Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Feb 4, 2007

Grief, Loss - The Journey Continues

I've been in a kind of cyber-seclusion of late. Except for posting the memorial we put in the paper for Patrick's birthday, I haven't written here about my grief in quite awhile. I feel as though I have this ongoing tension between my desire to maintain this blog with my original vision ( art and whimsy and joyful creativity) and the fact that my life has a great deal of loss and pain spiraling through it. If I don't write about the latter every so often, I wind up being unable to write here at all.

I think about Patrick in some way every hour of every day. A thought of him is one of the first thoughts in my mind when I awake and a thought of him is one of the last thoughts in my mind before I sleep. I cry at least a little bit at some point in every day.

The holidays were peaceful and sweet and sad. But in the middle, just before New Year's, we lost another young adult child in our small UU church congregation. Lydia was just 22, and her death was also an accidental overdose. She and Patrick were in the same dedication ceremony in 1992, a UU ritual of the adults in the congregation dedicating themselves to the children. I wanted to be there for her parents, just as so many were there for us.

It was hard. It was hard to be in the same sanctuary saying goodbye to Lydia just as we said goodbye to Patrick barely nine months before. And it was hard, oh so hard, to see the faces of her parents, and know too well the true intensity of the emotions they were experiencing. And I was brought back again to that intensity and bottomless depth of pain of my own. I didn't want anything to be about me, it was about Lydia and her family. But I couldn't not go and be there for them. It was made bearable by knowing my presence was meaningful and by the compassion extended to me by others at church quietly letting me know they knew how difficult it must have been for me to be there.

And so. As we come upon Patrick's birthday and soon the first anniversary of his deathday, I find myself having waves of grief and loss that echo in intensity and awfulness the way I felt when we first learned of his death. Back then, though, it wasn't waves. There was no surcease, just unremitting and constant soul-pain. I reach back and do those things that helped me through that time: being present, allowing the pain to flow through me, chanting the Heart Mantra, telling Patrick I love, love, love him... mother's dementia progresses and I am struggling to find a way to be there for her in more than the power-of-attorney-handling-the-paperwork way. Nothing is predictible with dementia. The way things are one day is not the way things are the next. And nothing can be fixed, we are just patching things up. Every week, it seems like something new must be dealt with.

I am carrying on, though, and there is laughter and sweetness and hope in my life, too. I still find my greatest peace and comfort in art, in creating. I want more than anything to be putting love and compassion and beauty out into the world.

And I keep looking for an old unadulterated joy I always used to feel, the joy Louise Bogan spoke of when she wrote, "I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!"

What keeps me going is pure faith that that is indeed so.

I shall end with a picture of a scrumble I made for an exchange within a yahoo group I'm in. At the end of the year, we should have a dozen scrumbles made by others and we will each create a large piece from them. This is the January scrumble I made:
Yarns are Manos de Uruguay (variegated) and a couple of sock yarns used double, Trekking XXL (red) and Brown Sheep Wildefoote (purple). Stitches are a slip stitch cord, some bullions and mostly single crochet. Also did a lot of French knots here and there with the ends.

Oh, and I finished my Round Trip Jacket! Pictures soon!


Labels: , ,


At 2/4/07, 2:58 PM, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

A big hug. Going through this journey of grief is hard, very hard. Every day will be difficult, just know that you are not alone.

At 2/12/07, 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Suzanne, you must let your grief out whereever you must. Here is good. All creativity contains joy, laughter, sorrow, fear and our deepest grief. In spite of your terrible loss, you were able to give comfort to Lydia's parents. That's the amazing gift of the Goddess--that we continue to live even when we want to lay down and give up.

Much love to you, Sister.



Post a Comment

<< Home