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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Shakin’ My Tree

Listening to a song I first heard a few years ago during a reception for a couple whose wedding I had officiated.  Youssou Ndour  and Peter Gabriel rocked the joint with their song called Shaking The Tree. It wasn’t until recently that I heard past the catchy lyrics, hand clapping and hip swaying rhythm to the empowering message that all of us; men and women can see beyond societally imposed strictures and become who we choose to be.

I was blessed to have gotten that message overtly from my parents who supported my dreams and sometimes left of center visions , but somehow missed the boat a bit, by attempting to mold myself into an image that I thought others would love and accept. It has taken a great deal of work to maintain a façade of ease and grace when I have felt tossed about by the winds of change.  I have clung to a palm tree (which is the image that comes to mind when I think of this song), with gale force currents whipping about.

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Today, I was answering preliminary questions for a book for which I am contributing. The topic was surviving in the midst of loss and grief. I looked back at 3 major losses in my life: my husband in 1998, my father in 2008 and my mother in 2010. Each one brought with them different ‘flavors’ of grief and each one taught me about the sustaining power of love, from those on both sides of the veil. I also know that when I didn’t allow for full expression of mourning, however it wanted to show up on any given day, it had an impact on my health. I held on, rather than letting go into it, since I wanted to be able to maintain my persona of the go-to person, ‘the rock’ as my mother was, until I crumbled.  Even all these years and several major health crises later, I still don’t feel fully human with permission to cry over these losses. Yes, I can justify my surrender into acceptance of death, since I know they are at peace and immersed in love wherever they are AND I miss them. Michael’s death has melted into memory, more than being an ongoing spectre.  I communicate with my parents daily, as they pop into my mind randomly and intentionally. Their presence is a comfort and provides encouragement when I begin to falter. At cardiac care, my father’s coaching “Come on, doll baby, you can do it!” keeps me sweating it out when I want to quit. I hear my mother’s voice in my own expression, which my sister can vouch for.

Grief can knock us loose from our moorings and shake us to our roots. It is up to us to decide if we are going to come down from the tree and plant ourselves in the nurturing soil of love.

 

 

Previous Posts

On My Way Back Home
Packed and ready to return home following a week in Hilton Head, SC with my friends Barb and Glenn. Feeling refreshed and revitalized. Like most vacations, it began ages ago and was over in the blink of an eye.  In a seven day span, I swam in ...

posted 9:17:08pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Lifeguard is Off Duty
On vacation for the week and while shopping in Hilton Head, I saw a t-shirt that read "Lifeguard off duty. Save yourself". I laughed as I purchased it for someone at home. I was tempted to get another one for myself, but I resisted. I was a ...

posted 9:45:16am May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Our Final Thoughts
Earlier this year, I wrote an article that focused on the multitude of thoughts that careen through our heads and the impact they have on the shape our lives take. Going deeper, I have been exploring the trajectory from there to here and the ...

posted 11:08:09am May. 19, 2015 | read full post »

My To-Do List
Writing this the night before heading southward with my friends Barb and Glenn to Hilton Head, SC for a week of fun in the sun. It is the first long vacation I have had in more than a decade. They invited me to take the time to veg and just BE. ...

posted 9:09:30pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Filling the Well
My friend Cass Forkin is a devout Catholic who doesn't merely pray. She walks the talk. Cass is the founder and director of The Twilight Wish Foundation that grants wishes for seniors. She is also, like me, a miracle manna-fester and consummate ...

posted 9:45:34pm May. 14, 2015 | read full post »

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