As Autumn Leaves fall

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I woke after a very deep sleep this morning to an overcast autumnal day.  I was conscious of how deeply down I had spiralled into sleep and of the dream I had just awoken from in which I opened the front door of my home which had come ajar during my absence to find a pile of kangaroos on the front living room carpet and a box containing overseas letters the post man had left.  Was he the one who left the door ajar?

Like many dreams its symbols remain a mystery to me.  I have some ideas about it, in terms of the wild animal element of life which I long to be close to and to develop a better relationship with, and I am conscious too of today’s anniversary, two years ago they took my sister into the hospital due to lung complications and we were advised that it would be best for her to be taken off life support which happened three days later on the 20th of April.

Today my Mother goes into hospital on the recommendation of her doctor, there is fluid on the lung, her heart is not pumping well and there is a strong risk of stroke.  She will be in the hospital where I will be going to start my radiation treatment on Wednesday.  I cannot help but feel there is some deep connection to grief, love and longing all those heart centred concerns.

The airmail letters in my dream are an association to the airmail letters of my sister I have been reading again last week which tell of her separations from husband and family at times, of the facts of our family’s life when I was very young which is a story very much a part but also apart from mine since I came into a family which was much older by the time I was born.

At the time my sister was taken ill two years ago by a spot of curious synchronicity my brother was in town.  It was he who called me to let me know she was in hospital.  Over the past week he has been back and I had an urge to call him, but I block it sometimes as I find him difficult to connect with emotionally.

This morning I called him.  I narrowly missed him at Mum’s yesterday, he was to arrive at 4 pm but (as usual) didn’t turn up until much later than he said he would and until after I had left,  “I just got so engrossed in what I was doing”, he said “I forgot about time”.

After our conversation I felt okay but had to remind myself the longed for emotional connection can’t really come from someone who is so deeply focused in another world and wears huge emotional blinkers.  It is essential I  keep remembering the reality of my family situation, and don’t get caught up in illusions of what I wish could be.

In my longed for family, anniversaries would be remembered, there would be empathy and sensitivity to each other’s feelings.  We would reach out and connect and share our grief and pain, but in our family this doesn’t happen, at least not with my siblings.

This morning when feeling so emotional I rang my therapist. I told her of how Mum was going into hospital on the EXACT day Judy had two years ago. I also told her how Mum had just ‘forgotten’ me again on Saturday.  “She told me she didn’t mean to”, I said.  “I’m sure she didn’t”, she said “but the fact is, she cannot ‘hold’ you, she often gets distracted and then seems genuinely distressed and confused.  She just doesn’t get it or fully understand how that is for you.”  Yes, but she is aging too.

She also made the point that the mother I long for cannot be there as I need her to be and that is difficult, most especially at a time when I so badly need emotional support.  Its Saturn Moon territory for me.

The fact is that there are other places I can turn to for support.  There are other people who can mother me at this time, as I can learn to mother myself.  If I face the reality and feel the anger and grief of my little girl, (as I have been doing over past years of therapy) eventually I get to the place where I have processed this.  The hurt in time becomes smaller and not as overpowering, but never not real.  And in accepting the reality of the situation I feel more peace.

Today conscious of the falling leaves, I am conscious of how two years ago this was a time of deep letting go and grief.  My sister was taken at this time of year as the leaves fell.  In one blog I wrote at the time I spoke of my sister as another leaf that had “fallen” from the family tree.   I am conscious that my sister no longer now has to suffer in the way she did while alive.  She is free.  I am at peace.  My grief is no longer so intense, as I have over these two years been able to grieve with others and through grieving I feel the love for my sister.  I am also aware my Mum hasn’t had this opportunity and is carrying huge grief within her over my sister and the circumstances of her life which were so tragic and sad.

I am conscious this week of more of my sister’s early married life in New Zealand as a young wife and pregnant with her first child.  Of the love between her and the husband who eventually deserted her after they came back to Australia and my sister got caught back up in the destructive family urge to achieve material success.  I feel sad for the fact that they could not sustain that connection, but there were so many separations even in their early years due to the work my brother in law was doing with the Forestry School he was associated with.

I am conscious of the same theme playing out in my own life.  How the pull of family bought me back, that over all those years of addiction how the longing to heal the broken or non existent deep attachments and missing connections was so strong in me and led me on so many wild goose chases.

Now I am a midlife woman who lives alone with her dog. Its not how I wish it could have been.  I would have loved to have sustained a loving relationship with a partner.  But you know what?  Where I am is more than good enough.

In my imaginary world I may have hoped for more, but this current state of affairs is my real situation, which arises out of the very real facts of my life.  I could not separate from something I did not yet understand and the return to family was so essential to learn certain lessons.

Today too, I am also grateful for my knowledge of astrological associations and timing.  As I allow myself to slow down, get cosy and type in my pyjamas nurturing myself with a lemon cinnamon drink I am aware of Mars and Pluto which are slowing to enter their retrograde cycle.  I am aware of this as a time of deep inward turning in which I need to re-orient my own personal energies within in deep introspection and become more considered in how and where I am expressing my energies and desires (Mars) and how these maybe motivated by past pain or unconscious feelings (Pluto).

I am aware too that in life, things do eventually work out in their own timing.  Its okay to go gently.  If I can slow down, if I can connect, if I can process and look for the places where my deeper self is reflected and mirrored, in time I come to wisdom.  And after all the pain and suffering fully felt things eventually burn or wash away clean and I am returned to life even in the midst of facing grief, loss, endings, change, death and the breaking open of illusions.

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