Loss/Grief/sorrow… the vast ocean of emotions that fill the heart and senses leave us weak in the knees and often leave us wondering how we will manage to ever catch our breath or balance again. Through the years, I’ve listened to thousands and thousands of stories, I’ve watched the eyes and bodies of so many as they describe their individual pain in ways that apply to only them and their experience. It does remind me of the vast sea where one doesn’t see land, where even a buoy may be there, but folks forget to grab hold of it for a respite, or for help at times. It is a time at times when the pain of loss takes over and somehow we forget we’ve always known how to swim, as we kick, scream and feel as though we are drowning. people ask how deep the water of pain is, how deep how long this intense feeling of loss will last, how many moments, years, months will the intensity of the now last while flailing about in exhaustion. Rather than just swimming through it with the faith that they are never alone, because at times like that the depth of sorrow doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you keep moving. Remembering the sea is always moving, its depth is its depth, and ever changing we must keep swimming or we will drown. At times we need to rest, to look for a buoy to hang on to, to look for a way to lay on our backs and float while looking up rather than keeping our head down in order to not feel beat up or taking on more than we are capable of at the time.
When we look up there are times the connection is made to the other side, to the knowing that love never dies, that we are never really alone; times when we can in fact breathe fully while re-centering ourselves for the next move, the next breath, the next stroke.There are those times when looking up that we find hope, we find that there is strength from within that will allow us to move through our pain, one breath at a time, in your own time, your own way.
People mean well during times of pain, heartache, grief and loss. Professionals have spent years upon years studying bereavement, ways to help others, ways to classify normal vs. pathological grief behaviors. Clinicians are on board to provide therapy to those for grief/loss for clients. Books? Oh my goodness are there books on loss, grief under the self-help and psychology sections.
Labels are great at times for those who pick out soups, for those who love designer clothes, for those of us who want to get paid and need a diagnosis code for insurance and rely on the DSM-5 for something to put our “code’ on…
However, those who are grieving are literal at times, they look to others in order to decide if they are “doing it right’ in regards to grief, loss, and appearances in social settings. I remember being told by a woman once that she attended a 6 week support group for grief and received a certificate afterward, but thought she had flunked as she felt worst after attending!
People forget that theirs is the only and the worst pain of loss that there is, only because it is theirs. Each is unique, different. The path is walked with each individual at their own pace, each falling down to rest or from weariness at their own moment. They cannot be compared.
Those who are grieving get mixed messages on how quickly they should be through the process or if they should ever get through at all. We’ve heard and read the signs about those who lose spouses having a name afterward > they are widows or widowers; those who lose children have no name or title afterward, those who lose siblings have no name afterward, nor grandparents have no title afterward.
That is confusing to people who think that they are missing a label and now incomplete as a result.
Widows and widowers are not fond of their new found title or label… it usually takes them forever to change the names on check books, to only one; even when encouraged by others.
Parents who have a child regardless of the age to die; they do not need a new name or title.
Nor do siblings, nor grandparents. They will always be the parent, the sibling, the grandparent, the cousin, the friend of ______/.
We must be cautious that we do not delay pain of loss or grief by confusing people with labels, with wondering if they are “doing it right” with expectations.
1. Keep swimming/walking talking
2. Expect to miss the one who has died for as long as you live. Missing is a testament to loving someone who has been physically a part of your life and is no longer within arms reach or touch.
3. There is a time when you choose to walk into the light or dwell in the darkness of the pain of loss.
4. Everyone has a story; we each must decide not to become the story
5. YOU each have an untold story within you and the great opportunity to become the legacy of your loved one.
6. Sit with yourself and honestly ask this question: “what would he/she want me to be doing now?” would he/she want me miserable in my sorrow or living my life with gusto?
7. Say the name of your loved one, out loud, bring them up in conversations to others. That will give others permission to talk about the days that were greater than the moment that took their life.
8. LIfe is for living, it is short, it is fragile, it is Now. Work to live in NOW, while honoring the ancestors and those you have loved.
9. This is your path… your choice to heal.
10. Work hard to not compare your grief to that of someone else.
Finally; surround yourself with those things that bring you joy, make you smile, and work to laugh again, until it becomes familiar.
