30.  I woke dreaming of my mother who passed away in February 2005 but she was alive and well in the dream. We were looking for a place where all of us could live.

Forty days is a spiritual number that comes up in many religions and practices.  Our skin cells take, on average, forty days to renew.

I am with the words of Jelaluddin Rumi:

What nine months does for the embryo

Forty early mornings

Will do for your growing awareness

This morning when I woke I felt the reins of the horse loosening as though I didn’t need to hold on. I felt a new awareness of the consciousness we all share.  I felt my cells expanding out, but that is for me, sister, not wife.

At 6:40 my brother’s wife calls.  They were married thirty-three years and together longer than that.  They were/are soul-mates. I can’t imagine what this is for her. Grief. How do we make it through? How do we offer support?

When my father died in an accident in 1969, I was 19 and my brother 15.  My mother was 42. She said if it weren’t for us, she wouldn’t get out of bed.  We all slept in the same room for a time, but the daughter of my brother and his wife is 24 with a life of her own, and, she, too, is grieving.  

I sit with that now as the fog brings wisps of white to the blue sky.  The coming of fog shimmers the trees, offers change – fog, saliva for air.  

The moon and fog

Who calls to whom?

Recently I learned of the work of Professor Kathryn Geurts with the Anlo-Ewe speaking people in southeastern Ghana.  She discovered that balance is a sense there, the primary sense, and is physical and psychological, literal and metaphorical.

They have a word seselelame which means “feel-feel-at-flesh-inside”.  They are connected to the wisdom of intuition. In that, I touch into what another might need.  I offer support, relationship, leaves to tree.

Maple before the touch of morning sun

2 thoughts on “Day 40: Balance

  1. Oh yes- that is the best gift- meeting your sister-in-law, meeting her pain with awareness and compassion. We all need to be seen, to have our beingness affirmed, mirrored…and acknowledgment that we exist.


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