The weightiness of endings

Captured during the last meal I enjoyed with my Granny. Both she and my mother mocked death with their love of food and storytelling right up until the end. 

It’s been a season of endings. In December, I witnessed the sacred and horrifying final hours of my grandmother’s life on earth in her bedroom alongside my mother and my sister. In April, our rambunctious and loving 6.5 year old chocolate lab awoke one morning with a ruptured spleen from an undetected mass leaving us shocked at our need to say goodbye less than three hours after the discovery. Just over a week ago, my oldest daughter walked across a stage in an oversized hunter green robe with a matching cap to receive her diploma from the hands of her own father. Her graduation and transitioning into adulthood is a kind of ending too.

 

Saying goodbye to our Jaxson Bear.

The weight of all of these different kinds of endings, stacked atop one another, has undeniably rested directly upon my chest, making it difficult to move forward or backward or anywhere at all. It functions mostly as an immovable anchor that daily awaits my acknowledgement, my respect for its presence, and my deep and questioning curiosity. Somedays the road to curiosity leads to understandable sadness, other days it ushers me toward gratitude. Today I’ve discovered a more analytic space of reflection around the neuroscience of endings. I’m wondering if part of what creates the felt sense of circumstances being surreal in the midst of endings and transitions is the neurological disruption to deeply established patterns of recognition. Neural pathways that have been reinforced for years are suddenly, or sometimes gradually, no longer reality and our brain must build new pathways.

This morning I’m curious about our brains. Yesterday I longed for a new puppy to love. Tomorrow I might struggle with existential questions about meaning and purpose and time. We can be such fearful creatures sometimes – creatures that try to cut and run from the anchors of our lives. That never seems to really work the way we think or hope it will. Facing the weight each day is what loosens it’s anchoring paralysis. It’s that practice that frees me up enough to also still play, to be present, to be human.

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Oh, I’m getting older too

“Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’ ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you But time makes you bolder Even children get older And I’m getting older, too”   Feeling this song by Fleetwood Mac in a whole new way these days. Today, I created a new playlist to allow space to feel all the feels […]

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Trust Falls

“There is no way she will be able to go.” Those were the words we kept tossing back and forth at each other as we did our best to assess the situation and plan accordingly. Decisions needed to be made, financially and otherwise, as to whether or not Bailey would participate in an upcoming out-of-state college […]

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Rules to live by?

For both professional and personal reasons, as of late I’ve been swimming through literature, podcasts, film and research all related to the concept of resilience. So as often happens, when my brain is steeping in thematically rich waters, I can no longer avoid catching a glimpse whatever the theme might be every.where.I.freaking.look. I see it in […]

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Young Love

I just love your arms, Mama She stares at me unabashedly, unflinchingly, unceremoniously. They hold me, they help me, they cover me, they snuggle me. I hold her gaze this time, letting her young daughter love drench this parched and weary mama heart. Someday the ambivalence will come between us too, my baby girl. But […]

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Mantras

“Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to […]

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Little Women Marching

It’s already a little difficult to recall my personal feelings leading up to the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. So much has unfolded since that historical day. But I want to at least try to catalogue some of the movement – both inner and outer – before the chaotic and dizzying twists and turns […]

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4

It seems fitting that I’ve been mostly bed ridden with a nasty virus these first few days of the new year in anticipation of Briella’s 4th birthday. I had no choice but to be present – present to my body and how it aches right now with sickness, but also present to the memories of […]

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