An interfaith minister asked us to name out loud some things we will miss about a person who has recently died. All sorts of affectionate things were said in the room. Then she asked us to name out loud some things we won't miss about the person. I think there was a longer pause that gave her some time to talk about this request. She said that just because someone died they haven't suddenly became a saint. Let them be their whole selves. Let yourself be your whole self. She talked about the graciousness of grief, to allow ourselves to be honest. A few people said some things that I don't remember since I was just sitting there loving what she'd been saying about keeping it real.
Gosh, that's all I want. It's all I ever wanted, and had little to no information from anywhere that real and honest was a possibility for most of my life, until recent years. Until I began the braving to be real and honest myself. I remember people swooping in to perform "care" yet they hadn't paused to find out what was needed, or wanted. I remember people instructing others on how to caretake, as if there's a solid object called "caretake" and that's what you do, the way they're doing it. The strongarming and the sneaky shaming. Without any other options, I'd lay down into doormat shape and allow the out of touch "care" to be forced upon me or the other person.
Thinking back on it, from the comfort of my couch and dogs flanking, I notice a yawn coming on. A yawn that could stretch back into my entire past and release all that weird WEIRD confusion around caring and around people dying and around grieving these changes that came that were not wanted but there they were. Heck, even changes that ARE wanted can inspire grieving. Life is sort of a continuum of grief and laughter. At least that's part of it. Some say there are stages to grief. I don't know about that. Maybe when we're honest, when we've dropped the performances and ideas about it all, there's no distinction between grief and the rest of life. Maybe in super real honesty, there's no real distinction between life and death. Just a continuum of light.
Hi, it's Ginger. I hope my thoughts here will add to freedom, expansion and creativity for you as you read them.