Image credit: Irina Mikhailova, Russian photographer.
My husband sent this picture to me.
I have a collection of feathers. Since taking Liv Lane’s ecourse, when I find one, I think an angel is visiting.
I’ve been feeling grief. Tuesday I did not get out of my pajamas and I've had rolling spells of tears for weeks, at first seemingly unconnected to anything. I ride and feel. Then lightness. Ride and feel.
I’ve written about my son’s death. It will be 7 years on August 20, which is also my daughter's birthday. Feelings arise around the loss of Michael. This time it was witnessing my daughter’s grief.
I've taken two grief workshops so I know that sorrow comes when it comes and has a variety of appearances.
A friend who works with those experiencing stillbirths says that the experience of grief is physically embodied at a cellular level. I believe her. Physicists and philosophers call these unfinished energy patterns impressions. In the yogic tradition they’re called Samskaras, energy that has not passed through. I’m aware that there is left over energy inside of me from my son’s passing.
My grief is one thing, but witnessing my daughter’s grief is another. This is what happened. When she expressed her feelings, I responded by giving her information about self-care. That might seem like a kind response, but it isn’t helpful when someone is sobbing. What she needed was for me to be quiet and listen. No words, no advice, no help. Just be with her pain.
It’s not easy.
I know why it’s hard to keep my mouth shut. You see, being with a child or loved one’s pain is deeply uncomfortable. My grief—missing and processing loss is one thing—but it feels unbearable to witness her struggle.
I might rationalize that I was trying to help. But honestly, my reflex reaction was an attempt to rescue myself from my own pain.
I give to both of us when I can sit and stay with whatever arises.
Staying with pain is, in the end, rewarding and healing. Michael Singer encourages this in his book The Untethered Soul. He writes, “Allow yourself to experience every note the heart can play…Just feel and keep letting go… Your reward is a permanently open heart…You live in love, and it feeds you and strengthens you. That is an open heart.”