This is a question I am shedding tears over this morning after meeting a friend for coffee who said she will not ‘do’ funerals any more since they bring up too much grief. And maybe she is right, but for me a funeral either of a loved one or of another’s loved one seems to me to be a great opportunity to face my own griefs, buried or known and this is something I know from experience having never really grieved when my Dad died just before my 23rd year birthday in 1985. I didn’t really start to grieve my father until I got sober and was sober 12 years, then my godfather died and everything hit me. I had been holding so much grief inside not only for his loss but for the loss of feeling safe enough to ever get close to a single male in my life. I just had no role model for that kind of closeness.
I am however so grateful for those relationships in which I can talk all of this through as my friend I met today also was from Dutch background (though living in Australia like me) and she knows how my father’s generation was, returning from a war and from a country where they were invaded by the Nazis, my father got out in time but left his family behind and never wanted to go back, never spoke of it to any one much but you know what? As a sensitive empathic child I felt what was unsaid in the shadows. In the afternoons my father would come home from work (my Mum worked until 5.30 every day and so I had to let myself into an empty house using a key left on a hook in the shed if I remembered to put it back and often I forgot and got injured as a result once… really badly) he would say a detached hello go up the hallway change his clothes put his wallet in the cupboard and go out into the garden not saying another word much.
Today when talking to my friend I was thinking of how my father rarely hugged me. He told me he loved me only twice when we had or were facing death. And then we hugged like there was no tomorrow and by that stage there was to be only about 3 or so months of ‘tomorrows’. And all of this is on my mind as I am possibly soon going to meet the man I am beginning to connect with honestly and to be honest there is just SO MUCH FEAR inside of me. This lunar eclipse is only a few days away and Pluto is triggering the Moon by transit today in the skies so what is hidden below the surface in my unconscious is hammering away at present. Thus my need to blog about it.
Being willing to be heart broken means we open our heart to the possibility of loss and suffering, to the risk of loving and maybe not being loved in return, to the risk of loving and losing which one day we will as death comes always either through a physical ending or goodbye. We may try all we can to defend ourselves against it, but in the end do we have ultimate control? And of course we can say no to the funeral or what ever else it is that triggers our grief as is our right but I know for myself when I say a ‘yes’ to being willing to be wholehearted I cannot really lose even though my ego quivers and feels its immanent demise and either I can fight or surrender, really. That is all I know for sure.
2 thoughts on “Can you face and bear your own heartbreak?”
I think the answer to your question is in the title and body of your most recent post. The best to you, my friend.
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And you too, Lee.