Healing

A slippery, synthetic duvet is slowly suffocating me, pressing me into the pillows that feel like they’re filled with rocks.  I’m tossing and turning to the sounds of the Beagle snoring at my feet, on top of my feet.  More heaviness.  I can’t breathe.  My throat feels like it’s clogged and someone is stomping on my chest.  It’s emotion.  Feeling displaced.  Both, it, and I…

Where am I?  This was a place I called home at some point, for some time.  The room has been transformed from a colorful teenage chaos filled with posters of Weimaraners dressed up as people and the beautiful face of Jim Morrison, to now, an office with two computer monitors and a couch that pulls out for my arrival.  My mother is sleeping in the room next door, ecstatic to have her little girl home, to tuck her in to a bed that was made with love for a sleepless night.  I drift in and out of consciousness, looking for home on this couch-bed, but home was left behind in Boulder, Colorado, and home is out, dancing and being free for a night away from me.

I try to push the Beagle over, to make some room for breath, for blood to reach my tingling feet, and in the innocence of her sleep, she growls.  Why am I here?  I gaze over and next to me, buried under a ton of heavy air sits “The Tibetan Book of The Dead,” and I remember that I am here to heal.   Here to process the anger that has been erupting like a volcano, being projected at home, on home; the anger that they say is the final stage in the grieving process.  But if grieving is cyclical and if grieving is a process, then how can there be a final step?  Perhaps, a spiral into the ether?

The healing has been slow.  Is slow.  I’ve allowed the past to partially scab over, but picking my scabs has become a bad habit.  Sometimes, I just don’t want to forget.  I scratch to remember what I have lost, longing to hold it close to my heart.  Other times, I wish is to forget, but I bump into things that remind me, and the wounds re-open, get dirty, infected.  I bump into babies on the street, or people who don’t know.  I run into people who know but are too uncomfortable to face me.  I bump into smells, sounds, tastes.  I run myself crazy with memories.

I don’t know what I bumped into tonight, in the room from my past or the room of my dreams, but I am startled awake, remembering and feeling; the density of life.  I miss my home.  I miss Leif.  I miss all that never was.  I’m learning how to live so that I know how to die.  I’m trying.

There will be scars, no doubt.  Wounds like these don’t go unnoticed.  Anger alone leaves streaks behind, welts the size of small mountains.  But I will take scars any day over fresh wounds.  The scars show that I’m a survivor.  My heart beats stronger, and day by day, I’m healing just a little bit more.

The Language of Suffering

It’s been almost four weeks since I delivered Leif.  I remember being at the hospital and wishing that I was not a part of the present.  I wanted to teleport into the future, to at least a month from where I was.  And here I am now, almost a month away from then, and a part of me is still longing to be in the future, the time when the pain will be gone.  But will the pain ever really be gone?  And is the pain ever really that bad?  I truly believe that the Universe never gives us more  than we can handle.  The grieving process is beautiful in its own way.  It has gotten me in touch with reality more than any other experience in the past.  It has put me in the present moment, even when at times, I wish so much that I could escape it.  It is in the present moment that I can really feel myself being alive.

There is suffering everywhere in the world.  It is part of life.  However, it is the perspective and the attitude that we take on the suffering that manages its intensity and duration.  I believe the worst kind of suffering is the mental kind.  I cannot say that a person starving or being subjected to atrocious genocide is suffering more than the CEO of some corporation, always on the go, always craving power and money, always dissatisfied.  I am in no way a judge in whose misery is easier or worse.  The starving person can have an understanding, the in-depth wisdom that recognizes the lessons and the blessings in every moment and situation.  Meanwhile, someone who we perceive as successful and happy could be tortured by his/her mind, by lack of love.  We just never know and yet assumptions, judgments, and projections come to us so easily, muddling authentic reality.

Suffering is suffering, no matter what form it shows up in.  Pain and suffering are Universal languages.  I am learning this innate language.  I feel connected to those who are experiencing pain, for we share this collective theme.  I listened to Democracy Now the other day and heard a 10-year-old Afghan girl testify against American soldiers for coming into her house in the middle of the night and murdering her family.  I cried in that moment for her loss.  Losing an entire family can be seen as much worse than losing a fetus, but pain is pain, regardless of its circumstance.  And in that pain, I can feel the pain of the world.  My grief is teaching me about compassion.  It has taken me out of my little Universe and opened me up to the world outside.  I am being shown the way to Love all beings, realizing that anyone might be suffering.  With small steps at a time, I am changing perspective on my own suffering.   I’m acquiring a new found sense of gratitude, inspired to be a more compassionate and loving human.