Saturday, December 4, 2010

movement in grief: state of being, part 2

I've been missing the dogs more lately.  The extra focus on family that comes with this time of year has me hurting for the loss of my "own" family, Chester and Oliver.  Come to think of it, God, I miss my job, too.  Teaching those children, some with severe/multiple disabilities and some who struggled to read, was more than a job; it was a vocation.  And a way to define myself.  As long as we're on this topic, I miss my house and my yard, too.  Sure, I grumbled about taking care of them, but you know I was glad to have them.

I guess the anger that comes with grief has arrived.  I didn't realize it until, while driving to Mom and Dad's on Thanksgiving and thinking of other relatives, I began to cry and yelled, "I want MY family!"  Thank you for that, by the way.  It released tension and made me more aware of how I was feeling, what I was going through.  Sometimes I wish I were less aware of myself, but in this case it helped.  In a strange way it helped me release more of my self.

Sometimes I wish I were so different from the way I am, so not different from "normal" people who are married, have kids, have jobs, and own houses...oh yeah...a lot of people don't have those things...those things are gifts, not things we're entitled to...and the loss or absence of them can be a gift, too, when you, or even just the possibility of you, fills up the space.

"Being Trees in Autumn"
by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

These trees in Buddhist saffron robes,
renouncing everything,
becoming naked without fear,
in wind that is a part of them,
disclose a beauty in this death,
become new shapes, interior.

To live they cannot hoard;
this losing, too, is growth.
New shapes emerge, new vision clears.
Surrender strengthens in the soul
another song.

This emptying is confidence
in spring, but more—a faithing
in the growth that’s come before,
a counting of the gifts
and then releasing one by one,
so as to give again,
knowing growth is not a season,
but is in the root of things.

This is no losing,
but a becoming.
Coveting such openness
of limb and heart and hand,
such bareness in the singing,
I only now discover that I want
this wind, blowing where it will,

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