Learning to Cherish

The sound of peace: I’m sitting at my lovely antique desk in my comforting Concord grape coloured office with the reflections of fairy rainbows on the walls from the morning sun shining through windows with crystals hanging on the glass. I can hear the fountain Clo made out of a large rock several years ago through the open window to my lovely back yard.

My 11 year old granddaughter left for home a couple of days ago. While here she did some of this and that for me. I love how she is so willing to help Nana when need arises. She got the fountain going for me. Just plug it in, Nana! Just fill it with water, Sydney! Then she took Aimee for a walk. I long to have Sydney in my life more. The times we have are very special. Her Aunt Lisa and I will be taking a train in August to Albany, N. Y. to watch her in a karate competition. She is steady, calm, focused, highly concentrated, graceful, has marvellous presence. It is lovely to witness.

Soon I am going to be taking classes in helping children who have experienced loss or are in the process of losing a parent, sibling, or their own life here as they know it and are ready for some guidance in grieving. I look forward to this new phase in my profession. It feels right and timely for me to love and lovingly hold grieving children. To help them express themselves and understand what is happening in their once seemingly safe and secure lives. I am ready for my own learning to take me forward again and I will soon add children to my list of people I hope to guide and facilitate. Thus far I have worked with families with adult children. Now it is time to introduce myself to the younger ones.

When our granddaughter Sydney was 10 years old, she was a part of her Mamie Clo’s last weeks and days of life. Sydney helped her mother Michelle, her Aunt Lisa, and me, her Nana hold Clo as she took her final breath. Sydney was given free range to move in and out of my sacred therapy space where we had a hospital bed or the bedroom were Clo slept before she was moved into the healing space of my office which was no longer being used for client work but indeed, was holding divine work. She sat with her Mamie, read to her, knitted with her when Clo as able, and they talked. I think she did not find that process traumatizing, rather my hope is it was normalizing for her. Our time holding and guiding Sydney as we held and loved Clo was a learning experience for all of us, and is some of what gives me hope that I might have experience I can offer other children as they face the loss of their parent, a sibling or even their own oncoming death.

I become more aware of the gift of having family love and support as we learn to live in our world today. I suspect it probably always has been a significantly tough expectation for people to be able to do well in whatever culture or century they are living. There are inevitable daily stresses and challenges that can make the task of living challenging at least, an adventure I would hope. I am very pleased with myself when I can morph what I find to be challenging into an adventure. My daughter in law Connie taught me that. She generally speaking has a pretty positive approach to life and she likes to have adventures rather than challenges; makes it easier to face for me at least.

I am not suggesting being integrated into the last days of Clo’s death be called an adventure for Sydney. I think instead, it was an important learning experience about the realities of this time/space existence. One of the things I hope Sydney learned was to trust that there is always love and hope in our family. That she can count on us having her back, just as she helped provide that for both Clo and for me in our time of big job transition.

Trusting that others have your best interests in mind is not always easy to do and actually is not always safe or smart to do. However, trust is the absolute only way true love, safety, healing and growth can happen. How can you trust someone who has let you down, or worse yet, betrayed you? I think the secret is actually that you must trust yourself. Trust yourself that when hurt is imminent you know how to keep yourself safe. The intuition of danger is a protective signal. “I feel unsafe, thus I am going to speak up, leave, ask for help, talk, suggest we get help, run like the dickens, start a fight to divert danger,” or any number of possible options. I think at all times throughout Clo’s journey, my entire family consciously and mindfully kept Clo, Sydney and me safe.

It is crucial that YOU say and do things to help your partner and your children feel safe with you and it is imperative that your partner do the same. If you INTENTIONALLY and MINDFULLY say and do things that help others feel they are emotionally, physically, and spiritually safe with you, almost anything can be accomplished or overcome. Co-create a safe and loving home/environment for yourself and for your partner and children. Make it intentional, conscious, mindful and deliberate. Take time and effort, it is worth it. You benefit when you and those around you feel safe and secure, loved and wanted.

I am learning to use the word cherish where I might be inclined to use the word safe. If I feel cherished, if I am able to cherish others, the word will spread and we can all live in a world of peace and harmony. The new life blooming in my garden feels like a place to meditate about cherishing self and others. Sitting at my desk as I write, listening to the water bubble outside and hearing the birds drink and splash in the fountain, I feel cherished, peaceful and very hopeful as life continues to move forward.

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