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.

Playing Back

A friend

needs

the song

in your heart

and can sing

it back

to you

when

you need it.

In some ways,

friends

are

mirrors

to us,

and, at times,

we can be

mirrors to them.

Friends

can know

how

to sing

words of encouragement

and love-

music

to our hearts-

when

we need them.

I think

that one of the signs

of real friendship

is the

reciprocity

of

keeping in touch.

livinglinesreflections.com

Bouquet

Each

friend

represents

a world

in us,

a world

possibly

not born

until

he or she

arrives.

I have a bouquet

of friends,

each one

different.

I find

myself

revealing-

sometimes

discovering-

different

aspects

of myself

with each

of them.

livinglinesreflections.com

Attaching

I feel like

I have

crossed

through

wild winds

into the calm

eye of the storm.

I must face

the wildness again

because the

calm will pass.

Clouds

are sometimes used

as a metaphor.

Watching the sky,

sometimes only

as wisp of white

dabbles

the blue

of the sky.

Clouds may move

with the breeze

or be blown

by the wind.

Today

there are many layers

some dense,

some moving quickly.

The clouds

show confusion,

some static,

occasionally

the sun peaks through.

The clouds

remind me to

practice

not attaching

to a

particular

state of mind,

pleasurable

or painful

or somewhere

in-between.

Each state

will change.

By being

engaged,

conscious of

what is happening,

I try

not to hold

onto

one

particular time.

More Understanding

Soul and body,

I suggest,

react

sympathetically

upon each other;

a change

in the state of the

soul produces

a change

in the shape

of the body,

and conversely:

a change in the

shape of the body

produces

a change in

the state of the soul.

Surprise!

Aristotle,

Physiognomics, c.350 B.C.E.

Aristotle’s theory is

much quoted today.

It is humbling

to think

that the

ancient Greeks

framed questions

that still preoccupy us

more than 23 centuries later.

It is exciting too,

because over the

past two decades,

scientists

have acquired

powerful

new imaging tools

that are

revolutionizing

our understanding

of the connection

between

body and mind.

Turning the Sound Down

When you feel

life is too intense,

imagine it as

a TV soap opera.

Turn the sound down

until it seems manageable

or mute the sound

and read the text.

It reads

differently

than it sounds.

What is

going on

in your life

may seem

less dramatic.

Sometimes

we can’t

eliminate

the drama

in our lives,

but we can

turn the volume down.

Do you have

ways

that help

you ?

Calm

We often

judge

others’ outsides

from our own inside.

or we judge

our own insides

by others’ outsides.

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

and what you see

is the result

of that effort,

not the

challenge

of getting there.

I am startled

when someone

tells me

that I always

seem”so calm”

especially at moments

when I have

a lot of emotions

going on

inside.

As I grow older,

I am becoming

more willing

to reveal

some of those inner feelings,

that being vulnerable

is a painful experience.

Sometimes,

being open and honest

can be an opportunity

for closer

relationships.

livinglinesreflections.com