When our loved ones leave us for the other side of life, the things they touched or used, or things connected to memories of them suddenly become sacred relics. They take on a new and precious meaning as we view them differently than we ever did before. We touch them with reverance and sometimes with awe, with the vague notion that maybe some part of them remains behind, holding tight to the things of this life even as our loved one has gone to the next one. Continue reading “Holy Things: What to part with when every item takes on new meaning”
Everything I do, in some way, I do for Ron and in his memory. On Wednesday night, August 16, I read a meditation I wrote for the Abington community peace vigil. As I read it, I was wearing the gold heart pendant that contains some of Ron’s ashes. Standing in the midst of my community, I know I do not grieve alone. We grieve together, we hope together. We are one. Here (below) is the meditation. Permission is granted to use it for your own purposes so that together we can be a source of peace and healing in the world.
Sisters and Brothers of the Abington community and beyond,
Introduction: Let us gather around closely together. If you are a believer in prayer, may this be your prayer. If you are not, may this meditation join you with the collective consciousness of those around you and with people of peace gathered all over the country tonight.
This will be in a “call and response” format. After each line, all will respond with “We are one.” (Practice “We are one”)
As we gather during this tumultuous and confusing time in our country’s history, together we say
- We are one.
This is how long Ron has been gone: 1½ years, or 18 months, or 78 weeks or 548 days. In the early weeks after Ron died, people would occasionally ask if I could sense his presence with me. I would occasionally fudge my answer and say yes, mostly because people expected that I would and because others reported sensing messages from their loved ones who had passed. I was never actually sure of what the question meant and would answer in different ways according to different people or circumstances. But mostly it seemed true but not in the way people thought. Ron seemed to be with me because the separation was not real to me. The primal connection could not be abruptly severed. It was impossible to suddenly let him go. I have since learned that cells from the child remain inside the brain of the mother for always. Continue reading “Watching for Signs”
When our son, Ron, died by suicide on Christmas morning of 2015, he left a careful trail of information so that we would have as few unanswered questions as possible. He took as many extraordinary measures as he could think of to make the impact of our losing him somehow comprehendible. One of the details he attended to was to provide full information about the purchase of the weapon he used to take his life, a gun. Continue reading “One Mother’s Grief on Good Friday at the Gun Shop”
Very recently I was in Trader Joe’s, mindlessly wandering around there as I am wont to do. I was in the soft drink aisle with my right hand on a four-pack of Jamaican brewed ginger beer when a woman beside me softly said, “Does that taste good?” Continue reading “Trader Joe’s, Jamaican Beer and Resurrection”
This is not the way I wanted it
It isn’t what I deserve
It isn’t what I planned
But it is what it is
It’s the dharma.
It’s that which is
Taking one more glance at a newspaper article on my way out the door to mass, I read that Buddhist quote above and said to Tom, “What an unusual quote to read on Christmas morning.” Continue reading “Christmas Morning, 2015 – 9:10 AM”