Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feeling My Broken Heart

The other morning, as I was sitting in silence, eyes closed on my bed, practicing meditation, I did a body scan. How did each part of my body feel, and what was it trying to tell me? I didn't get further than my heart. Oh, it
ached. It felt like it was sliced to shreds, pierced with arrows, broken open and bleeding all over. (All those cliches about how a broken heart feels? Tritely, embarrassingly true.) And it was telling me that the pain was necessary, that it was important to feel, to honor what T and I had and what I lost. It was reminding me that the pain and sorrow are there constantly, and I just distract myself to avoid feeling it. "Hello," I said to the pain. "I recognize you. I appreciate that you are telling me how important T was to me." Unfortunately, the pain didn't magically melt away. Maybe I felt more comfortable with it, more accepting of it. But I still wished it were gone, dammit. I'm tired of this phase of active grieving.

One thing that may help me move through this phase is to complete the "Mourning and Mitzvah" journaling exercises. I've been taking a break from them, as various daytime and evening events have engaged my energies and/or time. Perhaps because in the chronology of the journal exercises, I'm still early in processing the loss, my emotional state is stuck there too. This weekend I'll get back to it, and see how that feels.

I have been thinking about taking the last batch of T's ashes with me to my next solitude retreat, scheduled for early November. I'll be gone for two nights, mid-week, staying at a Zen Buddhist center near the ocean. My plan was to scatter T's ashes on the east coast (done), western mountains (done), and west coast (pending). The center is about 20 minutes walk from the beach, and I'd like to have a more spiritual experience scattering that the first two were. Scattering on public land is of course illegal, so I feel uncomfortable about being seen or caught doing it, but not in having done it. T belongs in nature, and it feels so right to return his essence there. So I guess I will take him with me, and look for an opportunity to cast him upon the waters, or spread him among the redwoods, or scatter him along the bluffs. He would like that. And maybe the experience of completing laying him to rest will help me move forward, too, and ease the pain of my broken heart.

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