Feeling fragmented

10 07 2012

I haven’t written much lately. I’ve been feeling fragmented for a couple of weeks. I’m not overly emotional, not shattered, not broken – just not.quite.together. My energies are not consolidated, my body mind and spirit are at odds, I’m not cohesive or tuned. I can feel it. It comes when I take on too many things and my mind, heart, soul and body get out of synch. I need a break – time to unwind, slow down, de-clutter my mind and relax my body.

Feeling fragmented

A couple of weeks ago, I changed my name. It was a big decision and it was (and is) great, but it brought with it some grief I hadn’t anticipated. I’ve said goodbye to part of myself, part of my history and part of my old identity. My old name had a certain power to it and has not died easily.

Amongst the name change there was also the grief at not sharing that good news with Beth – it has been nearly seven months since she suddenly passed away and each month a deeper layer and level of grief washes through me. Unannounced. I like to think I’m an intelligent adult but when grief barges in uninvited, it brings great wracking sobs and I lose all sense of adulthood and feel lost and small and naked.

I know that death is final. I understand that she’s not coming back. I know there are no deals I can do or promises I can make that will change things. I know I’ll adjust and in time, her loss won’t seem as painful even though she’ll always be missed. It seems that only now am I beginning to start to realise it, only now, after seven months is that ‘knowledge’ starting to sink in. My heart betrays my logical mind though and continues to long to see her again, no matter how much I ‘know’. I know this feeling is temporary and I know there’s still a long way to go.

I think I need to sit in the ocean air for a while, gather my pieces together and breathe them back to life. To watch and listen to the rhythm of the waves, remember the pull of the deep, and how the shore line always adapts by continually changing, growing, reshaping, replenishing. It was there before me and will be there after me. There’s a comfort in sitting with an old soul and I’m overdue a visit.





Dear Beth, I miss you.

5 04 2012


Dear Beth,
you’ve been gone for 16 weeks. 16 weeks today.
I don’t care what the date was, I’ll always know it was a Thursday. I was there when the phone rang at 5.30am, wrenching us from sleep with an instant knowing that something was wrong. No one rings at that hour. Blinking my eyes quickly I saw my beloved standing in the doorway, her face horrified, clutching her chest in disbelief, yelling at Dad. I sat up, my heart was pounding and tried to make my ears work properly. This isn’t real, I can’t be hearing right, it’s a dream, I’m having a nightmare, a night terror. I tried again to wake up, shook my head, blinked, slapped my own face. She sat on the edge of the bed pale and stunned. Dad’s words repeated through the speaker-phone, his voice reduced to a small, husky choke. You were gone.

Just like that.

We farewelled you the next Thursday in an overcrowded chapel. I keep hoping I’ll wake one Thursday and it will be different. It’s crazy-making. My mind knows you died but my heart still holds you alive. Sometimes my heart and mind argue and I’m caught in the middle.

My mind knows you’re gone. I was there when they carried your body away. We all huddled together and I said a prayer. As your body left your house I asked you to stay in our hearts. And you did. My heart still holds you alive, tricking me, replaying your voice, your laugh, causing me to take a second hopeful look at ladies lunching in town before it sinks again. Oh, that’s right…

Some days I go along fine, I talk to you and think of you or point out lovely things to you when I’m window shopping. My throat doesn’t hurt, my heart isn’t heavy and I can miss you with pure thankfulness and love, grateful for you being part of my life.
But not today.

Today is one of those days.
They come regularly, privately, suddenly.
I miss you deeply. I long to hear from you. My throat hurts and my stomach tightens. Parts of me feel like they physically peel back as tears well up from nowhere. They’re not from nowhere though. They’re from deep within, in a sacred heart space where we shared warmth and joy and love together, laughter, a knowing look, an understanding, a great respect. Now you’re gone that space echoes without you. Why do the tears start? I don’t know, they just come on at random times, as uninvited and impossible to stop as a sneeze.

I didn’t realise how much I loved you. I feel foolish now that I didn’t show you enough. I hope you recognised what I couldn’t see. Next week I’ll go to that new fabric shop I passed near the bakery and I’ll show you around. There are some really nice table runners in there I know you’ll like… Maybe I’ll buy some handkerchiefs. x x x





The Precious Pearl

30 01 2012

Pearl Lugger – Broome, North West Australia.

Pearls are precious to us my love,
they remind us that our love is strong and unique,
growing slowly and quietly,
year by year, layer by layer,
shining with a soft and pearly lustre.

Our pearls grew inside the tough shell
of an oyster that had its insides punctured.
In response to the painful wound
it grew a pearl to heal the scar.
Year by year, layer by layer,
such a beautiful and precious response.

May the pain and sorrow we all feel
in our punctured hearts
heal as a pearl,
with grace and beauty;
slowly and quietly
year by year, layer by layer.
So we will treasure, remember and speak of Mum
with a beautiful pearly lustre.





The steep path of grief

23 01 2012

Bluff Knoll - Stirling Range National Park, Albany. WAustralia.

I wish you were here.  I wish you were here to help me walk this way, I’d be telling you all about this journey.  You’d be leading, making us rest, cheering us on, keeping us going.  I can’t see very far ahead today, the path is steep and uneven, just as I thought it was levelling out.  How did I get here?  I keep stopping, looking back over land that spans a lifetime, the pauses make the climb seem easier for a moment.  I can catch my breath, see where I’ve been and trace my footsteps with certainty.  I look backwards towards the horizon and see some things with a clarity never realised.  Some familiar landmarks look totally insignificant from this viewpoint – funny, I thought they were monumental.  Each step forward is uncertain and tiring but it’s physically impossible to rush.  The ground is unfamiliar and I have no idea how far I have to go until I’m ‘there’.  I have no idea where ‘there‘ is.  I wonder if I’ll recognise it.  I wonder how long it will take.  I wonder where the others are.  I wonder why I bother planning when the only certainty I have in life is this moment – this breath, this minute.  I wonder what I’m doing.  I pause to breathe deeply, sucking in the silence before turning back to the path before going on.  I try not to look to far ahead, just take one step at a time – “When walking, just walk” I hear my Zen-voice say.  I still wish you were here.





Life is a blur

19 01 2012

Blur

 
 

Time is an illusion.
Last month it crawled through
broken glass with weary sighs
so slow it doubled in size.
This week it is all a blur,
the spinning force pinning
me to the outer walls
leaving me giddy.
Looking forward, looking back.
Time is an illusion.








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