A Grief Observed

C.S. Lewis

In grief

nothing ‘stays put.’

One

keeps

emerging

from a phase,

but

it always

recurs.

Round and round.

Everything repeats.

Am I

going in circles,

or

dare

I hope

I am

on a

spiral?

But

if a spiral,

am I

going

up

or

down it?

Life and. . .

Loss

of a loved one,

a family member,

is a stark

reality

of life.

There is

no way out.

Anticipating

a loved one’s death

offers no

preparation.

Expectation,

no matter

how long,

does not

offer

a roadmap.

Once the rituals

whatever they are

have ended,

each of us

are

on our own.

Friends may console,

prayers said,

but in each moment

reminders

present

the harshness

of raw

physical,

emotional,

spiritual

change.

When

tears wet

my eyes

or sobs

move my

body,

it is a relief.

Pent-up

emotions

erupt

on grief’s

own schedule.

There is no

measurement

of the tears, the sadness.

The shadows

linger.

“Are you over it yet?”

a friend was asked

six weeks after her husband died.

There should be

no expectation

or impatience

with someone’s

time of

mourning.

There may be

stages,

but each person

marks their own.

There may be

light

with the shadows.

Sometimes.

A smell,

a glimpse

of someone who

reminds of

the loved one.

The depth and length

of grief

may

reflect the

intensity

of love

between

the

one

who has died

and those

left to mourn.

Life

Death.

Kindness.

Please.

Our Best Selves

Pictures remind

Easter finery.

New bonnet,

Spring coat, perhaps

passed down

through

sisters and cousin.

New dress,

polished shoes

or new

patent leather!

Small flower corsage

from Daddy.

Some may still

dress this way

for Easter services,

I may admit to

a little envy.

We looked our best

or so it seemed.

The best outside dress-up

cannot cover up

the violence of

terror or the

insulting language

in the political campaign.

Steady reams of

news

proclaim

more crucifixion

than resurrection.

There are many

moments

of love and caring,

even random

acts of kindness.

What will it take

to dress up

ourselves,

our families and friends,

our neighborhoods

and our world

with sincere conversion

from the inside out.

Real love and kindness

generate

warmth and smiles.

How can we

dress

ourselves

with the

realization

that

we are all

in this world together?

Respect

for

each and every other,

dressed in finery

or clothes unfamiliar.

Garments given away

clothe

those without anything.

Respect

is the best

place

to begin.

We all

can dress ourselves best

caring for

each other.

Amen.

Be Prepared?

Heavy snow forecast,

stores not prepared

with enough

milk, bread, eggs

for each buyer

trying to

be prepared.

Few lingering items.

Schools closed tomorrow.

Warnings change

by the hours.

Course of storm

uncertain.

Shovel,boots, salt

prepared

as well as you can.

Same news hour

predicts

earthquake

in northern Pacific Coast

at least

a hundred years

overdue.

Tsunami would follow.

Buildings too low.

Higher floors

being built over school.

Drills for children and teachers

at first rumble

to climb as high

as stairs go.

No time

to rush out

for milk, bread, eggs.

Are you prepared?

For which possibility?

In life,

are we ever

really

prepared

for what

actually does happen?

Limits

We all need

to learn to

set limits.

Do you live in an

unnaturally

high setting

for normal?

Are you

expecting

too much of

yourself and others?

When is life or

our response to it,

just too much

or just enough?

Can you build in some

flexibility?

What if our lives are

right on

the edge,

and we don’t see

the precipice?

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Inside Out, Outside In

We may judge

others’

outsides

from our own

insides.

Do we look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things?

For many people,

it takes

a lot of

effort

to put

themselves

together.

What you see

is the result

of that effort,

not

the challenge

of

getting there.

When I have been

more willing

to reveal

some of my

inner feelings,

the

result can be

closer

relationships.

Shadow Work

Trying to restore

our emotional health

can be exhausting,

particularly if

we have neglected it.

No wonder

people

sometimes choose

to numb

their pain.

It takes courage and energy

to dig deep

and let emotional

wounds heal.

We can heal

only if we know

what the wounds are.

Our bodies hold onto

emotional hurts,

sometimes for years.

There are many ways

to help

the healing process-

prayer,

meditation,

silence,

yoga,

reiki,

and therapy-

that

strengthens the body

along with the soul.

Some call this SHADOW WORK.

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