Afternoon Grief

It’s different than morning grief.  The sun is shining straight down. There are no shadows in which to hide.  All is revealed, and today where I am the sun is hot. I feel scorched. My friend Elaine says it’s okay that I need to hibernate.  I’ve been burned. I need to wait for new skin to form before I emerge.

Today is the day of my brother’s cremation.  His wife and I talk and cry together. We are touchstones for each other, two women who love the same man but know him differently.  My grief can’t equal hers and yet there are the memories of childhood, parents, a shared DNA that seems to cry out, “Nooooo!”

We want to understand; we want to be brave and here we are connecting in shared pain and maybe that is the place where moisture connects in the flow of tears as they lubricate and cleanse.

I am oiled, bathed, possibly soothed at a level I don’t yet know.  A hidden spring comes forth or so I tell myself as tears continue to flow. I want to be brave and I know the word courage comes from “coeur” heart, and my heart is certainly involved in this process of letting go. It joins the beat and waves of love, the rise and fall of whales, and the float of feathers in air.

Elaine and I see a whale, the lighthouse and a white feather floating across symbolizing Mother Love!

Fifth Day of Grief

On the fifth day of grief, my feet are cobblestones, walking ancient paths.

I wonder if part of the grieving process is the other also letting go, a separation, gently, roughly, tenderly, kindly, agonizingly painful separation of paths.

Both stand at a crossroads, and then, how do we let go?

As we gather in connection, I wonder if the one who has passed is beckoning us together, gathering us like flowers into one bouquet and for a time we share a vase, in gathering, a vine.

Fourth Day of Grief

It’s the fourth day since my brother passed.  This morning the grief is different like I’ve been hit by a truck. If I were a car, I would be towed to the body shop and repaired.  I’m not a car. How will the pain of grief manifest today?

I’m reminded of these words by John Squadra from his poem “Circle of the Goddess” in the book This Ecstasy.

When you love,

you complete a circle.

When you die,

the circle remains.

The circle remains because my brother loved and it takes time for the surrounding sprouts to rise in this new exposure to sun.  When the Mother redwood tree dies, a circle forms around the space. It’s not immediate even though the roots are already twined. The rise take time.  

I open to the loving support I’m receiving and nest inside my own circle like a cat curled.

I’m a fan furled and unfurled wondering what reaches in to caress me now.

It’s evening.  It’s been a day of connection, love, and peace. I feel different, changed, as though massaged from above. My brother is here and I miss him, reach toward his light like the leaves of a Maple tree.

The Weight in Grief

I have some idea that I’ll share as I did in the last blog post and then move on.  When my daughter-in-love Frieda called to console, I quickly moved the conversation back to her, and she just as quickly took it back to me.  She’s clever, that girl/woman, a female embodiment of love and compassion, a wisdom gong, as is my other daughter-in-love, Jan.

I rejoice in the grace of wisdom gongs in my life.

Sometimes I find it hard to receive and yet here you are, all of you, so many beautiful messages and offers of support and I feel myself broken apart, as though if I let the bedrock go, the mountain that rises from that bedrock will break it into little pieces and the pain will be less.  Is there less pain, or more, when a mountain lets go and little rocks fall and flow, perhaps gathering with avalanche strength and force?

And now I learn that Notre Dame, Our Lady, has burned.  

I pause, caught on, and in, the elements today, broken apart – earth, air fire, water.

Yesterday I was above the waves as I sat on the ground at Pierce Point.  I watched, mesmerized, as the waves below seemed to be moving slowly and methodically, their white tops clearly defined.  Sitting above, I saw an orchestrated rhythm. If I’d been on the beach below, the waves might have seemed random, and violent perhaps, as they blew apart with a crash.

Sitting above, my whole being slowed to the pace of viewing from a distance, a distance stretching time to a curve, a healing to embrace.

And now, today I am earth, crumbling, and fire, passion, perhaps at first, as I had to mobilize to align, and now today, ashes as the structure of my being sinks to change.  I woke this morning feeling my face malleable as if it was curious to found and birth new form. I could view it as death to the old but transformation has a more inviting bite and taste.

I’ve recently learned that some people choose to have ashes from those they love mixed into the ink of a tattoo.  I don’t need to do that. My being is opened and opening to receive the ashes of my brother, the essence, as I integrate a wider being of knowing, reception, and trust.  Though painful, I rejoice in new form. I am a leaf unleashed.

I was away from my home four days this week, and never looked outside on the fifth, and yesterday, I saw that my Maple trees had released themselves into full leaf, now weighted with morning rain.