Grief is not a Thief

2013-05-22 22.24.10-7


Daylight savings is one of those nonsensical ‘have to’s’ that reminds me of how powerless I am in so many areas of daily living. I mean its not like I can just say NO to the clock! I can refuse to change my clock just because some faceless entity says it must be, but I will be caught out of sync too many time for it to even matter – so I surrender. Another universal experience that reminds me of powerlessness is death.

I lost a brother in law last week – which is why I didn’t write a post, I was caught up in the family grief as well as my own and chose to fully feel what I was going through. Again I was reminded that death is real, present and inevitable. I was reminded that no matter how much planning and forewarning is communicated, when the moment of transition happens – everything is changed for those still breathing and feeling.

I’m not a big proponent of how one has to grieve or which formula for grieving is universal or ‘normal’. There is no such thing! Everyone must grieve the way they are programmed – according to their beliefs, their individual experiences and their own level of fear or acceptance of death itself.

In my line of work, I’ve counseled grieving families,  performed countless memorial services, graveside services, end of life celebrations and burials at sea as well as my own Father’s service, so I have developed a deep awareness of the sanctity of life and the individual nature of successful grieving.

Back to my brother in law – Mack – We had gone to see Mack the week before and he was seemingly vibrant and well. Mack was hit by a car last year and his leg had to be eventually taken – he was already in a weakened state from other health complications. The thing that is different about Brother Mack’s situation is that he could not speak from birth. Much of the frustration he felt leading up to his transition was that the caretakers could not always understand his communication attempts.

I learned that no matter what I think I can’t control or how powerless I may feel at one point or another in my life – I will channel Mack’s inner strength, patience and determination to make the best out of what I have. How dare we, any of us, whine and whimper about political differences, racial or any other differences when we could make so much better use of our time, talents and treasure learning about each other and doing all we can to help those around us and learning valuable and powerful lessons along the way.

As we left after seeing him for the last time one of his sisters brilliantly asked him to pray. Wow….we held hands in that nursing facility and brother Mack most lovingly, powerfully and meaningfully made sounds and gestures that shot God juice through all of us – I did not understand one word – but I was humbled by the lesson he gave me – it’s the intention and the passion in the word of the one praying that makes the connection – and we got to feel, witness and I will always remember the Mack Prayer as being the most in touch prayer I’ve ever experienced….Thank You Brother Mack – I Hear You!!!

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