Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grief: And Much Much More

I'm not going to write too much.  I'm on the hotel's computer.  Today is Artie's third dead birthday.  Someone left a comment once that they think of the day someone dies as their new birthday.  I know Artie had two birthdays - the day he was born and the day he got sober.

I have been at this amazing conference about hypnosis and new therapy ideas.  I will share a lot more details with you when I'm comfy in Seattle waiting for my granddaughter to be born.  One I wanted to share today is how we tend to define ourselves in a narrow way.  I'm grieving, I say.  I'm sad and lonely. It's the truth, but if I make it the whole truth it can be defined as a negative hallucination. I am learning to not just welcome all those feelings but also to "widen the field".  I am learning to train myself to see the world - and myself as full of infinite possibilities.

I woke up this morning and said, "I'm so lonely without Artie.  I want to celebrate his birthday with him not without him."  Then I asked, "Okay, that's normal but what else?"  "I'm sad.  I always feel sad that he's dead.  I know he's with me on some spiritual level but I need him the way he used to be.  I need his voice and his laugh and his body and the twinkle in his eyes."  Then I said, "Of course, I feel that way - but what else?"  "I'm interested in what I'm going to learn at the conference today."  "What else?" "I'm looking forward to having dinner with Artie's friend tonight."  What else?  "I'm scared.  This is the first time I've spent Artie's dead birthday with someone.  It's the first year in many years I haven't bought him a cupcake and lit a candle."  "What else?"  "I'm strong.  I have a lot of friends to love and support me." 

Try it.  We are composed of so many things, so many emotions.  The sadness and pain don't have to leave.  On the other hand, we can be much much more.  We already are much much more.  You can do a phsyical experiment.  Stand up and stand in a place.  Imagine that is the place where you are in the most pain from grieving.  Step back - or sideways - or on a chair and look at yourself from a different perspective.  See if you can see other things that you are.  Repeat this as many times as you wish and then carry all the things with you into the painful grief spot and fill yourself up with the other things you are.  See yourself through the eyes of the person who died who loves you.  I know they see you as much much more even if you can't right now - but I have a feeling your mind is already saying, "Wait a minute - someone said something the other day and I laughed.  I'm someone who is sad and some who can laugh."  Now your mind is starting to say much much more.

My time is almost up on this hotel computer.  Artie, I miss you.  I love you.  I had a great time at dinner with your friend; my friend too.  We talked about you and I think you were there with us and happy for us.  I honor you on your birthday and every day.  Thank you for always seeing me as much much more even when I couldn't.  Hey there, a flash of his loving eyes.  In the world?  In my imagination?  Who knows?  It doesn't matter.  I love his loving eyes and how I look in them.

May you all breathe and take a brief moment to ask yourself what parts of yourself you haven't been noticing because the grief has hidden them.  I know that you are all sad...but also much, much more. xo

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