I posted this on my other site but realized that I wanted to share it here also.
I have long been a believer in the “butterfly effect.” The idea that somehow we are all connected. I see this in so many ways. There is a wonderful children’s book called “The Invisible String” that tells us that love is one of the ways we are connected and it is the “invisible string” that never goes away even with death.
Sometimes we have a strong feeling of connection to someone we have never physically met. I feel that way about some people I connect with on this blog. I hear their voice through their words. I have a sense of who they are and feel connected. Because I don’t know them otherwise I could be wrong but there is still something there. Kindness and compassion are clearly felt.
We are connected to the people we see in our everyday lives. It could be seeing the same grocery clerk every week or someone we meet for lunch. People touch us in our work. Obviously some of these links can be good or bad but there is still a connection. Each of us has an impact on those around us.
We are connected to those who have gone before us. We may not know about them or we may have heard stories about their lives. They are present in our DNA. We often find that there are personality traits that have been passed on. People say that I look like my great grandmother. Pictures do show a strong connection.
In the church where I worked for years there is a sense in the building of the lives that have gone before. It is something I feel when I sit in silence in the sanctuary. It is as if the “communion of saints” is physically present.
Don’t doubt that we are all connected. The things that I do each day affects others. Science tells us that nothing is lost…just changed. What I do matters. What you do matters.
“The tendrils that connect one human being to another are so unlikely so inherently fragile…I think that is it s a miracle they exist at all.”
From the TV program Numbers
Connecting with one another is so key to how we live. I have always needed those connections and tend to nurture them. Without them I am lost.
Whether we are connecting to the family that raised us or family that we choose and continue to choose from those we meet those connections form us. They are the glue that hold us together. The support that we receive from others makes our lives manageable. The love of those connected by those tendrils is what brings joy to our journey through life.
It is a miracle and one that I depend on and rejoice over every day.
Grief is a funny thing. Some people think it follows the pattern of acceptance by Kubler-Ross. That pattern was actually developed about acceptance of a coming death. In my mind grief is different. Having run two years of grief support group and feeling my own grief I think it is much more erratic. It comes and goes like the waves of the ocean. I am certainly feeling that. I can go along just fine and then suddenly something will trigger tears.
We can’t run away from grief. Instead we have to go through it. We have to experience it. Hiding from it or trying to deny it doesn’t work. It can take a long time. Sometimes people have no idea what to say to us when we have a loss. Some comments can be upsetting but we just have to understand that most are well meaning.
It has been and will continue to be particularly hard due to the circumstances we all find ourselves in. Covid doesn’t allow us to do normal things that help us accept a death. Funerals are done with few people or put off until later.
In my case there is also moving to another city away from longtime friends. Being with family has helped but I am not in my long-term home and things are not as usual. I reach out by phone and electronics but it is not the same. I am lonely and missing my place in things. It will get better when we can be with people but for now it is hard.
My faith helps and I find myself leaning on God for support more than usual. I guess loss makes us reach out and understand what is important to us. God is my rock that I stand on.
We all grieve in our own way and I will move through this and find new friends and people to do things with. Being able to go to church will help. Life does go on.
It has been so long since I have posted that I feel lost. For some reason after my husband’s death I just stopped for a while. It is time to be back. First let me thank everyone for your kind messages of sympathy. They were much appreciated and helped me at a time when I needed help.
Now I hope to get back to my normal writing. I have thought about so many things during this hiatus and will be sharing thoughts and ideas. Life is never boring and always has something to teach us if we are willing to learn. Wisdom does come with age if we choose to learn as we go. I have much to learn still and am still curious about life and the world around me. I hope I never stop learning until I leave this earth.
Life is different and the same. We are some of our family but the reality of covid continues to make life lonely. Connecting with friends from home is mostly the same since it was phone conversations. However we did have a few people that we met to eat outside off and on. Our family is one who does dinner (and it is wonderful ) but I miss meeting people for lunch. Even if we go out it is just the two of us. Sometimes it is so hard not to be bored.
I have picked up my knitting and crocheting but since it has been my go to thing since March the joy of it is wearing thin. Like most people I am feeling the long haul to some changes.
Thanksgiving will provide some change as the family will have a meal together but I am discovering getting my husband and the dogs going can be a real journey. We haven’t yet got the dogs acclimated and they howl if we leave them alone which means that we take them with us or one of us has to be here. Oh well, one of life’s little irritations.
