Happy belated summer solstice blessings to you from the northern hemisphere since I think that’s where most of you are. Thanks for being here and receiving my nuggets of wisdom about grief. And if you’re new here-welcome!
And while it was just the longest day of the year, I feel a kind of dissonance as I actually feel like I’m in the southern hemisphere where it was winter solstice…so happy winter solstice blessings to those of you there.
Yes, I feel as if I’m still in the depths of winter in some ways because of everything we’ve gone through these past 15 months.
And it reminds me that sometimes when you’re in deep grief, it can feel like you’re stuck in winter.
And speaking of stuck…I just got stuck writing this June blog to you, so I closed my computer, put on my walking shoes and went outside.
When in doubt go outside and place your feet on the earth and move your body if you can.
Listen to the crickets and linger there.
Be mesmerized by grasshoppers.
Feel the air touching your skin.
Enjoy the breeze if there’s one.
Watch the grasses dance.
Find your own breath.
And begin a duet and take turns moving.
Notice some movement outside yourself and then dance it.
And then notice if you feel different. I always do.
Recently, I watched an epic sunset with Michael and one of our caregivers who’s become a dear friend. Michael was in a tilt-back in his power wheel chair (a tilt-back is what he has to do every 30 minutes to get the blood back in his butt, otherwise he’s at risk for pressure sores).
For those you who are new here, my partner is a quadriplegic as the result of a mountain biking accident, and this is the grief I’ve had to befriend.
When he does a tilt-back it looks like he’s about to blast off into space; it’s an excellent position for him to view the skies.
So inspired by his position, I laid down on the sidewalk to look up and give my neck a break. And our friend did the same.
So there we all were laying back watching the show the sky was giving us with the passage of time and light. The sky changed from bright pinks and oranges to subtle blues and greys. It was beautiful and we were in awe of it all.
The swallows were flying low and loopy.
I stood up and began to dance like them and move my body.
I found something moving in nature and then I moved like it.
Then I tuned into my own body and found what other movement wanted to come out.
Our friend joined me in this duet with the outside world. Who needs music to dance?
When the light faded we gave the sunset a round of applause. And we enthusiastically jumped up and shouted, “Yes” to the beauty of this world.
It was a beautiful moment in time. And for a moment I felt so grateful and content.
When you’re in deep grief, it may be hard to find moments of joy and delight, so when they come, revel in them if you can.
My light has been dimmed lately. I’m still feeling the heaviness of the grief and chaos we’ve been through.
I found this quote on Instagram that spoke to me…
“While the outside world rushes to move on, the experience of the pandemic has yet to fully leave my body. Parts of my body, my mind, my spirit are still trapped in the limbo of pandemic despair, pandemic depression, pandemic numbness, pandemic survival. I will NOT be pressured to move at the breakneck speed of capitalism that wants to forget everything. I will remind myself as often as I can to move at the pace of my own healing, and be attuned to my own slow and tender needs.” ~Yumi Sakugawa, Artist
Yes, I’ll attune to my own slow and tender needs, this is what my focus has been lately. And maybe you are too.
I still feel the grief in my body and the fear of what we’ve been through and what we’re now continuing to navigate in this “new normal.”
So I’ve been listening to my body more and napping and resting.
Drink water and be near water if you can.
Hold a stone in your hands and feel its weight.
Talk with your peeps and witness one another as we come back to some semblance of “normal.”
And if you need a container and some creativity to help you process what we’ve been through, I’ll be leading a Zoom event on July 21st with the Shyft at Mile High in Denver.
Here’s the Zoom link to sign up: https://www.shyftatmilehigh.org/ripples-of-loss/
I’ll guide you through the Ripples of Loss exercise to help you create a map of your past 16 months.
Who were you before the pandemic, who were you during it and who are you now and/or who are you becoming?
I think we’re still in this liminal stage where we don’t quite know what’s next.
This can also be a time and place for your to process any specific grief loss you may have.
And remember grief isn’t just related to death loss. It’s also loss of identity, dreams, relationships, career, money and finances, etc. Grief loss is anything related to any sudden change.
And we can even have loss with good changes such as graduations, marriages, or having a baby.
As my grief mentor Sobonfu Somé told me, any time something new comes in, an old part has to die to make room for the new.
So, remember dear ones:
Be kind to yourself.
Be curious about your grief and just notice, don’t judge.
And when in doubt, get outside and place your feet on the ground and simply breathe.