Finding the things in our lives that make us smile, if only for a moment are truly important. Little grief respites that we never expect. Like a grandchild's hug, a friends phone call, a silly facebook post, and for me it's just a kind smile. People in my life don't always know what to do with me. I cycle up and down like a roller coaster and they try to keep up with it all. What I want to tell them all is that I don't expect them to fix me, because I don't know what tool in the toolbox to use. It's just nice to have them sit by me on the bench and look at the beautiful flowers or whisper a dirty joke in my ear once in awhile. I am fragile and cracked, but the glue that puts me back together comes from moments knowing that I find I can still find a smile. An important thing.....
As I leaned back in the kitchen chair with a cup of coffee in my hand, a sliver of sunshine pierced through the deck window and interrupted my thoughts. Sweet sunshine; it is a difficult commodity to come by in the depths of winter and I just needed to stop as I felt it warm my face.
As I looked out the window I thought, here is something very severe, yet beautiful about the winter landscape. Especially the trees. They stand stand like soldiers and are eerily stoic in their presence. All of their camouflage of beautiful leaves had been stripped from a season gone by. Abandoned squirrel and birds nests align the highest of branches and red little berries have been left dangling on their own. I noticed that some of the trees had hung on to clusters of red and brown leaves, as if they didn’t know how to let go.
I looked at the stark naked trees and they reminded me of my life; no camouflage for me either. They stand still, eerily still. It’s as if their is a wisdom that lies in their deepest roots that sustain them, and they understand the importance their nakedness; their season of transformation.
And so now I know what I am. A very naked tree, and I too, have hung on to some leaves because I didn’t know how to let go. But nonetheless, my season changed, and I wascompletely stripped of a life gone by. But the miraculous metamorphosis that is taking place under the ground is where the true miracles are happening.
In the darkest winter days of grief and pain, vulnerability and despair will slowly change. It is the dormancy of the deep hard winter, and the darkest and coldest days of our grief that are the most important. The most essential growth and healing happens when we are the most vulnerable. You roots will sustain us through these winter days. They are deep and strong, and eventually the sun will warm your face again, and new growth will again come.
Why is letting go the hardest? I'm starting to understand after being on the planet for 56 years, that faith is never a free fall off a cliff. It's just letting go of things you never ever really held in your hands...there is such peace from actually having an understanding of that thought.
A droplet of water hits a puddle. In that instant of impact, it forms a shape that is unseen by the human eye. In it's lightning speed, we don't see it's stunning beauty... but it there. Something beautiful and unique was formed and became part of something bigger and more beautiful. Even in these dark moments of grief, the purpose of our lives is both unique and powerful, and are not always seen by the naked eye. But in time, we begin to see a new perspective, and our lives will slowly begin to make sense. Life again has an ability to becomes a pool of beautiful droplets. A stunning metamorphosis.
At first look, this dock is very broken..you see, it's been devastated by a powerful storm that carried all of it's wooden planks away. At one time it held up people, sent them on their way safely to whatever vessel was there waiting for them. It had meaning in purpose yes indeed! But now, it is emaciated,torn apart, and battered. But if you look closely, you see the posts..driven deep into the ocean....they were stronger than the storms.... they are still there. It's true strength lies deep within. Planks of wood can be again attached, although new and different, they can be as strong capable and able to be purposeful again.
Remember your posts...although they are sometimes not easy to see, they are your strength and have the ability to welcome new planks..new change..and new purpose. Catherine Capra-Leaf
Thank you everyone for all your prayers today. Those who know me know that I have been fascinated by sunrises and sunsets since my husband died. When I don't always understand my spirituality, I understand them and feel closest to God when I think of them and witness them. They are a beautiful pallet of color that could never exist in a museum. And yet, they are gifted to us twice a day. God's way of telling us he is in charge. It is what I understand for sure. My fiance John has had many struggles in his life too, I painted this for him to remind him that the sun comes up everyday, and God must have wanted us to understand the brilliance and importance of the possibilities a new day brings. Sunsets for me have different message. God's way of saying "Ya got through it all today, find your peace.." When you are given the journey that grief brings, you can't help but question your spiritual concepts. Where did they go? How did they get there? I spend my days trying to grasp a little more of it everyday. So on days like today I am profoundly grateful for your prayers. I had a day full of them and in my sunset, I found my peace. Thank you sisters... you are the best!
Well, another Thanksgiving has passed. I hope it was a good one for everyone. Thanks and Giving. Both wonderful concepts on their own. We as grievers are always thankful that we have made it through another one. And if it's your first...well big hugs.Finding things to be thankful for can be difficult when there is an empty chair at the table. It stings and bites. We are fearful of it all as we approach it. But we all have so much to give, even though we grieve. We don't have to understand our new holidays in any shape or form. We don't have to like it, and we can be down right pissed off about having to bring the cranberry salad or pull on a pair of pantyhose and make small talk when all we want is our pajamas and a good Lifetime movie. Sometimes our 'giving is just being there'. We are giving our presence to our families so they know they haven't lost us too. I hope you got a chance to hug the babies and the grandparents or just sit in a chair and receive the hugs from others. If your holiday was spend amongst a big huge family or with just a few, or even if you chose to spend it alone, know that you are important and loved...I know this for a fact because you are in my sisterhood... and we all are thankful that you give of yourself here. I don't mean to sound like Pollyanna here, but the lonliness you may feel is shared and if we all just "give" a cyber hug or think a kind thought for a sister..it means the world.. Love my sistahs!!!!
"I don't think we ever overcome loss. It's the like shadowed figure of ourselves, when we walk outside on a sunny day. It's always there..following us....we just learn to walk beside it, and the walk is the most important thing."
I was on a flight home from seeing my fiance and had a waive of grief run through my heart. You know, it's what the shrinks call a sabotage moment. My life has been full of change. Pain has come with that change as well as great joy. My children are not all accepting of my change, but I am working hard on that one. My feet feel the burn of walking through the coals. I don't think I have ever had to dig so deep to find my true authentic self. But It is my battlefield right now, and I must find the the light in the darkness because I know it is there and better days are ahead. As I looked out the window I saw the most beautiful sky. Beautiful white clouds softly floated by and I felt God's peace. I am not always receptive to what God is telling me I must admit. Death and loss have made an uncomfortable questioning in my heart. At that moment I realized that it really was OK to feel peace with the floating of the clouds. I felt God telling me it was OK...and I was OK to accept myself;a questioning soul, and that true authentic understanding may just come with embracing my imperfections. If you can't ask the questions you will never know the answers. That was the moment that I actually felt His peace.
I am usually a bit of a white knuckle flyer, but on this day I felt I was on a magic carpet ride within the clouds. May you all find your magic carpet
I made a conscience decision this week to "shut up" and quit being so reactionary to the world. Let my world react to me. I was amazed as to how that changed my days, and how people responded to me much differently when I shut up and let them respond before I did. I learned it doesn't always have to be my job to train and feed the monkeys everyday, and it is OK to just learn to stop and enjoy them....... let them fend for themselves. :0)