Posts Tagged 'grief'

It’s been a while…

 

I’ve been absent from this space and I have missed it. Not an intentional break. Not a holiday. Not a ‘working on myself’ break. No sabbatical for me.  I have been absent because life seriously got in the way. Seriously fucking in the way and the words had to play second place.  Something had to give.

There has been so much I have wanted to say and I have sorely missed this space. I have missed the pouring of words through me onto this page.  I had so much I wanted to write about.  So much that needed to be curved and moulded into words… but much of it wasn’t my story to tell so I left the pages vacant and wondering.  What is mine to tell simply cannot be told yet. It needs to shift and simmer in me a while yet.  It needs to soften so that my words do not pour out in an angry wounding diatribe.

2018 has been a year that has hit me and those close to me hard.  Really hard.  It didn’t shape up the way I would have liked.  The story, if could have written it, would have been different.  It would be filled with blossoms, sweet summer nights and words from a novel fit for the romance shelves.   I certainly wouldn’t be watching my daughter traverse the time and space of unimaginable grief and immense loss.  As graciously and bravely as she is doing it, it is not how I would have written the story.  I would not have held her, broken and weeping, as she said goodbye to her beloved Matthew moments before they turned off his life support.  No. That is most definetly not how this story was supposed to go. It is not how anyone’s story is supposed to go.

I would not be swimming against the anger and grief of my own story.  The words that bubble up for that may possibly never be written here.  There is a saying ‘the thing you are most afraid to write, write that’.  One day maybe, one day.

Through it all I have taught, run the business and done human things.  The stuff that just is and the stuff that just has to be done.  We do that.  We make our beds and show up the best we can.  We clothe ourselves, conceal our broken parts and go out into the day with the bravest heart we can find.

I did my best to get on my mat every day.  Moving my body so that the energy of trauma and sadness can move through me and not make a home where it is not welcome.

The ability to show up to teach even when it felt impossible has kept me grounded and humble.  The human connection that comes at times of loss and grief never failed to move me and I am grateful to each and every one of you.  My close friends listened (and continue to do so) endlessly to my stories.  They called and they showed up.  They bought me coffee.  They drove me where I needed to be at silly hours of the night.  They let me overstay my welcome and checked up on me when I went quiet.  These are really good humans.

I will be eternally thankful for these good humans.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The space between what was and what will be

IMG_1276

There are those days, those weeks and moments in life when the universe comes along and lays its hand on you with such force you feel that you are shattered into a thousand pieces.  Your heart lies somewhere in you broken.  Pieces of it in your chest and others resting in the pit of your stomach.  Your head rests in your shaking hands and tears pour from your eyes relentlessly.  The words, when they spill forth from your mouth, are jumbled and tumble about in an incomprehensible dance.

There is a space on the floor between my bed and the wall where I sit when things get too bad.  From here, in this little space, where I sit all curled up, I have made  all the terrible calls I have had to make in this past week.  It is here in this little space that I have cried my biggest tears and placed my head in my hands to hold it when it all feels like it is too much.  I am not alone.  There are people all over the world dealing with unimaginable things and journeying through inconceivable grief.  There are broken hearts and tears all over this planet.  I am surely not alone.

Last Tuesday I put my mother on a plane to return home to her English autumn.  To the apples waiting on her tree and the last of the pretty flowers in her garden.  Her suitcase full of little things she had found that would remind her of me and the crisp golden leaves waiting to fall at her feet.  We were exceptionally close.  We always had been and she had been my friend for all of my fifty years.    The fact that she lived in England and I in Africa did not loosen our bond.  We Skyped and emailed and knew daily details of each others lives.  She would get on a plane and come at a moments notice whenever I needed her.  Sometimes she would just sense that I needed her and be here before I even had to ask.

While she was here we talked of her childhood in post war England and the things she still wanted to do.  Of her parents and grandparents.  Of  life with my father and life without him.  She told me of a train trip through the bluebell woods that she so loved and how she would book it when she got back.  We walked daily on the wide golden beach near my house that you see above and dipped our toes in the warm Indian Ocean.

She never got home to her beautiful garden and pretty blue house.  She never saw the flowers waiting with their bowed heads or tasted those golden apples. Somewhere, just about half way between the hot dusty air of Africa and the sweet damp air of England she had a heart attack.  A jumbo jet full of weary passengers was diverted to Abuja in Nigeria to offload my sick mother and continue its journey to where she was supposed to be.   A kind man with a foreign accent on the end of a feint line tells me things I do not want to hear.  I sit down in that space between the bed and the wall weeping huge gulping buckets of tears.

Through my constant flow of salty wet tears and breaking heart I look at how to get to this far away place in the middle of a war torn part of Africa.  I am told it is not safe to go and yet I am asked by the doctor to please rush as she is all alone there. That she has opened her eyes and held his hand for just a moment before drifting back into her unconsciousness.  Was she looking for me?  I research again how to get to this far away place but my children beg me not to go.  It’s not safe they say.  I am stuck as half way between going and not as she is between her two homes.  I sit between what was and what will be.  It’s a terrible place to be.  I wait knowing it is only a matter of time until that inevitable call to tell me that very place of waiting is no longer there.  I hide again in the space between the bed and the wall.  It feels like home now.  I think she knew.  I think she came to say goodbye.

The universe delivered me an unbelievable blow in the most absurd way possible in what has already been a exceptionally difficult year.  I envy generations past that were allowed a certain time to grieve.  They sat in their parlours and drank tea and received occasionally visitors for months on end, slowly coming to terms with the new space they found themselves in.  Life today is different.  I now face the complicated journey of getting her body out of Nigeria and home to her beloved England. I face endless red tape and a long lonely flight to meet her there where the leaves are crisp and her apples wait.

Death is the natural order of things and yet it is never welcomed by those left on earth.  My mother died in Abuja.  A city I never knew existed and yet now means so much to me.  I hope one day I can go. This is all part of my journey here on earth. These are my lessons and I must trust that the universe knows that I am not yet broken and that I have got this.



%d bloggers like this: