French Toast And Erma

The other day during a reading I was talking to a client about intimacy in the face of physical challenges….

**Permission was granted for the postscript at the end**

I’m sitting here staring at a blank page and to my right a reminder keeps blinking that I haven’t written anything yet. With a (!) to drive it home in case I didn’t understand the gravity of it all.

I guess, given that my last blog post about eggs garnered more than a dozen new followers, the “blogasphere” is impatient to see what I can do to glean interest today.  I’ll admit to some mild surprise about that surge. It was eggs for heavens sake. We like our yolk I guess. Who knew.

This morning I was sprayed in the chest by my motion sensor air freshener.  I’ve had cinnamon french toast wafting into my nostrils ever since. It’s not bad actually; providing me the relaxing sensation of my grandma’s kitchen. It’s also much cheaper than my usual fragrance, so I think I might be onto something.

Erma Bombeck is my literary idol. Have I ever mentioned that before? Some might have believed that I poured over spiritual sonnets on my journey to here, but in truth, I chose to follow the real life adventures of a middle aged woman with a snappy sense of humor and a common sense approach to living.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say “I used everything you gave me”  Erma

My “eau du french toast” shower today reminded me that sometimes you can smell delicious for only 9.99.  A big lesson for someone like me, prone to overthinking and over trying, over compensating and over achieving.  And a damn sight less stressful than driving across a city congested with construction to purchase the aroma that I believe makes me happiest.  Oddly that fragrance is aptly called Happy Heart. But to be truthful I am happier right now sharing the morning humor that is making my chest bone glow. There must be shellac in this.

I’ve been struggling lately with what else I can share with those looking for my “wise” words. I feel like I have shared it all, tried to comfort the masses with the usual vocabulary and what I call “psychic fluffy”. I felt like I hadn’t shared all of the talents that I possess.   I reached out to the spirit side last night for some guidance. And this morning got sprayed by Grandma’s kitchen. It wasn’t profound at all but it certainly got my attention.

“Wake up and smell the cinnamon stupid”

Sometimes the simpler words smell better.

Real life will hurt. Death will hurt. Relationships will fail, good things will go, bad things will come. Balance is struck in every facet of the journey. Grieving is the most powerful reminder of all that we cannot control.

What we can control is how we choose to smell to others. Strong and musky and powerful or soft and gentle like a warm plate of french toast.

I am voting up french toast.

I’ll take that over sex any day.

Postscript:

The other day during a reading I was talking to a client about intimacy in the face of physical challenges.  She apologized for her honesty and remarked that with her severe arthritis that even self pleasure was impossible because her fingers would freeze for hours in that position. I laughed harder than I have laughed in forever. And she laughed with me.

And that my friends…

Is pure Erma power.

Let’s get back to basics. We will die to be sure. But let’s live until we have to.

 

In love and light and truth.

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief And Blueberry Scones

“Grief is an emotional, spiritual and psychological journey to healing”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

I sat on the edge of the unmade bed waiting for the cup of tepid coffee to spurt from the small brewer in my hotel room.  As the gurgling stopped, I heard the familiar ding indicating an inbox message had just arrived. I stood up, wrestled with the plastic packaging that held my creamer pack and poured it in. I was stirring the oily substance into the dark brew as I ran my thumb over my notification to find her message.

“She’s gone. My sister is gone”

Knowing my dear friend as well as I do, and her predisposition to long winded narratives, these simple six words were indicative of the shock, the confusion, the pain and the tears that she was typing through.  Not knowing in those moments where to turn to share such news, she had come to me, knowing that I would understand what she was trying to convey.  I sat stunned for a brief moment, I barely recall what I responded with as the waves of her agony washed over me.

She is the grief counselor. I am the medium. And for those brief moments to follow, our shared understanding of death fell to the wayside as neither of us could find the words to make this disappear.  This wasn’t a typical death. Her sister was younger, living life, raising a child, vivacious…and a few hours before this one….she was alive. Or perhaps it was a typical death for those that we respectively counsel, but in that space of time, we were without vocabulary and hopeless together.  I didn’t have to utter a syllable, and she didn’t expect one. A thousand miles apart we sat together in the silence and found some odd comfort there.

I closed my eyes against my tears, calmed the punch into my stomach and sent her my angels.

This news shook me to my very core. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this so deeply. I didn’t know her sister well, I had met her only twice.  I only knew of their ridiculous adventures, their shared love of anything inappropriate and their bond that I envied from afar.  My struggle with finding the right things to say grew stronger as I bombarded her with flippant and humorous anecdotes to move her through the process of the first days of her loss. Her pain was far too familiar, our friendship too close. Thankfully, her sister being the powerful woman she was, was able to assist me with her words often falling from my fingertips and spilling onto the page in front of me. Some were not the most comforting of words and my instinct was to backspace them away. But true to myself I left them there hanging and was brightened by the laughter on the other end. My friend needed these words so I left them for her.

A few weeks ago now, the process of the expected duties of the bereaved came to a crashing halt. It happens. After the whirlwind of must do is over, the silence of not knowing what to do will descend.  She took to sharing her thoughts in her not knowing.

” What my sister has taught me about grief is that you cannot hide from it. As an educated psychotherapist, I have read about this and counseled others but now I am living it. You can stay as busy as possible and you can take care of everyone, but it will come looking for you. Those times when something hilarious just happened and you go to text her, it will find you. In those times when you see a family photo after she’s gone and instantly notice her absence, it will find you. Those times when you think about the trips you had planned to take, it will find you.”

You cannot hide from it.

I saw my friend yesterday. We sat on her couch and she shared over lemon blueberry scones with warm butter and coffee. Well, coffee for me. Steeped tea with an ungodly amount of sugar for her.  “Coffee will kill ya”  Yes, well so will sugar in copious amounts. Ding ding.

