This piece is directly from my personal Journal of February 27, 2012.
It is unedited. I hope it brings peace to all who have lost a loved one.
GRIEF AND GRATITUDE
I walked through the doors of The Westcott Group Realty like any typical Monday, briefcase thrown over shoulder, kind of happy I’d found a quarter for the parking meter, mindful of small pleasures. With my game face on I brushed past the man standing in front of the reception desk, probably one of Bill’s customers, I thought as I started to walk by. But just then he turned around and I saw the face of Jim my adopted Dad. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. I dropped my briefcase on the floor and found myself in one of his big loving bear hugs as I fought back the tears pricking the backs of my eyes. My agents were watching... I looked up into his face and he looked older, pale and drawn. Oh no, I thought, he must be sick and he’s come to tell me. I surveyed him up and down as I said “How are you?”, and our eyes locked and he said, “Well, let’s talk”. And I knew it wasn’t going to be good.
We went into my office and he sat in the chair by my desk, his eyes very intent on me. My habitual need to fill silence rose to the surface and I asked “How is Mom”? From the way he looked back at me I knew he was going to tell me she was sick. “Baby, Mom’s gone” he said leaning towards me. His words didn’t register and I just said “Huh?” And he said “Georgie, Linda passed, she’s gone”. I stared dumbstruck, mouth slightly open… but I finally took in what he was saying.
A familiar slam hit my chest, like a trigger it started my body shaking, followed by a hollow queasy feeling and a cold thick numbness in my mind. A voice in my head said… oh I’m very upset and then another tiny voice said oh wait.. this is grief, you are already grieving. You will grieve now. I was astonished at my thoughts and how quickly I felt them. The pain was heavy, the air thick with it. I looked at Jim and saw his face didn’t reflect any of the illness, I had thought he came to tell me about. His face was drawn in grief. Mom Linda’s death, his loss, etched there in every line and in his haunted dark eyes for the entire world to see. I knew the look I had seen it reflected in my morning mirror for a long time. “Oh my God Jim, you must be so lonely” I whispered and then rapid fire questions, “When?, Why?, How? , Why didn’t you call long before now? What”?....
He said she was vey sick, very fast, he was enmeshed in her care and at the hospital, she didn’t want any funeral, she didn’t want people around, it was just him, her sister and his son. That was the way Linda wanted it. You had to know them to know that was the right way for them, the way they would do it. Married 49 years, 2 peas in a pod, joined at the hip every day, only letting a few privileged individuals into their private sanctuary. They had such great love and companionship they needed few others. He asked why they hadn’t heard from me in months especially over the holidays. I had to come clean about my life just then, and tell him what I never wanted to tell them. I knew their disappointment would be so great. I was embarrassed and guilty. “I’m alone Jim” I stated flatly. And I poured out the tale of the demise of my marriage with as little emotion as possible and told him what my life is now..
When I finished I looked up into his face and he had tears streaming down. It was the reason I had avoided him and Linda for a year. It was a blow to him. So many people react that way to the death of Mark and me. He was so sorry for me and for Mark and so disappointed and in such disbelief. He knew us, saw us together, witnessed our life from the beginning, he knew what a great loss it all was. A once beautiful union in tatters, shipwrecked, splintered on the shores of ego and materialism. I was ashamed to reveal our failure to this good strong committed man. He took me in his arms and we cried for it all… for Linda and for times lost. And we remembered all the love and happiness we all shared. Jim wiped my tears and said, “Don’t cry my daughter, I’m sorry you had to go through that.” And I couldn’t believe the man was comforting me! I said “Don’t you dare wipe my tears, I’m here for you!! We talked about his loneliness and his plans for traveling and we reminisced about Mom Linda.
Even now I can still here her voice in my ear. “Georgie, I’m so proud of you or Hey Georgie girl come with me to Kmart.” All the years spent together, all the happy times including one comic Lucy Ricardo type afternoon wallpapering my bedroom in my old West Babylon house my “happy little house” I wish so often to be back in.. I have photos of that day somewhere. God, how many afternoons I spent in her kitchen with tea and cookies and life lessons….not nearly enough. How privileged I was a young newly married 27 year old taken under their wing, the dream parents I never had, always lending a helping hand, 2 people who always wanted a daughter and found it in me. They knew me when, through 2 marriages and coming up from the bottom.
