I attended the burial and memorial of my aunt; eleven days after I was notified she was released from the body/mind that bound her to this time and place. From the moment I received the news, I began a journey, once again, through grief and loss.
My first response was a flood of tears and I allowed the release as decades of memories flashed before my eyes. My aunt was a significant figure in my life. As a child, she was the closest experience I had of a mother. Although an illusion, I would pretend my ‘mother’ loved me in the way a child wishes and hopes their imaginings will fill the gaping hole in their heart.
As suddenly as the tears began, they ceased. Time passed, and I merely sat in the stillness. Aware I was fully present there was no thought; only peace.
When thoughts once again surfaced, they were commingled with my aunt and my eldest son; I was simultaneously existing in the present and ten years in the past. By this point, I was fully engaged as an observer and the feeling of detachment was surreal. My thoughts were bouncing back and forth between the present and the past as if they were highlighting the massive changes in my perception; the vast differences between this present journey through grief and my previous journey through grief when my son was killed.
Shortly after my son's death, I encountered a quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.” At that moment, I decided my response; I would heal. A decade later, and because of another grief experience, I can fully ‘see’ the impact of my decision. The depth and breadth of my healing was astounding. It extended the boundaries of the loss of my son; it encompassed my entire life. Love began as my guide and became my expression.
On 11 February 2016, I published the following on LinkedIn in loving memory of my first-born son...
8 years ago today my life forever changed. I am not the first mother who buried a child; nor, unfortunately, will I be the last. I have walked the ‘dark night of the soul and through this journey, I have changed. Early in the grief process, I encountered a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. “In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmute itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.” As I pondered the words, I made a decision; I would heal. And my journey began although I would never have imagined the twists, turns, forks, and switchbacks that would emerge.
The grief process affects us emotionally, physically, cognitively, socially, and spiritually. Yet in this process lies an opportunity to take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and choices. As the waves of grief ebb and flow, our journey affords us time to go within and reflect on what we believe; how our perceptions may distort reality; how our choices can reflect intention that is not in our highest good; how perhaps our feelings of happiness have drifted to our outer world; how we may have lost sight of life’s magic and the magnificent beauty that is within us and all around us. Are we true to ourselves? Are we congruent in our thoughts, words, feelings, and choices? Are we consciously creating or unconsciously reacting? Are we embracing and taking ownership of our lives?
Grief and loss is part of the human experience and throughout our lives we may experience a myriad of losses of varying degrees. Regardless of the nature of the loss, if you are like me and have experienced a loss so profound that your inner and outer world appeared to shatter in a thousand pieces, I offer you to consider…
This is an opportunity to go deep within and discover who you truly are. This is an opportunity to explore what truly matters. This is an opportunity to experience the power and the healing nature of love. And it begins with you. You matter. You are worthy of passionately living an abundant life. You are far more courageous than you ever imagined and your inner strength is far greater than you dreamed possible. Be open to the changes and receptive to miracles that flow to you. Stay the course. Stay true to yourself. Embrace the beautiful, divine being within. Breathe deeply. Appreciate. And as you travel your path, may love always fill your heart and light your way. Blessings for a beautiful journey...
My aunt is now untethered, unbound after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. With Love and a connection that is timeless, I celebrate her freedom.
From my heart to yours,
Dayton ~ the holistic wellness coach