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Posts Tagged ‘Grief’

Leaving the Station

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Next stop – the Bronx. I often wait a long time at the Pelham Bay station for my train to leave the station. How long have I sat scrolling social media or reading or meditating or listening to a Podcast while waiting to leave the station? Over the years, I have left many stations behind – some that I have not returned to in years and some ever again. Leaving the station of people and places often means letting go and moving on.

Leaving and arriving are daily practices. It’s when I am stuck in the station that negative emotions arise. Leaving the station can mean a good-bye, a travel away, a travel towards, a moving on, a welcoming, a grieving, a homecoming, a shift in perspective. I have learned that we all leave the station at some point and each time is different. What are we really leaving?

Everything changes. And in the end, I have learned that everyone leaves in some form. It’s the inhale and exhale of life. Breathing in and breathing out. We meet each other in the in-between breath.

We all leave the station at our own pace. Welcome the leaving.

Soon the conductor will shout, “Leaving the station.”

Next stop…

This is dedicated to my mom who passed away 17 years ago. Glad we had time together to share the in-between breath.

This essay was inspired from the Prompt a Day Program with Cynthia Morris.

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And Grace Appeared…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

As a lot of grief swept through me the days and weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, I reached out to some friends and spiritual teachers for guidance. One long-time teacher left me a message saying, “Go easy. Be gentle with yourself. Be your best companion to yourself on Sunday because you deserve it.” I am still learning how to be my best companion, especially when grief consumes my heart.

I wrote the words, “Be your best companion” in my small journal as I headed into the city. I wasn’t sure how I could practice this and asked to receive a reminder of my own gentle companionship. As I walked down the street, I happened to look up and saw a building with big letters that read: GRACE.

And grace appeared … a clear reminder.

How could I be my own best companion? It was clear – with Grace.
And so it is.

Mary Anne

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From Grief to Grace

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Two years ago I wrote an article about grief that was published on-line. I was feeling the emotions of grief that revisited my heart. I wrote that when grief inhabits my heart it hits like the wave at the ocean. For a long-time I had an annual grief “visit” and the whole world would become silent and motionless.

I wrote in the article, “For some time, I push away the grief like a fly in my ear. But the grief begins to fill my entire body, each cell becoming morphed with endless emptiness. I search my mind for a cause.  I look for the basic needs of the season; I need more sun! There is more than sunshine needed to replenish the parts of me lost and forgotten. I dig deeper and find that I have become disconnected to the necessary life cycles. I am distracted by what’s around me and not connected with who is around me. When there is deep grief, I believe there is often great loneliness. I am a sojourner on the grief path.

It’s the annual visit by grief that consumes my heart and opens the void. I know allowing grief to come and go freely, without judging or blaming, is the key. For me, grief reminds me of how many things I no longer remember and how I long to connect with loved ones that have crossed. I long to pick up the phone and tell my mom about my day, my new project, or a class I am teaching. But my mom passed away, and all I have is the belief that she will hear my voice when I tell her out loud.

There is a crossover between beginnings and endings. I am overwhelmed by the notions of life and death. I wonder if the word “breath” is really just a combination of birth and death.”

It’s been almost ten years since my mom’s passing and I am reminded again of grief as I watch a loved one learn about the return of malignant tumors.  I am reminded of how precious each moment of life is. The gift of grief is that you are completely present to it.

Whether we know how much time we have with a loved one or not, it’s the lesson of “showing up”, even when it’s not easy. We show up with love and that is all grief needs to flow into grace. We show up with love because in the end that’s all we really need.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Lorene and her mom.

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