Not long ago my Mom passed. Unexpectedly, 2 short weeks later, my younger brother joined her. Bereft, I was suddenly adrift, my moorings gone. How to belong in a world with mother and brother sized holes? Sleepless, I walked, and walked. Or, crashed for 8, 10, 12 hours. Grief morphed into guilt, anger, cynicism, bewilderment. Socially inept, I lay low. In my brother’s flannel shirt, I curled under Mom’s soft brown throw and convulsed with tears. Each salt trail marked a sacred path, a new road named “Goodbye.”
I moved furniture, rearranged with neurotic urgency. Change surroundings to make it less true? Who knows. A broken heart will eclipse reality, trivialize every….other….thing. I meditated anyway, vaguely mindful that “If you can sit while disturbed, you are well trained.” I ate anyway. Or, didn’t eat. Like many, I’d survived the gut wrench of divorce. I’d gone through the derailment of job loss, of periodic health setbacks. Somehow though, the absence of two so beloved spun me into a new orbit. Its trajectory continues, its stardust whispers secret gifts. Here are a few:
As hearts heal, they expand to deepen love for family and friends, for colleagues, teachers, neighbors. The rug’s ripped out from under and life’s random ambiguity is revealed. So too, the precious gifts of love and kindness. We make more time for each other, a very good thing.
God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Universal Source, whatever the useful name, affords ease from suffering. The compelling truth that none of us are ever truly alone seems to manifest. And with it, freedom from ego based distortions of guilt, anger, fear and judgement.
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Physical Health Improves
How well we want to spend so little time on this beautiful planet prods us to eat better, exercise, and aim for restful sleep. As James Taylor sings, “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time”, we slowly, naturally reset ourselves to become healthier.
Finances are organized
We realize how much is left for others to sort once we’re gone. We write or update Wills, clear debt, establish order around our money and possessions. Life feels lighter.
No longer willing to attach emotional value as before, we see clearly what is worth our time and energy. We become more empowered, liberated and authentic. We choose to invest in our Tribe to create more memories.
Remarkably, the other side of heartbreak is a wider capacity to love. We know a new generosity, a new compassion, an easy openness and room for others.
Never more true, “Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears..that is where your treasure is.”- Paul Coelho, The Alchemist