Stand up for you and the memory of the ones who have gone before you! Surround yourself with those who laugh, who smile, who do not hold you and your grief to a time table or an hour glass. Look for signs and connections, when you open your heart, you will be open to receive them.
Use caution when professionals and friends say;
“you should be over this by now, or what else are you doing to get better”… YOU are not sick, you are different now…
Choose to heal and to live your life walking through grief.
Walk in beauty
As the fog burned off Miami the ship set out into the blue waters… the energy could be felt as folks found their way down long halls, to the pools and hot tubs. The ship was alive, the smells and wonder of ‘where do we go next’ could be seen on faces… the smells filled the senses! Where to venture to next, what to do, what to eat, drink, see… And boy was the views something to see!
The first greeting was from the people in the dining areas mid-ship with their hand washing spray, their joyous and loud constant refrain of, “washy washy… happy happy, smiley smiley all day”! Each and every time a person approached and entered the massive restaurant that took you from one side of the ship to the next. Most of us would try to beat them to the saying as we extended our hands for sanitizing, most of us noted we didn’t have time to get our hands dirty between passages!
The chant became heard from other passengers and on elevators, “washy washy, happy happy smiley smiley” throughout the cruise… It so happened that this cruise was also a Mountain Song Cruise where folks had come from all over the place with their instruments for bluegrass music… they seemed to hide once on board or take a part of the ship for making music as we only heard one set at the pool! We had great entertainment, great music, and skies that were splendid. Meeting folks from Canada, Indiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and cold states that were so happy to be warm they could barely contain themselves!
Everyone has a story to tell on land and on sea… the staff of Norwegian Cruise Lines represent so many countries I lost count, each working on 6 month contracts while there. Each working about 10 hour days, and oh do they work hard! I had one of the best massages of my life by a woman named Jannette from the Philippines, she was tiny in stature, but when she began a 75 minute massage I think she became a giant! She was fabulous. She asked if I would adopt her, but let me know she ate a lot, so that canceled that deal!
Of course on any cruise you get to see more than you bargain for, as you people watch, you hear more than you want to as folks typically have no idea how loud they talk… It becomes amazing at times what folks do, say, think, and the bathing suits they try on in stores with mirrors yet buy and wear anyway! Oh lest we forget the tattoos and their placements… Have to wonder about that at times, yet, they were as well amazing.
Note to self and others; be certain to take your eye vitamins before you cruise! They will help with some of the sights you see.
Look up, always look up… The darkest of skies in the lateness of night allows the stars to blanket the skies, all those holes for angels to watch over and look down just amazed me all over again. I found myself staying up much too late, staring up and talking to all the powerful angels that watch over me for the longest of times.
The sea, oh the sea, what a magical wonderful sea…
Ah, but there is nothing quite like absorbing the majesty of the waters, feeling the moments spent on the seas. The blues are every so blue, the turquoise remarkable, the chill upon entering the water and the refreshing feeling upon exhaling when coming up for air… It has an effect like none other upon my soul, my spirit, my resiliency. I am grateful ever so grateful to have shared this time and experience …
I will return there in my mind often, in the echoes of laughter, mine and that of others heard, in memories made, and yes, even in sights seen while aboard and in Mexico. I once again learned that tequila does not make your clothes fall off! And that is a very good thing!
The sunset will remind us as Olivia once did as a wee one, “Look LOOK… God is taking the sun down, but it is OK, cos he’ll bring it up again in the mornin”!
Wishing each of you a most remarkable week, wherever you are and whatever you are doing…
Don’t wait for success … start now! As Granny used to be known for saying, “it’s great to go places but it as greater to get home”. There’s just no place like home! But it sure is wonderful to hit the high seas.
Walk in beauty,
It is truly amazing… those feelings that just pop up and overwhelm us leaving us weak in the knees sometimes, even weak in spirit at times. People just wandering along and thinking about their lives, their struggles; maybe their challenges or pain of loss, sometimes feeling “out of control”, just tending to matters at hand. Then it happens: something so strong that leaves humankind feeling weak in the limbs and oh so alone and vulnerable! With that feeling comes the discovery that once again you have no sense of control leaving you feeling bewildered by tears, thoughts, feelings and out of balance within and without: out of balance with the world around you. It is at moment that you have forgotten “The Warrior Within”, and begin to feel alone and sequestered in your pain, that is not good friends.
