Tag Archives: mourning

spilling open


The night (and weekend) is drawing to a close. I am laying in bed in the darkness, savouring the sweetness of a couple of freesia blossoms on the simple altar set up on my dresser, my feet warming beneath my blankets, toes tucked under an herbal heat pack stuffed with rosemary and lavender.

I’m feeling sad again, though I truly can’t name the exact cause of my sadness. It is many things, really. Mourning losses, over again; could have beens, never wases and should have beens. Never agains.

I mourn that I have no living parents left.

I mourn that the only sibling I have has grown so distant from me over the years that we can’t even share the truth of our hearts, or have adequate words with which to do so, or trust that no matter what, we will not add to the other’s pain.

I mourn that the relationship that I thought I had with my husband, at first imagining that it would be solid and impervious to all storms, proved itself to be something else entirely.

I mourn that the one relationship I thought could weather such a storm, or the capacity to grow into one that could, is being experienced by another person who in so many ways is very much like myself.

I mourn my younger self, who was beautiful even though she never thought she was, though she still had enough confidence in her appearance to know she could sometimes be almost pretty, and her body was still desirable to someone that she might also find desirable.

I mourn the silencing of my heart, the part that was intrepidly pursuing love despite repeated failed attempts.

There is a saying (from Rumi, I believe, or perhaps Hafiz) that says that to love gives us strength and to be loved gives one courage. This is true, but I think, also, that it takes great courage to love – to really surrender to loving another and *to the love of* another – but to do so also gives one great strength. I know this to be true, because I have felt how unwavering that sense of faith is in the strength of a common love. The hard part for me, now, is to overcome my skepticism about the transient nature of this love, to allow it to infuse me, should it ever present itself to me again.

Perhaps, when that happens, my faith and spirituality will also, once again, be restored.

On breaking down… a personal essay

I break down, randomly and with great regularity. I wonder when the tears will stop flowing, and the pain will transform into something else, something useful, like resolve or definitive action.

I wonder why I feel so broken this time, why a relationship that lasted but a year is capable of dissolving me into the putrid mess I have become. I wonder if it was simply the tipping point, the drop that made the bucket overflow, bringing with it all of the water that I had thought to be of the under the bridge kind.

I am mourning a loss but don’t understand why this man, who didn’t care about me deeply enough to be honest with his intentions (though I don’t think he was honest with himself, either), is worthy of my sorrow.

Why is it bothering me so much this time? Because I am older, and sometimes not wiser, and certainly faded in all of my physical attributes, the ones I had relied upon growing up and prior to marrying, imagining that if I picked carefully, I would only have to do it once?

Self-worth has always been an issue, but moreso now, as I look at what it is that I can offer to the world-not much, in my estimation, but I know on a deeper level that that is wrong, that is my inner critic speaking.

Or perhaps it is my mother at her most cynical, in her moments when she would scream at me at the top of her voice, letting me know that I was a choice, that she could have had me scratched out, like the several before me, how she suffered to bring me into the world and how I was an awful, awful child, always misbehaving. Fortunately, I was oblivious of these things as a young child, this being brought to my attention only as a young adult.

And fear grips me. The fear of being obsolete and useless. The fear of not being able to better myself or my situation. The fear of not being able to figure out how to fill out an application to resume my long-abandoned education and the fear of not being able to absorb the material or even qualify for entrance.

Why an application to college fills me with dread and befuddles me to the point of paralysis is beyond me, but it does.

I wish for a hand. One to hold, that will guide me through the process, slowly and methodically, never faltering in its support or wavering in its faith. One that knows something I don’t, has done something I haven’t yet but aim to do, and has triumphed. One who knows that I will triumph too.

Mostly, I wish for kindness. Kindness and the kind of love that is deep and compassionate. One that will not threaten to scratch me out.

Did I say I didn’t hurt anymore? I was wrong.

Did I say I didn’t hurt anymore?  I was wrong.

For a little while the wound had healed, the pain replaced with a sort of numbness, like the kind that comes when nerve endings have been severed with a scalpel.

It took me by surprise this new onslaught, sharp and bright;

it caught in my throat and made my eyes hot with tears.

I was shuffling along the sidewalk, my back and shoulders laden with shopping bags, a back pack and a heart heavy with the pain of recurring loss.

Wave upon wave of desertion and reclamation finally unfurled the reknitting my heart had managed to do.

I surrendered to a monolith of a boulder that had beckoned to me as I was making my way home.

I thought I was done with the tears.  In this, too, I was mistaken.

So I let them come.

Flowing in rivulets from the outer corners of my eyes, they mingled with the rain drops that sprinkled my face.

For a moment I wondered whether the cars driving by noticed the lump of a woman spread out like an offering.

The rock was solid and smooth and warm despite the overcast sky.

Solidly it bore me with a strength that I seemed incapable of sustaining myself.

My sorrow settled, seeping from my body to deep within the stone.

I stood up after a while to resume my walk.

One foot in front of the other, step by step, I wove my way back home.

Non-visual journal entry… well, sort of…

Stargazing Tip for April 9

The Moon huddles quite close to the brightest star of Virgo tonight. Spica is a little to the upper left of the Moon as they rise in early evening.

Big Hand for a Little Star

Stardate: April 9, 2009

The tears are flowing this morning, a relentless stream following the inner crease of my eye, along my nose and down my cheeks to be deftly wiped away before they escape. I don’t know why today is any different than yesterday, or tomorrow. Since being let go from my job at the beginning of January, it’s all been like one long flowing day, punctuated with stress here and there, but otherwise rather dull and numbing.

