Friday, June 14, 2019

the many colors of grief, part 2


I will be here

I will be strong
I'll face my fears
When the night is long
And still go on
I will be brave
I will be bold
Follow my faith
To a higher road
And I'm not there yet
But I will be

~Wynona Judd, chorus of “I will be”
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Getting it all out doesn't mean we need to be victims. It doesn't mean we need to revel in our misery, finding status in our martyrdom. It doesn't mean we won't go on to set boundaries. It doesn't mean we won't take care of ourselves.
Sometimes, getting it all out is an essential part of taking care of ourselves. We reach a point of surrender so we can move forward.                                                                      ~Melody Beattie, from “The Language of Letting Go
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I tend to be incredibly hard and impatient with myself.

My wise friend Pat once advised me to treat myself with the same patience, mercy, and understanding that I treated the people around me—especially when they were walking through a difficult situation.

So, as I mentioned last time, I have been deliberately giving myself time and space to find my way  -- and find my grounding and Peace – as I mourn and move forward in the new life of being a heart patient.

I’m not going to lie. It has been a lot to take in.

I dislike (aka. hate) the many colors of bruises that decorate various parts of my body each day, with no recollection about how I got them! I really dislike trying to figure out the side effects of my new meds.

As I was saying to my mother in law earlier today, I have days when I’m good, and I have days when I’m teary, and I have days when I’m pissed off, and I have days when I am so full of gratitude that I can’t help but be teary, again!  

But that sounds like living life, doesn’t it?

Today, it is okay to just say that I may not "be" where I want to be, that I’m not there yet – but I will be!


Here’s a song that reflects my current colors of grief, as well as all its lyrics -- words that have strengthened my heart this week!

 Video of Wynonna Judd

"I will be"

          Been caught in a downpour of a rain of stones
Felt like an exile in the world I had known 
So I sought the shelter of my own soul
And stayed inside 
I found no comfort in placing blame 
I saw the hope that lay just beyond the pain 
The past is a prison and I won't wear those chains 
And I won't hide, oh no I will be here I will be strong I'll face my fears When the night is long And still go on I will be brave I will be bold Follow my faith To a higher road And I'm not there yet But I will be I could choose to keep my feet upon the beaten path 
Never cross the open field for the one snake in the grass 
But I'd rather risk my heart then never get the chance 
To find my way, to find my way

ps. photos of permanent Chihuly exhibit at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Monday, June 10, 2019

the many colors of grief, part 1

"The pain passes, 
but the beauty remains."

~ Artist Auguste Renoir, Artist

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“Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.~Phil 4:7
+   +   +

The summer after my dad died, I found myself attracted to colors that, on the surface, did not seem to fit the somber emotions swirling inside me.

But I guess that was the point, no? 

Looking back on it now, it is rather obvious that I was looking for “color” as I walked through my grieving!

The color was this gorgeous ocean blue, which subconsciously – and then again, not so much so – clearly reflected my yearning for the setting on this earth that I naturally call home.

I painted everything. The shed door and my toenails. Some of our outdoor furniture and the hallway in my house. I bought a top, a table, and a pencil holder, then smiled and laughed realizing that they, too, were that same BLUE!

I have learned that grief can take on many colors, look different on every person – and even fluctuate and change over time as I continue to walk the pilgrimage that is grieving.

I am currently alternating between black – and red! – as I process and make peace with the reality of my heart condition.

I have also learned that, while grieving the loss of someone I love is tragic and deep, there are many other types of loss and change that I must also mourn, process, and walk through, before I find solid ground and Peace.

Most important of all, I have learned that – even when it feels so overwhelming and expansive that I find it hard to breathe – I can rest in the reality that, one day, I will make peace with my grief.

Even when I can not see it, I know that the Lord can – and always will – transform into new life… every death, every loss, every letting go, each and every ending.

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Lord, let me not run from the Love which you offer.
In each of my deaths, shed your Light and Love.
Keep calling to me!
Until that day comes, when with your saints,
I will praise you forever.

Friday, May 31, 2019

a joy that makes us want to kiss the earth

"The great mystery of the Incarnation, 
which meant that God became man so that man might become God, 
was a joy that made us want to kiss the earth in worship,
because His feet once trod that same earth."
 ~Dorothy Day [The Long Loneliness]

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Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,

"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."
[Luke 1:39-45]

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"For me it is the virgin birth, 
the Incarnation
the resurrection 
which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. 
Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. 
I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. 
It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified.
 ~Flannery O'Connor [The Habit of Being]

NOTE: All photos from our pilgrimage in September 2018 to the
Church of the Visitation, 
Ein Karem, Israel