Dealing with Grief

In the wake of recently losing my mother to a long-suffering terminal illness, I found myself drowning in the throws of her death's aftermath. I had spent the past two years making sojourners from New York City to Elmira New York; a six hour drive at times, putting my career on hold with absolutely no regrets. Like a lot of mother/daughter relationships, ours was complex, fascinating, multi-dimensional. We spent the two years dealing with a lot of our differences and faustering closure on many things. I marveled at the process of becoming the parent and she the child. After a lifetime of feeling as though we had little in common, it took the end of her life to realize that we ultimately had the most in common at that point--our physical sufferings. And it felt good knowing I could comfort her with my experiences.

Her funeral, though heart-wrenching, was also heartwarming as I got to pick the Scripture readings, asked family members to participate and courageously delivered her eulogy. I even somehow found the strength to sing "Ave Maria" for her one last time as the sun streamed through the stained glass windows behind me on what was previously a gray, rainy day. Wow--all wrapped up in a bow, right? NOT SO MUCH!!!

Like most grieving processes, the hardest part began in coping with the finality of the loss. Combined with terminating a couple other relationships shortly thereafter, I felt the challenges to be painfully overwhelming. Even though I had successfully endured my own traumatic loss, losing mother is a whole other dimension and I really wasn't sure if I could get through it.

Grace--once again--Grace! l started each day in prayer and meditation asking for guidance, patience, faith, direction, strength, endurance and how to artfully let go. Also, I was fortunate enough to spend the ensuing winter in Florida--deeply grateful that I had the time and space to be in the sunlight with family, new faces and new surroundings, which truly helped. And the constant connection with a couple of friends who would not let me drown--all helped me to come up for air and turn the corner. The process continues...

I cannot speak highly enough about the healing resources of spiritual wellness during life changes. I returned to yoga and meditation two years ago when I found out she was dying and don't think I could have gotten through without it. I am curious to know how you are dealing with similar issues, in particular, grief. Please feel free to share here in communal support--such an important way to connect, learn and heal.

In peace and compassion, Nameste!