Be Saying ‘The Long Goodbye’

Grief is like one very long goodbye. My willingness to say goodbye is what is going to propel me forward.

Right now, I am a very sensitive being. I am very conscious of who I engage with and who gets a superficial ‘hello’. My senses are on high alert as I continue to grieve mom’s suffering in the hospital and as I grieve the loss of my mom each day. I can sense when someone is ‘on the same page’ as I am. I feel a harmony that exists on a spiritual/emotional level.

One friend that has met me exactly where I am at, recommended this amazing book. It is a memoir of a daughter losing her mother to colon cancer. It is real, kind, cruel, beautiful, pure grief and completely harmonious with where I am at.

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There were two things that struck me:

First, the ideas about other cultures having rituals around grief that we in the Western world don’t have. I wish I could wear black to symbolize my grief or at least make a sign like you hang on your store when you are having lunch that says: “On a grief break. Back in about ____ months. Fill in the blank. Your guess is as good as mine!” Every time I step out of my home, it is an effort. Every relationship I have is conscious and with people I feel God has placed in my life and are healthy for where I am at.

Broken.

Wounded.

Hurting.

Beautifully fragile.

A flower awaiting the sun.

Holding still.

Being.

The second idea that stuck with me from this book of great wisdom for me is this quote that comes from chapter fifteen. The author is speaking about a woman she had met. Here is the quote:

On December 30, I went to a party at my friend Stephanie’s, a reunion of friends. Maureen, a woman I’ve met earlier this year, took my hand and said,” I have been thinking about you, how are you?” She seems always to be seen what she believes, or finding a way to see what she believes, and so I told her about the ashes, about the difficulty of the anniversary., And idly mentioned the quarrel I’d had with a friend.

Maureen said, “these are the 18 months when you find out who can really go there and who can’t. This is a vulgar way of putting it, and there are many wonderful things about our culture, but I’m sorry, it is a phobic culture. People do not want to confront the existential mess that is life. They want to check things off – okay, you’re okay. I just because you can talk about your grief, you know,” she said, looking sharply at me, ” doesn’t mean you are in control of it, or that you know what’s going on. You’re in the ocean. And what you think, what you analyze, that is just descanting of that ocean. Your mind is an ocean and it has scary things in it. While you may be able to analyze your grief at 3 PM, that has nothing to do with how you feel at 3 AM, in the dark center of night. “

Oceans.

Nighttime.

Talk.

Feelings.

Out of control.

Understanding.

Living.

The Long Goodbye.

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