intro by Di…
Jane loves her family and really, really misses them. Yet she experienced
two kinds of grief in a recent visit to her relatives and the place of her
Grief while with them.
Grief having to leave them.
It’s common for family members to spend their lives miles apart, so many
might dismiss this kind of grief, and just “stuff it,” ignoring the pain,
pushing it aside as not serious enough to give it any attention. “Just grow up and get on with your life.”
I acknowledge Jane for her courage and trust, to risk putting her grief out in the open, laying it on the table where it can be seen and heard, so it won’t leak out like slow poison until it festers like a wound that won’t heal, causing an incurable rift.
Let this community be the “family” that sees and hears Jane without judgment, modeling the way to set ourselves free to walk within a healthy aura, so that people, animals and planet experience our harmony, not our discord.
As you read Jane’s message, will you become aware of “little griefs” you have stuffed?
Visiting Family – Layers of Love and Grief
“For 4 years, I had been enduring the heartache of not being able to see my siblings, cousins, nor the state of my birth. All of my elders, except for my Aunte M. had crossed. Most of my ‘relations’ made their transition; under, what seemed typical to me.
Through a lifetime of observations, I witnessed a blanket of fear, confusion, and incredible physical pain in those who were dying.
In gratitude, now, to all that is, and with the help of the dearest friends, I was able to fly home. I took and spent the weeks visiting each of my siblings, and to connect with my first and second cousins, who are now caretaking and preparing for their mother’s/grandmother’s passing (my last remaining Aunt).
I had chosen this time, while my Aunte M. was alert, and consciously aware of my visits and my time with her.
In going back to the Midwest, and walking through the towns and places that I had spent years experiencing with my Mom and then my stepdad, this created such utter longing and heartfelt body ache; for the times before grief and the death of the ones closest to my be-ing.
Thanks to the cousin I stayed with for most of those 3 weeks in Illinois/Indiana, I re-visited an earlier time of joys, depression, and a time of physically dying myself. It felt, in this month of June, like I was walking in parallel universes of past and present grief.
The re-visiting of these places seemed to hold an energy of memories. The time in these places also pointed to the gaps and/or emptiness in my current life.
Knowing it was not likely that I’d live or spend time there – ever again – presented daily opportunities for a forced or self-resisting goodbye(s). I back-pedaled at every present experience, to imagine ways to live there again. I wanted to feel surrounded by family and the familiar! I felt connected and dis-connected to persons, places and things at the same time, in this now moment.
As always, the gifts, with the pain, presented moments to recognize the old dysfunctional programs and self-patterns with each of my siblings. Patterns continue in the present, that bring up my issues of not being seen or heard.
I fell back into knee-jerk self doubt, loss, and fears. As I grieved, I struggled to assert and self-advocate. I questioned, unsure of what is, and still attempted and perhaps, stood in my authenticity and truth.
Amazingly, and maybe even ridiculously, I danced the emotional range from: screaming, crying, longing, frustration and anger.
My intention to spend time assisting with the care of my Aunte M., as well as quantitative and quality moments with her, did happen, as they/it was meant to. At times, the front room where she ate, slept, toileted and watched endless amounts of TV game shows was the hub of family gatherings. My Aunte seemed more energized when the room was filled with those she loved. All the while, I was preparing myself for the upcoming physical goodbye.
I felt trapped by the details that indicated I had to leave – again not knowing when or how I would return to be with family again. So much grief covered with sideways feelings of anger and resentment towards my present realities and the financial and linear time restraints.
I kissed my Aunte’s dry-skinned cheek while attempting to hug a body that had become skin and bones. I told her that I loved her with all of my heart! I also felt drawn to tell her, urgently, that my Mom, her sister, her brother and other sister, as well as her husband, were always with her and were right now, all around her (all whom had already made their transitions). Aunte M. made a rare, soulful, direct eye contact with me and she began to cry. This was also rare. I told her to not be afraid and that she was surrounded by LOVE. She said then, as she always does, “we are not much of a big family, but we are all we’ve got!” I responded with tears of my own, saying: “and we’re damn good, Aunte M!” “ I’ll stay in touch and I love you,” were my exiting words
At the closing of this ‘share’ my Aunte, with COPD, emphasema, congestive heart failure, and on oxygen 24/7 is still in the physical. I call her each day – occasionally able to speak with her. She is a fighter, as my Mom was, and we all are!”
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wrapping up by Di …
Taylor Dane sings our question: “How many times must I fall to feel alive in this life?”
If we are the “ground” for each other, might the screaming of the whole world stop? Maybe all the tantrum is unprocessed grief leaking out!
Let our loving community on this website “be the ground on which you fall, Jane. You’ll be safe inside.”
invitation to chime in…
Is anyone the “ground” on which you can fall? Will you dare greatly to share with this online “family”? Are you feeling a sense of connection, witnessing the hearts of your fellow travelers?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comment area below.
(Your comments will be included in the Ebook Keepsake you will receive after the 12 days are done.) 😜 “wink”
links to previous posts
(in case you missed it)
DAY 1 – Magenta: Waiting in Darkness
DAY 2 – JFP: Living after Heart surgery and 5 strokes