Tuesday, October 28, 2014

unfamilar ground

So far, the process of grieving is like the movie Groundhog Day. Every morning I wake up, I remember, and my heart breaks anew.  

The day takes on a rhythm ... calls to be made, lists added to, strategies mapped out as I begin the process of clearing out my mother's apartment. Honestly, you could tell me I was preparing to ascend Mount Everest and I would feel the same as I do now.  How?  How do I do this?

One step at a time.  

I think may end up walking around the perimeter of the earth.

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

(John O'Donohue, A Blessing For Grief)

I try to take comfort in what was ... 

my mother's sunset

But I am human, and all too often my mind wanders back and I think of opportunities lost, things I forgot to say, things I wish I had done differently.  I wish I had played music on that drive to the hospital.  I wish I had read more poems that last night.  I wish I had known more of the words to her favorite songs.  

I wish I had understood what she was asking me that last night when just as I was about to leave she said, "What do I do?" 

That question -  so raw to me now - I reflexively dodged in that moment.  I didn't think, I just said "You get better. You try to rest and let the doctors and nurses take care of you and you let you body get better."

I wish I had said "You think about all the good that has been in your life.  You think about all the love."

I suppose that is the answer to my own heartache, my inner struggle to know how to move forward.  I remember the love.  All the love.  So very much love.

For now, I hold onto the ache of loss because it is what I have ... it is immediate, intense, real.  It is the flip side to the immensity of the love ... hers and mine.

Thank you mama for this birthday.  It is a hard one. I seek your reassurances and comfort in new places and new ways ... to grab hold and trust the guidance that echoes within me now and know it is your voice, The Voice, keeping me company for the remainder of this journey.


  1. oh my darling heart....how i ache for/with you. i can't even begin to imagine. but i'm holding tightly and squeezing hard...let no miracle go without witness, yes?

    and yes...the love -- always it comes back to love.

    so much here for you...


  2. give yourself space and time Lisa...there are no rules with grief, it walks its own unique journey
    holding space for you sister

    love and light

    something I recently posted on FB:

    Where there is Life...
    so is there Death
    Where there is Death
    So there is Life...

    "The crucible of making human beings is death. Every culture worth a damn knows that. It's not success, it's not growth , it's not happiness, its' death. That's the cradle of your love of life...the fact that it ends." ~ Stephen Jenkinson "the Grief Walker" founder of Orphan Wisdom https://www.facebook.com/orphanwisdom

  3. Lis, even through this intense and difficult time, somehow you were able to courageously articulate and write your thoughts so beautifully in blog posts. There's so much rawness here, yet there's a beauty and a mountain of love that I can feel underneath your words. Surrounding you and Blessing you with love and healing light. xo