In the last few days, I have been in conversation with several friends who, like me, are in a space in time that seems to defy a definitive word or phrase to describe it.
Many of us seem to be in a transition of sorts. Leaving what has been and not able to see what is ahead, we feel…well…even that is hard to define!
Perhaps we are meeting places in our bodies which heretofore had been quiet. Maybe we were very physically active. Maybe we suffered great losses of many different kinds which were never fully seen, embraced and grieved. And now these unexpressed, unfelt hurts and painful places are calling to us from deep within our bodies.
We are single, married, divorced, never married, had children, didn’t have children, raised siblings, nieces or nephews, cared for family members for many years. If we have children, perhaps they are preparing to leave the nest, or have married and had children of their own. Perhaps we have recently retired. Maybe we retired, started a second career and are ready to walk away from it…but to what?
Maybe we have ALWAYS been busy, active, making choices without giving full consideration to the consequences and now we are simply unsure of how to “undo” or “unwind” a particular web we have woven which rather than supporting us is now holding us down or back.
Maybe we were busy with baseball games, soccer games, extremely demanding full-time jobs and were somewhat oblivious to what was going on in the world outside of our families, our communities, our routines, our jobs.
Perhaps we are restless and cannot get comfortable with sitting quietly, doing nothing. Maybe we over-caffeinate so that we don’t have to slow down. We are impatient…with this process, this part of our life.
We are close enough to see clearly, a past filled with so much activity, and far enough away from a future that has no definition, no structure and no form.
We find pictures, cards from well wishers, messages we received or sent and we wonder where that person is.
– we see children standing up for their rights to be safe..and we wonder.
– we see so many things changing in the world around us…and we wonder.
The weight of this life – our life…feels heavy.
What is happening? What have we missed? What are we supposed to DO…
Grief is perhaps an unknown territory for you. You might feel both helpless and hopeless without a sense of a ‘map’ for the journey. Confusion is the hallmark of a transition. To rebuild both your inner and outer world is a major project.
– Anne Grant
We are in between. We may be grieving and we don’t even know it. Grieving what has been and can no longer be, we are afraid of what may await us. Grieving the loss of family, friends, places that we loved or enjoyed, a body that was flexible, supple and moved with such ease; we are tired, scared and unsure.
Our world is not soft for, with or on behalf of us when it comes to the delicate process of grieving. Rather, we are not even gently coaxed…we are often told to “get over it”, whatever “it” may be. So we unconsciously bury what hurts, stand up and start running while “it” is still in there…waiting for us.
We are certainly not taught that our grief may be deep…containing unfamiliar feelings of painful resonance…that we have no idea of how to hold, and what to believe about anything.
The only way out is through.
And just how exactly, do we get out? By going through…what?
Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close.
– Francis Weller
There are so many ways to unearth that which is buried…and now IS the time.
Write. Journal. Inquire within.
Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply.
Walk slowly, thoughtfully, intentionally. Find a labyrinth. Walk.
Read or re-read a book which is not a distraction (fiction). Rather, find a book which contains a journey, a process, a way of working through what is buried (non-fiction).
You are worthy. You have lived well. You have given. You have taught many – by the very example of your being – how to be a good person; to love, to lose; to be grateful; to smile; to uplift.
You are life. You are love. You are grace.
It may feel like you are here right now…
Sitting in the fire of our discomfort, our discontent, our concern about what lies ahead…the way forward will become clearer. And soon you will feel like you are here:
Sending love and peace to all.
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.
– Stephen Hawking