Grief is the guaranteed price you pay for having loved well. (author uncertain)
This blog goes out to the group that met in Dryden, Ontario early June. Friday evening I wondered if hope could support the collective weight of sadness. Several of us belonged to the exclusive club you do not wish to join, because the membership cost is that of losing a child. Everyone was at a different stage of grief. All of us were there because we had lost someone very precious in our lives, lives that had been forever altered by the grief that brought us here. Together we stirred the pot of tear soup.
The setting was picture perfect … large glass windows framed what I had renamed as Lake Woe-Begone … if only the woes could begone. Along the railing of the deck, squirrels and blackbirds fought over the bird feeder seed. And yet there was hope in the group. The question came up-How do you define hope? Good question. A sense of being able to live having something to look forward to again in life. Emily Dickenson defines hope as the thing with feathers. Yes, it takes flight easily.
Similar to the AA meetings, this could be defined as the GG meeting. (What is Good Grief?) There were tears, there was laughter. The laughter is deeper when you have also shared tears. We had a session of proprioceptive writing, which is similar to journaling on steroids, I explained. It’s a formatted way of writing down the thoughts that come to you. Thank-you to each of you for being brave enough to show up. Thank-you Garth for your journal entry, it spoke to each of us: (shared here with permission)
Here it is, this is pretty much what came out of my heart in that few minutes.
There is a prison that is not of this earth. Outside of it birds fly, squirrels jump and the Jays chase the chickadees. Water moves in waves and gulls ride the current of warm rising air. Inside of this prison are those serving a sentence that has no end. It is a sentence not based on a crime and not given by a judge or jury.
The prison is one where day passes are given freely but revoked without notice. Each person serving a sentence only wants to be free, but to be free means that they may need to forget. Therefore we serve the sentence, but we simply know that we really want to be able to live the life we had.
We deserve to once again enjoy the beauty outside of the prison. We will not settle for less that what we had. We deserve it and we refuse to live a second rate life. It is worth the sorrow. Move onward, move forward.
I don’t know where it came from but I had read a couple books previous (Ghost Rider by Neil Peart and On Grief Hope and Motorcycles by Candyia Mann) so some inspiration may have come from them.
In the end writing that few lines made me come to realize a few things. I really did not deserve second rate, I deserved to live a decent life and that my wife would be saddened if I did not. Our love was fiercely strong and if I were in a prison she would do what ever it took to break me out of it. The next day, June 5, was her birthday. I thought of all the symbolic things that I could do, but in the end my decision was to celebrate through the action of beginning my breakout of that prison.
**Thank-you Kate for hosting, Dorothy for supporting, and each of you that was brave enough to be there to flavour the soup.
As Grandy says in the end of the book: “I’ve learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can’t survive.”