Tuesday, January 4, 2011
lauramunson.wordpress.com writes suffering is a choice. Laura writes about her thoughts on suffering and how to reframe pain and how the answer may be in living in the moment. Her book "This is not the story you think it is:A season of unlikely happiness" is inspiring. She asks an important question"at what point do we acknowledge the pain and restructure our thinking around it?". I don't necessarily believe that I choose to suffer but when it comes to my heart I can be fragile with those I love. The last two years I have been consumed by grief of losing both my parents. I had a close and special relationship with them. I have had moments of insight when I realize that I have to step back from the edge of the water before I drown. Every time I think I have found a life preserver to hold on to and I can continue to live, a darkness settles in and invites me to join it. I find myself gasping for air and searching for the light out of the tunnel. On Thanksgiving 2009 I found myself surrounded by my husband's family and friends. My son was watching me, his eyes captured my pain . He whispered to me,"mom this is not the place". Later that night I cried in his room and my pain was raw. He was both comforting and he was harsh. He said all the right things to me. The next day I took his advice about letting go and I continued my life. My sorrow would try to come in and I would reject it. I would wish it away. A few weeks later I was in the same place I had been before Thanksgiving . My brother suggested that I might need help. I knew I could conquer this struggle on my own and at the end of it I would stand triumphant . This November was almost a year that I had the talk with Josh in my room. My husband watched me as I was spiraling back into this dark place. He said that I have to live my life. He asked me if I want our children to be paralyzed with grief when we are gone. " My answer was that I am still grieving and he said,"you were grieving when you sat Shiva for your parents,you have been grieving all along. It's time for you to live and be happy." The tears rolled down my face,and I knew that I have to let go. I was bringing shadows into our life. I was not present as I should be. The pain I felt was not honoring the legacy my parents left. I found new strength to listen to the truth. I made an effort and a choice to suffer less. Then this weekend I went back to my parents home. There was no familiar embraces or scents of cookies baking. It was lacking all the emotional feelings I would get when I entered the door. I thought about these walls how they held memories of love and laughter, sadness and loss. I took boxes my brother packed and art work that my parents collected. I was numb and drained. Yesterday I opened the boxes. Porcelain items were packed with clothes to cushion and protect them. As I unpacked I could not breathe. I was holding my dad's sweater,the sweater that he wore the last time I saw him alive. I felt like a knife scarred my heart once again. I wanted to cry into the sweater. I felt a longing. Out loud I voiced,"I miss you " into the universe. I held the sweater, I smelled it and then I put it away. I crawled out of my dark place and I chose to stand. I chose to let go of the pain and remember with a smile the love I will always treasure in my heart. I will go on and I will let go. I will be present in my life.