It's been almost three months since my mom's transition. It was only three weeks from her diagnosis until her passing. Pancreatic cancer. Brutal. Merciless. Unrelenting. Before it took her life, it brutalized her body. It is an image that will never leave me.
I will be having a productive, enjoyable day and it will arrive. Without warning or expectation, it blows in like a wind. A deep sadness: dark and encompassing. My breath becomes heavy as I try to push it down. No, not now. I see her face in her final days. No, not now. I see her nearly skeletal arms, reaching for me. No, not now. I hear her whisper as she tells me that she doesn't want to die because I will be left alone. There it is. Now. The tears. The eruption. The surrender. I could try to fight it, but its emergence is inevitable.
That's the thing about grief. You can run, but you cannot hide. You will not succeed. Avoiding it will only increase its power and delay your appointment. This is part of the journey. It is one of the many things that we all share as humans. If you have not suffered the experience of deep loss, you will (if you are awarded the luxury of remaining on this planet for any length of time). It is an individual journey, unique in its passage. We may share the grief, but we are unique in our processing.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" path for managing deep loss. There is a great deal of wisdom shared by many who have suffered and recovered, but there is no formula that will enable you to avoid the pain. It is necessary. It is uncomfortable. At some point, you simply have to sit with it. You cannot get beyond what you refuse to acknowledge, so you might as well surrender. Expedite the process by not resisting. Yes, it hurts; but, you will not break. It sounds insensitive while you're in the midst of it, but this too shall pass. You will not ever be completely free of it (I am told), but you will become more effective at managing it. The "winds" will become less frequent and less debilitating.
I will always miss my mom. I look forward to the day when her mention will elicit more smiles than tears. In the interim, I will allow the grief to pass through me. I will engage it as a necessary step to healing, knowing that I will be stronger because of it.
Success or sabotage? Success is ultimately about harmony. It does not mean that every aspect of your life is perfect or according to your plan. It simply means that you are continually allowing all of the pieces to fit together to create the kind of life that you desire on this planet (despite many unexpected challenges and obstacles).
Is this going to be an incredible day? Even when the day seems dark and foreboding, it is important to remember that we have the gift of experiencing it (and that is nothing short of incredible!)