Grief, Surrender, Hope
On November 21, 2017, my beloved younger brother left this planet by his own hand. It has been one of the most impactful, transformational experiences of my life.
I loved him as if he were my own child. I was 8 years old when we adopted him — a bright, energetic, towheaded 3 year-old. Instantly I knew, I loved him deeply.
After his sudden, unexpected departure, I found myself deeply entrenched in a thick, heavy, cotton-candy-textured grief that buffered me from my connection with the world around me and consumed me completely for months. My friends and colleagues became a life-line of support, for which I am eternally grateful.
One such colleague, a month after Steven’s death, suggested that I engage The Artist’s Way process. Having worked the 12-week program in 1997, I knew it’s value. He suggested I try it for 90-days.
I pulled the dust-covered book by Julia Cameron off my bookshelf and thumbed through it. I loved the idea, but I just couldn’t muster the commitment to all of the exercises. What I could do, however, was the Morning Pages exercise.
On December 17, 2017, I began a journey inward (and upward?? — if connecting with Spirit is that direction??? Maybe through “the veil” is more accurate…), and this photo shows the culmination of what has become a daily practice since.
Since that day, every morning I sit at my dimly-lit desk (with my coffee — I live in Seattle after all), and write 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing. No edits, no rules, other than “fill three pages and don’t pick up the pen”.
I am so grateful for the gifts that have come out of the tragic (Earthly) loss of my brother’s presence in my life. One thing I have learned is that our connections with those we love never die, the relationships just get “rewired”.
For me, the period of deep grief I experienced was the energetic rewiring of my relationship with my brother.
For at least 3 months after his death I felt intense physical pain and heaviness, and experienced a mental fog and psychic sensitivity that has yet been unparalleled. As I stayed present with myself in that painful, confusing, disorienting period of time I was, unknowingly, honoring the process of the severing of my Earthly connection with Steven and the rewiring of a deeper Spirit connection with him.
Today I believe that grief is purposeful and that, when I am experiencing it, I need the support of my community on Earth to tether me here while I grow in my capacity to connect with those who are living on the Other Side.