Maitri Libellule

There are serene Sundays that were meant to recharge our batteries and prepare us for the time ahead. They are days that we lay low. They are the days that are the calm before the storm. That's what this Sunday has been for me.

I've talked to my mother 3 times in the past 2 days. She is slipping away faster and faster. She will be gone soon. Somehow, even though she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma over 4 1/2 years ago and given a very short time to live, she has been hanging on, even as she went blind, and her health declined and declined, and we went through numerous times of being told "this is it," and still it wasn't, and still she's hung on until now she is continuously in pain, and the great divide is getting wider and wider. I thought I knew. I thought I understood. But I didn't until I heard her voice this weekend. And when I got off the phone I wept like a baby. All night long, last night, I was shaken to my core. And then I got up today, and it was Sunday, and a sudden calm came over me.

When something first hits us our instinct is to fight it, to try to stop it, and from that vantage point we will never win. We have to let go. We have to breathe our way through it, we have to free-fall through time and space with our arms wide open, we have to glide to safety, even as tears fall from our eyes.

When a sailboat goes far out into the sea, where land cannot be seen in any direction, and there is no wind, and the water appears still like glass, and there is no movement, it is called a dead calm. It is a time of suspended animation. Nothing moves, until the winds pick up again.

I think grief must be like that. We are suspended in still waters. We must wait it out. It can be very frightening. But if we let go we can relax and be still and feel it, feel all of it, lie on the deck and feel the boat rocking on the water. Soon the wind picks up again and there is movement. But we are changed for having been through that time out of time experience, and we can carry it with us as we move forward. The next time it hits us we know we will survive.

My time is coming. I am in a dead calm. I know the seas ahead of me will be choppy and my very life will feel close to the edge from grief, but I know that I will make it to the other side, and life will start once more. I will never be the same again after my mother dies, but I will go on living.

Sometimes you need a calm, serene Sunday to think of these things so that you might face them when the time comes. All the way through the minutes and the hours I have concentrated on my breathing, on relaxing every muscle in my body. Only then can the knowledge that I will survive, arrive.

It reminds me of what happens here every summer. I live in an old town by the ocean. Every year warnings go out about the rip tides and what to do when you get caught in one. People panic and in their panic to swim in to shore they drown. But, as we are reminded, a rip tide is only a short distance and so you must swim parallel to shore, not straight in, not until you pass the rip tide, and then you can swim in to safety. How often in life do we know the safe way, and yet die, in one way or another, because we move, out of panic, in the wrong direction, even when we know better?

Sundays seem made to think about these kinds of things. I just stopped and thought about what I've written here, and I know that I've been talking in circular patterns that may make no sense at all. Maybe it just makes sense to me. I think I just had to write it.

My mother is dying. There is no way to stop it and no way not to grieve. I am just trying to prepare myself, inasmuch as I can, to survive the time ahead, and swim parallel to shore until the rip tide passes.

These kind of thoughts were made for a Sunday...

Serene Sundays...

Sundays are a day of rest, a day far away from the madness of the world, for most of us, although now with everything open seven days a week, not so much for everybody. I have always loved Sundays, and thought that this might be a quiet gentle thing for us to share. So share with us your peaceful Sundays, tell us what you do, even little things. Tell us what "Serene Sunday" means to you, and what that means in your life...

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2 Responses
  1. Sending you dolphins to guide you out of the riptide and keep you company in the still waters...

    Blessed Be,

  2. I only have my heart filled with love and understanding to send you. But, that you have always and ever.

    Peace my dear friend!!
    Jackie XX'S

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