|after my return from being with my brother, mom holding my brother's memorial card by some flowers that had been put out for him and reblossomed with no water. she, my husband and son had a goodbye for him at that spot.|
As if dealing with D.T. as president of the US and the predator scum, one by one floating to the surface, wasn't enough– many of us have experienced undue personal grief and tragedy.
Personally, having my mom, who lived with me, and my brother-- both who were my soul-connections within my family of origin-- *cross-over this year has slammed me.
I was by my brother's side during parts of his illness and at his death on January 13th of this year. With mom living with us for the past two years, and her very cognisant and verbal narration of her long good-bye over this year, I physically and emotionally feel rode hard and put up wet (one of her southern sayings).
Mom had said throughout my life, a parent should never outlive their child. Her exit was paved, in part, by the trail out of here that my brother had blazed. She was also 94 and felt she'd fought the good fight and pondered her readiness to check out the whole year until her final announcement which heralded her exit a little over 24 hours later. (another story)
The bigger fallout of those events is that my mom and my brother were the people in my birth family that I could turn to over my entire life to hash out family *stuff.* We spoke the same language. We had lived with the same abuser. We commiserated about dynamics within our family. For my brother and my mom-- we were each others' therapists. And effective ones at that.
So now I am very conscious of a deep aloneness that I am left with when it comes to that part of my life. Imagining them together and remembering my mom's beautiful, relaxed smile at the end of life that told me that she was where she wanted to be and in loved ones' presence is the wave of energy I attempt to ride when it all just feels too much.
My job now is to establish a new normal. While feeling as if I am walking on a cloud that one minute will support me and the next moment a leg totally falls through and leaves me dangling, I strive to find stable ground again.
There are people that have had it much worse than me. I haven't lost a child, but I'll tell you, getting hit this heavy and with everything going on in the world, it brings concerns like that more to the fore for me and that is not a good place to live.
Reality visited. Death came and reminded me how much it is a part of life. I walked both my brother and my mother to *the other side. The ache of their absence feels quite acute; I'm adjusting to the internal shifts from the aftershocks of their deaths.
Last year at this time I was so ready to say goodbye to 2016 because the entire year my brother was battling his illness and it wreaked havoc on us all. I hoped upon hope that 2017 would show us some light. Instead it was a rapid whoosh of emotional turbulence. Not the wee kind but the monster variety.
There was light in 2017; it's just difficult to see at times. I want to beg 2018 to be a kinder and gentler version of a year.
I want to ask Death and Tragedy to take a miss of those I love, if it would be so kind.
I want to peel off this cotton wool I am attempting to wrap my emotional self in because it is not working and it is suffocating me.
Home is where the heart is . . . and I know that Home is "the other side" where my momma and my sweet brother wait.
In the mean time they want joy for me and my family; I was told that repeatedly. And I know if they are peeking in on me, they do not want to see me letting sadness steal my days.
My tender heart will heal but the scars will hold the many stories of deep loss that only comes with deep love.
No more believing in the magic of a new year.
No counting on others to pull me out of the abyss.
Each moment is a new beginning and my work is to find my way with each breath.
If only we could count on a "happy" new year to give us a break, but alas, we cannot.
Here's to everyone needing support and understanding as they navigate their way after great loss-- those that have lost relationships or connection or people or soulmate pets or have lost a sense of inner peace or your identity or sense of health and safety . . . the list trails into 2018 and beyond.
You are not alone.
* during my mother's death process she referred to it repeatedly as "crossing over" and "the other side." these were terms I had never heard her say before and since she was plugged directly into the Great Mystery, I am convinced she had direct knowledge and those will be my terms forever more. one day I will write about the magical experience of her good-bye.