But I digress.

She curled her legs up beneath her, picked away at her scone and spoke of her anger surrounding certain elements of such a profound loss. Her resentment in finding that some didn’t recognize how to allow for healing.  As I sat listening, I began to recognize the tone of her voice, the pinch of her lips and  the sadness in her eyes. As I sat watching her I saw myself and heard all of the words I have never expressed.

It’s been nearly two years since I also lost someone very dear to me. I have lost many people but not one of them provided me a better lesson in out running grief such as this one did. Maybe it was his age, his unassuming manner, his expectation of nothing, his gratefulness for the small things.  Maybe it was simply that we grew up together. Or maybe it is my own anger over a life not fully lived. I really have no answer for it.  All I do know is that every now and then…swells of grief wash over me while I scramble to find a beach bucket to scoop them away, because I just don’t have time for this today…

You cannot hide from it

I know because I’ve been trying.

There is no hiding from this. You can’t comfort it away in comforting others. You can’t busy it away in heavy schedules and must do lists. You can’t write it away, dance it away or dream it away.  It is a part of your world and you must allow yourself to honor that part by giving space to it when it demands. You can’t pencil in the time you spend with it. It simply is there and it rarely announces its arrival.

Grief showed up yesterday and I allowed it in. To share blueberry lemon scones with warm butter. To share familiar words and familiar feelings with a friend.

And grief will show up again next week, next month or next year.

And I will sit with it over hot coffee and blueberry scones…

And share with it what it will teach me.

And then share it with you.

My friend’s blog is below if you wish to read the rest of her words.  I would do so, because she is incredibly gifted at helping us understand. She opened my eyes yesterday without even intending to do so. That’s a gift. 🙂

“What My Sister Has Taught Me About Grief”

In love..in light..in giggles and copious amounts of silliness..

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And If You Go First – When A Child Dies

Only parents that have lost a child can understand a parent that has lost a child.

And only children that have left without you can understand a child that arrives without you.

“Follow me, follow me, I know the way”

I am no expert in child loss. I am simply a mum with an unusual ability to help you in some small way to navigate the profound pain of your journey.

No one likes to consider the possibility that a child may go ahead before we do. In the textbook of natural progression, the expectation is that the children assemble at the bedside of the aged parent as they draw close to the end of the physical breath.  And although this process is still painful, the ability to find closure is simply easier.  The dying adult has forged relationships along the way, expressed their own understanding of what they might expect once they arrive to the other side, and take with them a myriad of experiences and memories. It’s just easier.  We derive some measure of comfort that dad or mum might be waiting to greet them. Maybe the neighbor of 40 years that became like a brother…or someone else that the loved one has created a relationship with over their human lifetime. We just innately understand that somehow, in their adult years, that they are safe on arrival.

If you are a parent or a care giver of a child you will understand the overwhelming fear that strikes you as your five year old steps away from you in the clothing racks.  You glance down with the expectation that they are standing beside you and your heart leaps in panic when you don’t see them there.  Logically we know that they can’t possibly be more than ten feet away but this does not deter us from the parental instinct of fear.

“Where did they go!?”  presents a tunnel vision type of scenario where you rush to find them, everything in your cart forgotten in a split second.  Finding them moments later giggling behind the service desk you finally release the breath you’ve been holding.  “Don’t you EVER do that to me again! You scared poor mummy half to death!”

I’ve spent thousands of hours with parents who can’t find them.  And whether it be that they have passed through to wait on the heaven side, or that they are missing the desperate need to know where they went is crippling.  To know that they are safe and not afraid is overwhelming.  It matters not that they were with them when they left. They do not know where they are.  Long relationships were not forged. A lifetime of memories were not created.  The child is gone and to the grieving parent…

The child went alone.

And for those that support or have in your company those grieving this pain I beg you to consider for a moment that these parents will never stop looking. Please be mindful to not deter them from their need to do so. It is an inherent right as a parent to seek out their babies.  Never ask them to give that up by suggesting that it’s time to move on. Or that other children need them now. Or that other children are possible. To these parents their children are missing. And as a parent yourself, would you ever stop looking…ask yourself before offering advice….would I stop looking?

Now for my words and from the value of my abilities, I can offer you the comfort of knowing that they didn’t go alone.  Call them Angels, call them Divine presence, call them what you are comfortable with. But the little ones..they never go alone.  As you sit with me and tell me that no other family that they would “know” was waiting, I can assure you that there was. But first….

A child will appear. A child not much older than your own. With sparkling eyes and dimples that dance as they call out to yours…

“Follow me, follow me, I know the way”

A child like your own child. A tiny soul that had to leave their family too soon . A wise young soul that understands everything that you don’t in that moment. A patient little person who knows that you are aching and struggling with who is waiting.

A perfectly divine child will be there for you when you can’t be there for them. An entity of the purest love and the the lightest of giggles will lead them home. A child that smells of sunshine and sand. A child that lived a brief lifetime here yet carries a hundred lifetimes of heaven. A child that understands your pain more than anyone else can possibly understand.

A child of parents just like yourself.

A child just like yours.

And one day, not too far from today, the child you grieve will be that child…

And another parent will grieve.  And another parent will ask…

“Where did they go?”

And your child will answer…

” Follow me, follow me, I know the way”

And I will smile softly as an Angel leads them away.

Only parents that have lost a child can understand a parent that has lost a child.

And only children that have left without you can understand a child that arrives without you.

Angels don’t live full physical lifetimes. Angels always go first.

My love to all that are looking for their children.

One day an Angel will be waiting for you.

With sparkling eyes and dancing dimples.

Love each other.

Tania