I only have a few minutes, but I did want to write about this: I had a knock-down, drag-’em-out, screamfest with my daughter two nights ago. I mean a cussing, yelling, door slamming, and crying kind of thing.
Finally, she opened up a bit. It hurt, but it was healthy. She told me, point blank, how I dropped the parenting-ball during the years when my boys were starting to party. She said that me and her dad both turned a blind eye to what was happening in our own homes – and in doing so, we failed her as parents. And we failed the boys too. She said that she raised herself during the years when it was worse. And then she said, “So check it out, Mom — this is me leaving the nest!!”
In the end though – like the story of grief I posted a couple of days ago – when it was all said and heard and understood – things were a little better. She gave me a real hug for the first time in a year. And we both agreed that if this type of interaction is necessary now and then for us to communicate honestly with each other about hard things, then it is. And we’ll get through it.
I’m sad for her, and for me, and for us. We’ve all lost a lot. And the truth is, she is right about what she’s saying. But she also has things to learn … about forgiveness, and the choice of love, and how families can heal. So we keep on walking.
One Mom Talking – signing off for today. Make it a good one!
Gosh. I realize that I left everyone with that picture of grief. But my real message is … grieving is not the end! Grieving is something we should value because when we’re done, we are able to fully experience JOY!
Do you know JOY? I’m not talking about that everyday happy feeling we get when we bite into a good slice of pizza or shop for a new pair of shoes. I’m talking about the JOY that we have, always, in the core of us: the joy that comes when you really know your Higher Power is walking with you. We don’t always feel it, but it’s always there – waiting for us to decide that, despite our circumstances, we want that JOY to shine.
Am I a woman who walks with a constant glow of JOY? I wish! No, I’m human and we all have times when we look more like Ms. Grief. But the more I focus on JOY … the more I define JOY and practice JOY … the more I know that there’s a light in every darkness.
Life is colorful! Let’s enJOY it whenever we can. Thanks for being here!
This is a tough picture, huh?
I chose it because, to me, this is a picture of grieving. All the others I found were so … quiet. Calm. Thoughtful. A single teardrop falling from dark eyelashes. Two hands entwined in shared loss. A solitary person sitting on a mountain or beside a gravestone.
Sure, these all count. They are all responses to grief. But this picture — I think this picture is the real, raw, taking-back-my-freedom kind of grieving that we, in our feel-good culture have ignored for far too long. I believe our obsession with looking young and looking beautiful … our obsession with owning more and more and more … and our efforts to legislate ourselves into a safe little box – well, I believe they all stem from our inability to truly grieve loss.
We have lost the value of grieving. We are trying to live without it. Pretending we don’t need it. Or that the loss that triggers this grief can be controlled. The Bible talks about people wailing and tearing at their clothes in grief. That’s this picture.
I think perhaps our struggle with forgiveness is also connected to our incomprehension of grief. Sometimes hanging onto an injustice is actually all we know how to do — or it’s easier, maybe, than accepting the loss of something we thought we deserved.
I have allowed myself to grieve like this picture over the loss of my family, the loss of my dreams for how my children would grow up and what they would do, my helplessness to change the tragedies that have befallen us. And those times of grieving have been both painful and healing. All that energy would still be stored somewhere inside me if I didn’t let it out. All that energy would be stored inside me if I feared looking like this woman … letting happen on the outside what lied within.
No. Hiding and avoiding grief is not the answer. Letting it out is the answer.Because then it has no hold on us. Grief is a process and the outward act of grieving is the release of the energy of grief.
The result is a new peace, healing, and rest. Maybe I’m a little crazy. But maybe a little crazy grieving can go a long way. God bless!
Here I am, living a good life. Troubles here and there – sure. But no crises at the moment. Daily beach walks. New friends. A (generally) peaceful household. A part-time job in my field of expertise. Friends and family visiting now and then. A good life!
This morning, I realized one thing that I seem to have misplaced: Silliness!! Where are all the silly people? Where’s the silly girl in me? Ha – I’m not complaining. Just smiling and thinking that it’s time to work some goofy fun into my life again.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve done lately?
Most of us know this — but new people show up every now and then. And I still like to read more research confirming that addiction is not some moral or emotional flaw in our children (or in our parenting for that matter): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44147493/ns/health-addictions