Grief & Loss

curly-girl-design-sscl83-owned-by-a-cat-card--2527_38973

This past week was hard. We had to say goodbye to our cats. We’ve had two sweet cats for the past ten years. They’ve been constant companions and loving. Until the last few years they were a very happy part of our family. Adding kids brought stress to their little lives and once we had our third child they were no longer happy. In the past 6 months they’ve been peeing on our kids things. We’ve been to the vet, checked on medical issues, tried all sorts of behavioral aids, etc. to no avail. It was time.

It’s funny how making the right choice is hardly ever the easy choice. In some ways it would have been easier to pretend like they were happy, and just clean the pee and complain about them. But, the truth was they weren’t happy. That’s why they were acting out. I pray they are adopted by a sweet little lady that just wants to cuddle and pet them.

This was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever made. I never planned for them to not be apart of our family. Grief has come in waves and washed over me at the least expected times. Peace with a decision doesn’t mean that grief won’t come. It comes fast and hard. Just less twisted and dark than it would have if you weren’t expecting it or weren’t willing to sit in the muck.

So if you’re sitting in the muck or resisting the muck, just let go. Rest in the Father’s arms. Cry those tears and name those losses.

Grief
like waves it crashes upon my soul
each choice carries loss within its core

Painful and bleeding
grief oozes from open wounds

Welcome, welcome
name each loss
feel deeply, don’t withdraw

I hold each in the palm of my hand
letting hot tears wash over, cleansing the wound
I let go

A scar remains, bearing witness to pain
grief and healing
freedom

Space for your Sabbath

Today was a hard sabbath day for me. I’ll share more later, but these words arrived in my inbox and spoke to me. He’s listening. He sees my weariness. I’m not alone. Grief is hard, but it’s purposeful and life-giving.

So, if that’s where you are today, drink deeply friends.

For everything there is a season…

Sometimes on the Sabbath
all you can do is
settle into the soft body of yourself
and listen to what it says.

Listen to
the exhaustion that is deeper than tiredness
the hunger that is for more than food
the thirst that is for more than drink
the longing for comfort that is more than physical.

On the Sabbath
body and soul reach out for time of a different sort
time that is full of space rather than activity:
time to watch the burning bush in your own back yard…
the movement of the wind among bare branches…
the last leaf that clings to the branch before its final letting go.

Letting go is hard,
letting go of that which no longer works
that which no longer brings joy and meaning
that which is no longer full of life.

It seems cruel
That something that used to be so beautiful
should fall to the ground
sinking into the earthy mud along with everything else that is dying,
no longer recognizable for what it used to be.

It seems cruel but it is the way of things.
One generation gives its life for the next.
One season slips away so another can come.
One crop of fruit falls from the tree so that more can be borne.
One wave recedes while another gathers strength
to crash upon the shore.

It seems cruel
but it is the rhythm of things
And rhythm has its own beauty.

by Ruth Haley Barton 

Meditation & Stillness

By Dingzeyu Li
By Dingzeyu Li

Well, 31 days of October have past. I can’t say I wrote all that I wanted to, or that I intended to for the 31 Days series, but I was reminded that I have limits. Especially as a mama of three wee ones, I need to honor those limits and not punish myself for having them.

I have been thinking a lot about stillness and meditation lately. I am re-reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. She has a very different journey than mine and the first time I read it I was not in a good place to receive anything from that book. I was too caught up in the judgement of the book; is this right or wrong, etc. This time around, I’m more at peace with myself and my faith and know that God can speak truth from anything or anywhere, not just Christian writing and language. I’m finding her writing on meditation and stillness especially provoking.

Then, this weekend I read this article, Practicing Stillness and Silence on The Art of Simple. Do you practice meditation? or silence and solitude? I’d love to hear what works for you. I’m often so daunted by just the idea of doing it I procrastinate until I’m in bed, horizontal and thinking…”I should really meditate right now” and then promptly fall asleep. But, I do want to practice this art, so I’d love ideas on how you got started or what keeps you from trying.