Tool # 4 Magic and Belief
In the days and weeks after my son Sage died I saw magic everywhere. A strange yet beautiful pulse of sensation that wove its way through and within my loss and fresh grief. I looked for magic as a way to see the universe as a living charge as I held onto the belief that if the universe was beating and growing so could my relationship with Sage.
It has been through children, that magic has been the easiest to access. A belief in magic for no other reason than it must be, is the gift of children. They have not yet learnt to think their way away from the infinite possibilities of our universe.
In my early days of grief it was hard to welcome time with children. It hurt as my delight in one child echoed my loss and missing of Sage. I chose one day to look at each child as a unique magic maker and in time and in small ways the children invited me back to play. I still miss Sage, as I always do and will, but my missing has a chance to mix with magic.
Invite a child to play or say yes to an invitation. Release all expectation and allow the ordinary to become the extraordinary. Feel the flow of wonder that can ease the edges of grief. Allowing magic....even for just a moment.
Tool # 5 Letting go and being caught
Be easy and gentle as you hear the repeated message to “let go” and be ready to receive layers of letting go that can come via unexpected sources and places.
An experience of letting go and allowing was gifted to me by a red cup.
The Red Cup
The last Mothers Day that Sage was alive he gifted me a red coffee cup from the school mothers day stall. Sage knew I loved coffee and the color red so it was the obvious choice. And he was right as I do love it.
I very carefully wrapped it up to be boxed when I sold my house. Many months later, when a few items precious to me were flown to New York, and my new home, the red coffee cup became my everyday again.
At first I feared that a slip or a knock would come crashing into my morning coffee routine and my day would be dragged into deep pain of loss. I tenderly washed the cup each day and was mindful of where I placed it. Fear was now a part of my morning coffee routine. I considered wrapping the cup back up, but decided not to. I rationalized that it was better to use the cup and risk it breaking than to not use it at all. This act of risk has served me well. Each morning waking up half asleep I reach for the red cup and the coffee that starts my day. Each morning I balance being me in my new day and remind myself that I am a mum and Sage loves me.
Perhaps letting go is allowing to be. To being in the present. To holding space for the loss but as much space for what may be.
Remember that you are the navigator of the journey and decide each twist and turn. The timing of holding on and letting go is yours to decide.
Recognize the small moments of release. How do they show up in your life? When you recognize a moment of release question whether it can be repeated. If it can, repeat.
Tool # 6 Grief has a soulmate
Life invites us into our full expression through experiences, relationships, and the emotions they provoke. To deny one emotion is to diminish them all. You do not get to choose which emotions you would like and which to leave on the shelf. It is the cliche “without the rain you do not get the rainbow” in action.
Emotions flow and change and some are undoubtedly more powerful than others. They all reside in the heart and each is a teacher in its’ own right. Holding balance they can often work together or against each other. To seek more love can be the conquering of fear, to alleviate sadness one may reach for happier memories to soothe their heart.
When grief arrives in its full expression there can be little if any joy felt. Grief, at its peak, can fill an entire heart, and all other emotions can feel squashed or non-existent. Joy, the balance point of grief, can feel as if it will never be felt again.
My grief journey in the early days had very little of the “good” emotions and for a long while I became accustomed to the lower vibration of the emotions I was feeling. I forgot that joy even existed. It was not until years after Sage’s death that I felt authentic joy again. When joy returned it was surprising and felt new to me, like it was pulsing through a new heart.
A gift of grief is the possibility of experiencing greater joy than you had before grief ‘s arrival. Once acceptance of the death occurs and the process of grief transitions to living with and not against the loss, a new layer of the heart muscle is built. As the muscle builds it strengthens the heart and expands the soul. To be in positive relationship to your grief is the open invitation for full, and larger than before, joy.
Sit in silence with your hands open, palms facing up.
To your left see or imagine your experience of grief on your palm. What does it look like? Color, shape, texture. Is it heavy or light?
To your right see or imagine your knowing and feeling of joy is sitting in that hand. What does it look like? Color, shape, texture. Is it heavy or light?
Spend time looking and feeling the two hands and see them as both valuable emotions and experiences within you.
Once you feel you have spent enough time between the two, joy and grief, bring your hands together in prayer and ask, inspire or imagine the prayer that will serve you at the time.
It may be a prayer that will assist you in balancing your experience of grief and inviting joy, or a request to the universe to show you opportunities to experience joy, or it may simply be a prayer that acknowledges them both and thanks them for their lessons.