I have good news to share with you! These are normal powerful emotions along your journey and “The Warrior Within” is still “Within”!!! Rather than perceiving this as a “break-down” perhaps it is the time to “look-through-different-eyes” and see it as a “break-THROUGH” of the pain.
It may be one of the hardest lessons in life both to learn and to accept, but the reality of our world is there are times when we actually have little control of things that touch us and affect us in our world. Try as we might, there are things that will influence our equilibrium. It would be comforting to think that we could control all aspects of our lives, but not very realistic. Remember throwing a stone into the river? Remember the ripples and the influence of it hitting the water? That one motion affects all. That is pretty much the same with humankind. And also once again demonstrating the importance of “paying it forward with random acts of kindness” as well!
You may determine you have most control in your surroundings: your home feels safe perhaps. You control who you let enter (or not), the mood you create, the sacredness you surround yourself with. Even though there may be times when you long for another to hear your pain, to hold your fears at bay, remember… you are the Warrior within and hopefully you are learning to call on that light to shine through and lead you. Although we are so very communal by nature, needing others more than we like to think, we have within us the capacity to heal ourselves. Extending our hearts to others, we become vulnerable to the pain of loss, the door of disappointment and the great wealth of love. And when we extend our hearts to others, it helps us through our own pain.
“It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.”
Listen for the sound in your heart ~~~~ It will soothe you and bring you comfort.
Walk In Beauty.
Long ago the Cherokee people lived in a dark world. They had no Sun or Moon or light of any kind. It was so dark that the animals, birds, and insects kept bumping into each other. One day the animals called a meeting to see what could be done. They did not like the way things were, they were not happy, but they had each other; they were community.
As he headed east, the world grew lighter. Soon, he had to squint to keep from being blinded, but he kept on going until he found the Sun. Carefully he placed a small piece of Sun under his tail. And then he set out for home just as fast as his short legs would go, but that piece of Sun was so hot it set his tail on fire!
The people who lived in the land of the Sun demanded that he return the piece he took. Poor Opossum. He now had to squint, his fine bushy tail was ruined, and the animals still had no light. He was just pitiful.
The animals called another meeting, and this time ole’ Buzzard volunteered. “I can fly far and fast,” he boasted. “I can bring back the light in no time.” He flew east and stayed up high so the people could not see him. Then he dived straight down, snatched a piece of the Sun, and hid it on top of his head. But as he was flying away, his beautiful head feathers caught on fire. Buzzard dropped the piece of Sun at once, but his head had turned bright red and was completely bald, just as it is today.
The animals met once more, “What shall we do now?” they asked. “We must have light!”
Grandmother Spider crawled out of the nearby grass. “You big creatures have done all you can,” she said. “Perhaps a smaller creature could do better.”
“You’ll get burned up!” squawked the Owl. “Maybe not,” answered Grandmother Spider. They were so desperate for light they agreed to let her go. Grandmother Spider felt around until she found some damp clay. Then she rolled it into the shape of a bowl. “It will dry slowly as I travel in the dark,” she said to herself. “That way it won’t crack.”
As she traveled, she spun a trail of thread to find her way home.
When she came to the place of the Sun people, she quickly reached out and took a piece of the Sun. She dropped it into her bowl and covered it. Then she quietly followed her thread-trail back home.
When the animals uncovered Grandmother Spider’s bowl, they could hardly believe their eyes. The first light they had ever seen shot out its rays. Even today, the spider’s web is shaped like the rays of the Sun.
And there you go… For that I give thanks, AND SO IT IS!
This morning the sun shines and shows me spider webs which looks amazingly like the sun’s rays! Be gentle with you today…
Walk In Beauty!
Dare to LAUGH! It is truly a healthy and fun moment when we can take the time for humor. And let’s face it, there are many a humorous moment in this wonderful life that we are so blessed to be living. It helps if you can believe in miracles; to believe in magic, to believe in the moment and the memories. It helps if you can remember to not take yourself so seriously!
I had every intention of writing about laughter on this day, I searched for the hard drive, hooked it up all by limited computer self, and found the above photo… It was worth it because I had a good laugh as I recalled these precious and “spoiled rotten ” but ever so loved kids on that day having the best day ever and filling the kitchen with laughter as I tried and tried for a “sweet and loving picture”! Fat chance of that happening! The point here is that memories can refresh and renew and often take us to a place of sunshine in our hearts. A place where the sounds of laughter take over and fill our senses blocking out the unwanted noise of all else that may have occupied that space just moments prior.