Finally Jim left and I felt the grief train slam into me with renewed force, only this time it had a caboose full of guilt that made my soul ache worse. I didn’t hold her, I didn’t say goodbye, and I wasn’t there. I am so awful. I stood at my desk wanting to grieve with someone that knew her too. But there was nobody in my life that knew what she was to me. Not now. Mark was gone, Steve my buddy was dead, my siblings never understood why I had a Mom Linda, and my real parents were dead. There was nobody from my past to call. I have no one left on this earth who has witnessed my life from the original past ‘back in the day’. I could call a new or recently resurrected friend but it would not be the same. Nobody knows where I come from. People love me now for what I do or what I have . There is no one left in my life who loves me for who I am. Not yet anyway, I'm working to change that. I felt like a stranger in my own life as I realized the source of my loneliness. Is your history still real if no one is there who witnessed or lived it or is it somehow erased? Suddenly my office sanctuary was suffocating.
Before I realize my intention, I felt cold air and sunshine drying my tears. I guess I decided to go for a walk. Out on the street the world was moving along but I felt removed from it. As I walked I felt my feelings. I came out of my head and became mindful of my heart, my true self, no ego, no room for guilt or self pity. I realized I identified the grief right away and I felt it. 2 years ago that would not have happened. Wow! I’m feeling it, resolving it, working through it. I thought, I now know what grief is and I know how to grieve. I was so proud of myself. For the first time in my life I wasn’t running away, squashing down, suppressing or denying my pain. I had actually been looking for someone to share it with. Now that was a breakthrough! I was a far cry from the girl who hung up the phone after being told her mother was dead and ordered carpet, the girl who nearly refused to go into the room where her mother’s casket was, denying a death all too real. No. I was now a woman facing the pain head on and moving towards the feelings knowing I would be OK.
I was awakened as I felt Mom Linda’s love transcending death to teach me this lesson about myself. I reflected on all the love and laughter we shared and was so grateful for it. I took solace in knowing that beautiful energy from our heart to heart talks was put out into the universe still somewhere making it a better place. The vibration of our love is such a sweet sound like the soft humming of angels while they perform daily tasks.
It was a chilly day with brilliant sunshine as I walked around the lake and I felt lucky to be alive. As the sun reflected on the lake I reflected on my life. I ignored my ego and I opened my heart. I thanked God for all the days I had with Mom Linda as I felt His grace in the pain of my grief. His grace gave me the wisdom to get through this sad experience and loss by leading me to see the goodness not the suffering in grief. Spirit showed me grief and gratitude go together. The gratitude leads me through the pain to be grateful for my time with Linda and the people still in my life.
I realized I sometimes let “life” get in the way of the important things; I let life get in the way of the feelings in my heart. I vowed to never again miss an opportunity to spend time with someone special because of a circumstance my ego tells me to avoid. My ego caused me to miss the last year of her life. I am programmed to think too much with my head, intellectualize and analyze and worry and sit on the fence to try and make sense of things. It is time to reprogram myself. The truth I learned today is that the mind holds no answers when it comes to understanding the overwhelming nature of life. Only the heart can experience the truth of all tragedy and beauty and connect with others. The heart holds all the answers. To truly experience life we have to use our hearts not our minds.
I suddenly understand a Universal Truth: Gratitude is the antidote to grief!
And I am reminded
Fear does not keep you safe love does.
Peace and love,
Spiritual Healer, Energetic Medium
This Blog is the story of the miracles, challenges and lessons of my life journey. Years ago when I hit a personal "rock bottom" my despair led me to seek answers and my quest for truth began. Amazing events propelled me on a spiritual journey of transformation.. Miraculously, through these experiences my life has become my teacher and my friend.... I hope my words connect us and allow us to walk together for a time as teacher and friend to each other. The most valuable thing we have during this human experience is our connection to love. The love in our soul for a higher power and others is the only thing that is real. I honor these connections through my writing. Theses words are my gift inspired through the heart of Spirit for you. I hope by sharing my journey it will enlighten, inspire and ease yours as it does mine >> ... Peace... Georgia Rose