Working on Grief: The Knotted Chain

I sit across from her

in the cozy room, painted in earth tones

it grows too warm over the hour, there are no windows

and she redirects me to the various topics I need to address

how to manage stress

how to get what I want out of life

how and when to ask for what I need

and now healing the grief….


Over the last 6 years I lost my family of origin

my mother, my brother, and my father

Last year alone I lost my mother-in-law, my father, and my dog; all within 7 weeks

And yet the grieving process get puts on hold


I am raising children

I am learning yoga

I am teaching

I am even teaching a class on grief and bereavement

I am busy

and tired

I run; 5 days a week I run

too busy to enter into grief properly


It shows up unexpectedly

a friend asks how I am

I cry

I come home the day before my father’s birthday

I cry


She says to me that I need to have fun

And I am not even sure what that means

Another kind soul says the same

you need to let go, choose freedom, let it go, let it go, let it go

Don’t live your life afraid

and stop trying to control the outcome

Make room for joy


In the cozy windowless room, which is too warm for this Spring day

She tells me that I am not just grieving the loss of my father

I am grieving the loss of the dream father, the father he could have been

the idea ricochets of me and lands coldly at my feet.

I stare down at the idea, laying there at my feet,

and I just cannot connect~ my brain or my heart is just too thick to let this idea in

I don’t believe it is true… but I am willing to ponder it


I come home and I am crying

He tells the kids I am sad because I miss my dad

I loved my dad and he is dead and tomorrow is his birthday

So mommy is crying

But really that is not it

I am crying because I am walking through the idea

The universal idea

The universal pain

That I am unworthy, that I am not good enough, that I am indeed,

when it comes right down to it,

I am un-love-able


I cry and I cry and I cry

I cry through dinner

I cry doing the dishes

I cry while he plays the piano

Tunes like “The Weight”

The Weight


I stop crying and start the nightly ritual with the girls

cuddles, light the nightlight, welcome the boy cat on the bed, and reading in bed

In one of the stories the king fairy laughs;

I change it so that in a deep voice he laughs and he laughs and he laughs

Until we are laughing and we have a hard time stopping

It is late and the girls snuggle down, one child next to me

With one child on my chest

I go back, back, back

and I walk into the pain

That sits there in my heart

I could not make him love me, not for real


The pain swells out from my chest and I hold it there

Just as these 2 children have been granted to me from God

Perhaps also the pain

IT is large and stingy, and it hurts deeply, abundantly, all around me

It threatens to swallow me whole

I am tired and drowsy

From all of the crying

But I stay with it, the abundant pain

And then something shifts


The pain moves away

It is gone

The stingy hurt and heart-aching stop

And there is love

Real love

Mellow and sweet

True and strong

Real Love


She tells me the pain in my mid back is not physical

It’s not really from the car accident three years ago

It is a pain that is emotional, spiritual, based in fear

and in the need and desire to control

I cry, she cries

I draw the horse card

Freedom; freedom to choose to let go ….and to act and be free

Instead of wound up tight, closed off


Like a knot in the middle of a never ending fine link chain

I still need to let it go

Perhaps toss it to the wind

Instead of painstakingly pulling it apart

The impossible task


Goodbye family of origin

You brought me here somehow

And for that I thank you

Goodbye childhood dreams

And conscious and unconscious layers of craving, craving real love

Have some fun, they both have said

Unwind it all