Friday, July 31, 2009

The Grieving Process

I was sitting at the computer, scanning the poems I wanted to include in a proposed manuscript when I suddenly found myself in tears. The poem I had just read tore open the flood gates that I had so expertly closed over a year ago when the first of three of my immediate family died. As quickly as I began to cry, I found my self laughing at the preposterous fact that here I was sobbing over a poem I wrote myself!

As I reflected on the moment, I realized that I was finally allowing the process of grief to run its course. This was a natural and healthy reaction. It would be one that would repeat, but this was OK.

There are hundreds of sites dedicated to helping people understand the grieving process. Most of them agree that there are five distinct stages:

  1. Denial and Isolation,
  2. Anger,
  3. Bargaining,
  4. Depression, and
  5. Acceptance
No two people grieve at the same pace or experience all of the stages at the same time. It is imperative to understand that grief is a process, not a firm, solid, unmoving rule of behavior.

For me, I immediately found myself in Denial with the death of my brother and father. "I can't believe it," where the words that tumbled from my mind. Isolation, Anger, and Bargaining did not seem to be part of my process. I think I replaced them with Gratitude that finally my loved ones would not longer suffer this life's agonies. However, Depression did rear its head for a bit but, that too is now past. Acceptance is settling in nicely. It is a peace-filled place to dwell.

Learning to flow through the stages of grief is really a Life Skill. Grief comes for multiple reasons, not simply through death. We grieve the loss of jobs, relationships, pets, ideals, dreams. Life is about learning to let go; letting go is about learning to grieve; and grieving is about learning to Live!

"Loss is nothing but change; and change is Nature's delight" Marcus Aurelius

"The only constant is life is Change." Heraclitus

May your losses be but small pebbles in the stream of Life over which the Peace-filled waters of Hope flow, carrying all pain and burden out into the Sea of Forgiveness.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two Pilgrims on the Path

In Leverett, Massachusetts there is a spot on top of a mountain that brings many a visitor. It is known as the Peace Pagoda. A large white concrete pagoda, the Peace Pagoda sits on land that is the home to a community of Buddhist nuns and monks.

Several times a year, Roger and I take the hike to the Pagoda. It is amazing just how calming the journey is. These are pictures of our most recent visit. The pictures are a journey unto themselves. Enjoy!

The pilgrimage begins

On the Path

At the top of the mountain, we come to the Peace Pagoda

Stopa between Pagoda and new temple

New temple under construction
(Old temple was destroyed in a fire several years ago)

About the new temple

As you travel around the Pagoda, there are four separate statues of Buddha

Repeating patterns around the Pagoda

The lily pond with remains of old temple

Stone bridge and prayer flags

Reflection of prayer flags in lily pond

Everywhere there is beauty to be seen

Quite moments among the prayer flags

This is Holy Ground

Blowing in the wind

Frogs and butterflies abound

We found fairy or Indian pipes on the trail down

These cairns are found all through the woods and paths

The Path Home

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July Pictorial

The words are few for this say it all. These are some of my favorite moments:

My brother Barry and me at the beach in South Boston - 1957

My girls and our exchange student, Pablo from Argentina 1993

Rainbow over South Deerfield, MA 2008

Cardinal in the snow 2008

Farm in New York 2007

Tree Hugging 2007

Resting with a friend 2008

Roger and I - top of Mt. Holyoke 2008

Sunflower 2006

Luna moth caterpillar on gladiola

Barry and me at Duxbury Beach, MA 1959

Sunday, July 5, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Many thanks to all who visited the Blog Tour with Elizabeth Kirschner. Everyone's comments were thoughtful, supportive and encouraging.

As stated, I put everyone's name in a basket and asked my dear, Roger to pull out the winner. He, with his usual flourish, did so, and I am pleased to announce the winner.

Congratulations to Kathleen Lascelles! Your book will be on its way to you soon.

Again, Thank YOU to all who participated in this Blog Tour.