How is it that every time change occurs in my life, it has to be everything all at once? Is it my sense of impatience in general that controls even the manifestations of my higher self? Are we both equally impatient? And yet, I must be patient, for I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for something to happen that will push me into the place where I will flourish. Perhaps this is it. If only it wasn’t so gut-wrenchingly devastating at the same time. I wish I could muster up more enthusiasm in light of these developments.

Perkily, Steve went apartment hunting yesterday, online, and found a junior one bedroom apartment that he’s put dibs on in Costa Mesa. Funny how the very construct we met upon so many years ago has also facilitated our separation. It’s not as though it happened suddenly, and blind-sided us. It became a wedge, like a curtain drawn between hospital beds, and severed our connection. While there is a fondness between us, we’ve lost our soul connection. I wonder, sometimes, if it was ever really there.

I wonder what the point of our union was in the first place. If it was to get me here to California, it has seemingly failed in its purpose, since I will be leaving to go back to Canada shortly. Of course, that too is my choice. I could stay here, but I have no where to go. Doesn’t seem like much of a choice. I don’t feel safe here. And I’m not sure why I feel any differently about being in Canada, but some things reach me at gut-level and I’ve intuited this as being the best course of action.

I am afraid. I am afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. I am afraid that I will amble from one job to the next as a means of paying my bills without deriving any joy or satisfaction out of my daily work. I fear that I will not be able to support myself and Gabriel to a standard that will match what we are leaving behind. I fear that he will also someday abandon me in favor of living with his father. I fear that I will never figure out what it is that I am here to do on this earth, making it all a pointless exercise in futility, like pounding sand. I fear that I will start off this new segment of my life with so much less than I started with, and that I won’t have the strength, ambition or focus to make it back to good. Sometimes I fear I’ve made such a mess of things that it is too far gone to fix; that it’s irreparably damaged.

I have this sense of diminished worth that I carry like a mantle. Who gave this to me, I wonder? Was it intended to protect me during my meandering through life? Did I put it there to protect myself from undue interest; to not have to measure up to anything because I was running under the radar? How can it be that I have not been able to maintain an intimate relationship with another human being? Am I meant to be alone?

I get these inspirational quotes via email. Today’s is “Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness” attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes. Some days they inspire me; other days, like today, they merely sound insipid.

Taking down the tree…

It’s odd how even though you know that a relationship is over, being in the throes of the last dying vestiges of it are still difficult.  There is this immense sense of failure and along with it an equally intense sadness… not for what is ending but for what it could have been… its lost potential.  So it is firmly rooted in this emotion that I took down the Christmas tree this morning.  

I’d been putting off… not that I don’t normally take forever to do it anyway, but it was a thing that I was ruing even as it was being put up.  That moment was poignant in itself, each of the three of us knowing that it was the last time that we would be sharing this type of moment together.  In years past, especially the last several, only Gabriel and I participated in decking out the tree with ornaments, so I was somewhat surprised (though pleased) that Steve decided to join in.  

It’s been many months of “lasts” since we’d had our discussion about finally and irrevocably ending our relationship. I’m not yet sure whether this whole drawn out process is good or not. As with the deaths of my parents, my mother’s was sudden and my father’s was not (though it was not horribly drawn out, either), in both cases there was still an incredible sense of loss at the end, and a time of mourning, and though the process differed somewhat in both, the end was the same and equally painful and left me bereft. Perhaps this longer mourning period is good. Perhaps the opportunity to say goodbye to each familial habit… to notice it and remember it, in all of its facets, and then let it go… is a good thing.

I haven’t really spoken to Gabriel about this whole digestion process. I don’t know if he’s doing it as well, or whether we will get to the end of our time together and he will find it difficult to cope with the sudden change. Again the sense of failure engulfs me… and an accompanying guilt.  I’ve done the best I could to sort out this mess, with little help and support. I often wonder whether Steve’s inaction was something I should have paid attention to a long time ago… whether that was my cue to stop trying too, because no matter what I did after that point, it wouldn’t make a difference in the end result.  

I am grateful, though, for the learning process it provided. I’ve learned that I am a lot more tenacious than I thought I was… that I can think on my feet and find solutions to things that seem imponderable… that I really do love myself, even though I’ve spent so many years denying myself my own affections, simply because I thought others deserved them more.

There was a knock on my door a few moments ago, and a package dropped on my doormat. I opened it just now and see that it is a holiday gift from my friend Rita, who I’d not been able to connect with over the holidays but to whom I’d sent by way of Bonnie her gift from me. Again… I am overcome with emotion. Just last night, as I lay in bed contemplating the ache in my neck and shoulders, and feeling needy for a kind and gentle rub on the back (you know… the kind your mom used to give you to comfort you… slow, circular, right over the heart chakra area on your back, and just firm enough to soothe away the aches of the body and the soul), I thought it would be wonderful to get a massage (that I can’t afford right now, and haven’t had in ages). And… as I opened my gift, I saw that it contained a little sachet-ful of body care goodies, and a gift card to a women’s dayspa (where, incidentally, I used to work as a massage therapist before I went back to full-timing it behind a computer screen). I am so very lucky, because even though I can’t seem to maintain a relationship with a man, my friendships are golden.