I know I’m sounding gloomy and I do feel that way a good bit but “this too shall pass.” After not being in a different town since 1976 this will take some time.
It is nice to be reading all of you again and connecting. Thank you for your responses.
Thinking back over my almost 80 years there are so many memories of those who were a part of it. Lots of them are gone but they live on in my mind. It is funny the ones you remember and the ones you know must have been there but have no defining moment to think about.
I do remember some of my teachers particularly from High School and College. The ones I remember the most were the ones who were real characters. That is probably why they stuck in my mind. I remember a Latin teacher whose looks and demeanor were perfect for the part. She was petite, wore dark rimmed glasses, had grey hair and was really tough on us.
Another was a history teacher who made me love history. He gave us a assignment that was 100 questions. It was not something you spent time writing but researching. The questions were obscure and finding out the answers was difficult. You got a grade depending on how many you got right. One of the questions was “What is this ***** ? Yes, it was just 5 asterisks. It was a pseudonym for a writer whose name is lost to memory but I got it! His whole point was you could find anything if you knew how to research.
A college professor was named (by us) “paperback Bednar” because he didn’t have us buy a text but lots of paperbacks. He taught Philosophy of History one of the more interesting classes I took.
Another had student evenings at his home for discussion on anything including religion. He was a student of C.S. Lewis and shared much about him. He also wrote a book telling about his wife, his great love of her and her loss called “A Severe Mercy.” I still find people who knew about him and have read his book. His name was Sheldon Van Auken.
These people made an impact on my life. There are many more and I will be thinking about them from time to time.
Music means so much to me. It can lift me up when I am down and calm me when I am anxious. I cannot live without it. I love all kinds but I have always loved the songs of John Denver. His songs speak of a better time. Music is healing.
Today I was thinking about how people connect. How do we really make a deep connection that can change an acquaintance into a true friend?
In my experience that happens when we are willing to open up and share of ourselves. Telling our stories….some of which do not show us in the best light…allows others to see into us in a different way. There is a risk in this. Sometimes this sharing will not be accepted in the way we want. Sometimes we can be rejected or used. But without this kind of sharing we will never reach that level of friendship that bonds people together.
Since I am an extrovert I am usually willing to let people hear the stories that tell about my failings and weaknesses. Those stories that let people know that I have anxiety and need help off and on. I will share that I have seen a psychologist and have no problem doing so whenever I need to.
Stories that reveal moments that may relate to the other person usually will bring forth similar sharing. People need to know that we are not judgmental and understand in order to feel comfortable opening up.
It is a blessing that our connection on Word Press allows for that kind of sharing.
The Way of the Three Steps:
A Native American Way to Begin the DayStand on Mother Earth. Face any direction you choose.
(Take one step forward, as you look about, up and down:)
O Great, Holy Spirit, I take this step into the day you have given.
I embrace all I see----the season, the wind, the fragrances, the weather.
Let me always accept the day given with a grateful heart.
(Take another step forward.)
O Spirit of Life, I put my arms around myself, all that I am, all that I can be.
I stand here in my own history, with all my mistakes and victories.
I hold all those I will meet today, in my journeying and in my work.
I try to walk gently on this earth.
Let me walk gently through the lives of my work companions and friends.
Though they make way for my passing, may they spring back, neither broken
(Take another step forward.)
O glorious Spirit of Mystery, I put my arms around you.
I do not know what will happen to me today, but I accept it.
Give me a heart of courage and believing, so I may put my trust in you,
and fear nothing.
From the Plains tribes; Native American Recorded by Jose Hobday. Found in the Book "Woman Prayers" by Mary Ford-Grabowsky
I found this beautiful and compelling. I plan to use it. Hope you enjoyed!
Today my son and daughter-in-law came over to help. She cleaned the bathroom like it had never been cleaned. WOW it is so amazing. My son mowed the lawn (which I had cut too long) edged and blew off the porches and walks.
This is so incredible and wonderful of them. They both work extremely long and difficult hours and have little spare time. I am so grateful for them taking their time to do this. How wonderful to have family and I love them so much.
It is a blessing to have family that cares. I know that all families have the kind of relationships that we have and I am so grateful. Many suffer from bad family relationships or abusive childhoods. Life is not great for everyone. I hope that they are able to find new friends who become family for them.
Friendships and family must be nurtured to grow. You can’t let the grass grow between you and your loved ones.. It doesn’t matter if you live next door or miles apart connections matter. Take the time to call, write, email, text, whatever. It pays off in the long run.