I wonder if, there comes a time when our grief is just present. A time when it is no longer locked away inside our hearts but flowing out like a river or a spring without any dam blocking it in or holding it back.
It feels like this today and even yesterday. It’s coming up to the anniversary of Dad getting ill. I know it happened years ago but I don’t think we truly get over loosing someone that we loved and needed and most especially if their death stole opportunities from us, or meant that certain needs would not be met, it makes the grief so much more complicated.
I went to collect my sister from the bus yesterday. She is part of a breast cancer rowing group and they had been to Sydney to compete. I thought of asking her if she would like to be picked up from the station. It’s so nice being met and she was very grateful. The bus came early and we went to get lunch. I then found out that her son’s wife’s father is now in the final stages of terminal cancer. My sister said to me “it has brought up a lot of painful feelings about Dad”. That was the first time she has said anything like that to me. I am aware that her daughter in law is around the same age my sister was when our father died. Her daughter in law keeps my sister at arm’s length due to her bi polar diagnosis. Her own mother is very close to my sister and has been kind to her throughout her own breast cancer. Despite this my sister’s daughter in law send her a text saying “please don’t contact Mum, her and Dad need to be left alone to cope with this.”
My sister is not an intrusive person. I know at times she can be a bit abrupt but she is all heart really and she more than anyone knows what its like to loose someone you love. It made me so sad to hear this. I have seen my nephew’s wife run away and hide in another room one time we were there and her feelings came up. She is a Scorpio. I know it isn’t always easy to be vulnerable and feel, I just wish in our family there was more of it instead of all of this blocking and defence.
Anyway I drove my sister home and then came home myself but on the way I passed the roundabout near my home that leads up to a scenic hill and immediately a memory was triggered of the second anniversary of my father’s death. I had just returned from two years overseas and on the first anniversary had fallen pregnant and had a termination over in Switzerland. On the second I had been out and got drunk and was up at the scenic lookout with a young guy I met and had a brief fling with. That very evening early in the morning before I got home my ex from overseas called to speak to me and I missed his call. Thinking about this yesterday the flood gates just poured open for me. I realised how at that stage I was not really present or aware or awake or conscious in any way of my pain.
Yesterday I felt a sense of gratitude in a way. I was able to cry and feel the tender softness and pain in my heart of past relationships gone wrong, of the pain of my alcoholism, of the loss of my Dad at a young age. I see a young woman struggling with so many confused feelings and lacking insight into herself which could only come in later years. I’m crying as I write this.
I feel in some way something deep inside of me is releasing. I went to the park with Jasper after this and connected with two lovely gentle men for an hour or so. I didn’t need to speak about my Dad but one of them is Dutch, like my Dad and also called John, like my Dad. In some way I felt my father close by and felt he was there watching over me, loving me.
As I write this I realise that all a long a higher power has been there for me. It has seemed as though I walked alone, but I now realise that when I become conscious of my own pain and depths and connect inwardly, I am never alone. And so many millions of others also go through loss and grief. When I open up to share it and feel it, I am connecting to the heart of my own and every other person’s human and spiritual journey.
When I don’t hide away and lick my own wounds (and this is a very important need when we are healing) I can see how my capacity to love and grieve for loss connects me to others all around the world undergoing their own suffering. This brings acceptance and healing to me, comfort in the midst of the sorrow. Happiness and gratitude too, for the fragile, precious gift of life.