Let’s Talk, Talk, Talk
Is it not easy to just be left alone with our feelings, rather than talk about our pains and uncertainties? Far better than showing our weaknesses of emotions and vulnerability. At times I felt withdrawn, numb, wanting the world to go away; I now look at this as my ‘me’ syndrome. The head talk and feelings, why me? Why us? What about my children? Thoughts of How could you understand, as people tried to console me. “You don’t know what I am going through” You can get the picture? It became about ME.
At times this picture is understandable to some, as we all react in different ways according to our perception, yet it has a tendency to hold us in self pity and unless we aware of it, from there it can be a downhill slide.
Through my first experience of widowhood the thought and feeling that my children need me, I was all that they had. I need to make it up to them were dominant in my mind. It took a colleague of mine gently suggesting that to stay whole and healthy I needed to have some time to myself. Eventually seeing the reasoning I ventured out into the new wide world. New, because my old world had collapsed, everything that I knew and had felt secure in had left me. I sat with friends often and talked, it was easier as they were always open and unattached.
Family members at time felt it hard to dialogue about the loss, they have their own feelings to process and so can be a little biased and sometimes condescending, albeit unintentional. We tire of hearing the words, ‘it will take time, it will pass, everything will be ok’. While all of this is true, it’s difficult to have it repeated verbatim. Family support is really important in the early day of bereavement; we are very vulnerable and need that extra TLC, for myself I can only describe those days as living in a ‘cotton wool world’; full on numbness of initial grief, whether loss is sudden or through physical illness.
Realization shows me that this is both a physical and mental protection, more so a spiritual space to withdraw, reflect and connect to our inner selves, to talk to self. Reflecting on these early days I now see that they were beneficial and special. I could talk to God, talk to my loved one as well as the inner dialogue. Staying open to the whole experience was extremely important for the going forward.
During the first loss I was shown that my dialogue to my spouse was not helpful; it came from fears, those of ‘what shall I do, I don’t like being left alone ‘Talking silently and asking my spouse to remain with me so I could feel the comfort of his presence. I was scared, it’s easy to do. The day of the funeral I received a written note that had been left with my family, written by a cousin of my husband who was a lay preacher of a church. I didn’t really know him and had not seen him sitting at the back of the funeral service.
The note started with an apology for the content yet he felt it had to be given as he received it. The message stated that my husband had become earthbound because of my pain and needs and that I had to let him go, that all would be ok. There was also other personal information and promises for me, which till now have proved true. Added to that there was also conversational information that had not been shared with any other, the impact on me was profound to the extent that I did let go.
I know it sounds like a clip from the movie ‘Ghost ‘ yet I assure you that this was many years previous in 1980. Our loved ones have the right to go forward in their transition as do we. Staying aware of what form our conversations take, especially thoughts sent to loved ones in the early days of leaving their body
When we talk we are always answered, staying aware and discerning are the keys. Communion we hear and feel from those we love come when we are mostly relaxed and in thought; we are always connected through our hearts, those imprints will be full of love, upliftment, positivity, and support. Anything less then we need to take stock of where we are in our own emotions.
When I heard the news of the loss of my son was 23 years old, fit, healthy and vital, it was over the phone. The only way I can describe the moment was it as if a huge plank of wood at hit me travelling at the speed of light. The shock threw me into a whirlpool of mind stuff and a storm of pain. Added to this I had to live through 2 hours of ‘not knowing’ which son had died, both had been serving in the British Army in Germany at the time.
I was travelling with friends in Vancouver unaware that he had died 2 days before. The mental maelstrom that came through me at that time was unfathomable. Eventually through amazing detective work , a friend traced the name of the son and yet not the cause of the death. The Ferry journey to the mainland became surreal; I voiced that I had many questions , again why it had to happen, hadn’t I experienced enough?
Fortunately or by the grace of God I had the initial support of long time friends. The ferry was full with no seating to be seen, my friends were concerned, then a seating area next to a window appeared empty apart from a gentleman, just enough seats for us all. This complete stranger seemed to know I was in shock and asked to speak with me; he relayed to me what seemed like my complete life story and the connection between mother and son. His last words were for me not to be left alone for 48 hours, this he repeated twice.
On getting to the airport to return me to my home in Calgary, we found that the last flight had left; we were place in a hotel for the night. A series of events left me on my own in the room, it was then when the numbness left me and the pain of the loss became unbearable; my head felt like it was being squeezed in a vice, seeing the window was all I could focus on, life was shattered again, it felt meaningless, I wanted to jump, I wanted to end it all with no thought for family and how they would feel, the pain too great.
Walking crying in physical and spiritual pain I went toward the window, No says a loud voice which I wanted to ignore an even louder ,resounding ‘no ‘ followed. It was enough to call out ‘God help me’. Once again the crying stopped. The pain left and the warm sense of peace swept over me, in that moment all was ok. My friend returned and couldn’t understand why I was so calm.
I spent the night with no sleep, communing with my son until I felt as though a butterfly had kissed my cheek. He had heard and responded.
Awareness of energy then filled me with the knowing that no one goes anywhere we just transition our body from one reality to another.