That wonderful sound of laughter can and does blend in harmony with our own allowing us to look beyond the rain, the snow, the mud on the windshield… beyond the pain of struggle, the hurt of loss. It can and will transport you along the journey allowing mind-body-spirit connection often in spite of yourself! Forgetting the little things that once seemed so large to you and upsetting your equilibrium like an inner-ear infection!
Open your heart, your mind and your spirit to fresh air, good music that feels your soul, good friends and celebrate your warrior within when you are feeling low. Listen for the laughter, notice its effects; pay attention to your cheeks on your face, to the power it has in your heart! Cherish memories as you listen to the winds of change… taste the rain, throw a snowball. Storms never last… do they?
The Cherokee teach their young to listen… perhaps that is why the Creator gives us one mouth and two ears! We hear not the crash of cymbals or the noise of traffic… we hear the sweet song of trees, the thunder beings playing in spirit land, the rhythms of rain dancing on leaves.
It is here my friends where as the Cherokee write “dikanowadidohi” angels sing!
I’m listening………………. Are you laughing???
“Life does not cease to be funny when people die, just as it does not cease to be serious when people laugh”
(George Bernard Shaw)
Blessings. I wish you all enough
The First Step is Rough
~ Great Expectations, Great Disappointments.
No Expectations, No Disappointments.
But how sad and self-limiting to face this destiny….. To expect so little that we can never realize any disappointment in our lives.
I would rather fall flat on my face and weep and cry from the sheer height from which I fell. Feel the pain, moan and groan occasionally, than crawl along, close to the ground, never soaring to any height just to prevent the fall.
My strongest belief is LEAP and the NET will Appear! Take some chances. OK so yes, we may fall and we may fall from great heights, but, it’s just a fall. We can bounce back.
We are resilient! We are strong.
We can choose to be strong, we can choose to TAKE A STAND, TO BELIEVE IN OURSELF, TO BELIEVE IN OUR WORTH, TO INVEST IN SELF ~ even when we momentarily find ourselves flat on our face.
Remember when you were a kid and fell off your bike a thousand times before you could race up the street a million miles an hour? It is the same thing.
Fall down gumby, you will get back up! Go ahead and fall, pick yourself up and eventually you will get it right.
They even have band aids now with great smiley faces, funny characters and everything!
Have a supply on hand, just in case you need them for your “boo boos”~
How else do we really live? Really feel the life energy we each have.
IT IS AWESOME, THIS THING CALLED LIFE! SAY “YES” “YES” “YES”!
We only know the joy of the ride, the freedom of the sky if we have experienced the ride. I am not encouraging reckless abandon all the time.
But I fully support some wild moments and taking some chances.
After all, we have this moment to live life to the fullest.
We do not have to always follow the safe and sure path that is predictable.
Sometimes we should LEAD, Not Follow. Sometimes we should step out there.
Turn on the dazzle, sparkle, just because we can.
Often we find ourselves surrounded by joyless souls. They have the capacity to suck the joy out of life if we let them.
I say: Why would we want to give up our personal power to these bleak, sad, angry souls?
Better that we consider surrounding ourselves with lighter spirits. Be the light others need to see, and create for ourselves our own excitement, our own happy place.
By leading with our own light, we choose our own path. Straight up the hill, UN-winded, sprinting the last hundred yards to the very edge of the cliff, with great expectations, a joyous CELEBRATION!
Leave the grouchy, hateful dark souls at the base of the mountain.
Jump on a cloud, take the ride across the rainbow, and laugh all the way down.
OK so maybe it’s REAL risky to think that a real cloud will provide a soft landing from the top of the mountain, but you get my drift here, right?
Live with GUSTO.
Take some reasonable chances.
Look for MAGIC in your life.
Create a good life. You deserve it.
Laugh, love, sing, dance. And no, not in your mind. Get out there today and CELEBRATE YOU!~
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, know that : the fire is being kept and the embers are burning brightly for each of you with prayers on the winds and healing on the smoke, prayers that you each walk out in YOUR life and step out and live.
Do not depend on others to do it for you.
Walk In Beauty