One of the reasons I write is…friends have asked me to keep going. It’s helping me to track myself, and I learn more about what I feel. Another reason is that I haven’t found any good written material about what it’s really like to go through this kind of loss. I’ve gotten practiced at tracking my feelings, and writing about them. I hope that this blog will be useful someday to someone who loses their spouse, or a child. So many of us seemed ashamed or embarrassed by grief. I am not; this is the most human experience I’ve ever had. I hope that these writings will help others see the power and beauty and divine gift that is available when we embrace our loss, and let it rip through us.
Which is happening for me again now. Thursday night, the summer solstice, is the six month anniversary of Nancy’s passing.
Gee, I wonder why I was feeling a lot of anxiety last week? I was scarcely aware, but some part of me knew. I remember her last night with crystal clarity, the discussions, the decisions, her anger, the support of family and friends, hours of watching her heart stop and then restart, over and over. Someday I’ll share more about that, and the first day afterwards.
Six months. It could be six days, or six decades, so much has happened, and yet so much is the same. Six is “The Lovers” in most Tarot decks, and I still feel the power of that force between us.
So I am here yet again with my grief. This is so familiar now, like coming about in a sailboat and feeling the boat surge under your feet as the wind takes her. Thursday is going to be tough, and Friday probably worse. I haven’t really cried fully for a month, and found myself with tears running down my face while motorcycling home tonight. This is not a good thing, there is no way to wipe tears away at freeway speeds on a bike!
And this is also about a new kind of support, another change in my life this week. I entered into formal ritual and vows last night, Taking Refuge, at Sukhasiddhi, my Tibetan buddhist community. The core vow is
Until enlightenment, I take refuge
in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Through the accumulation of merit and wisdom,
may I awaken for the benefit of all beings.
This vow runs deep, it may take a few or many incarnations to achieve. What this really means is that I’m preparing to take on my buddhist practices more seriously and deeply. They have held me well, and I can only respond by holding them well.
Oh buddhas and boddhisattvas and teachers through the millennia, I hear and honor your calling. Please hold me as I cry.