Friday, April 22, 2016

#SOL16: Courage is Fueled by Love

Grove (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

Last night marked the first time since Rob died that I have been on my own completely. Yesterday afternoon, I kissed my son goodbye and watched as he left with friends to go to Boston for a long, fun-filled weekend. God knows he deserves that fun and more. Even knowing this, I was a bit freaked at the idea of Devon being away from me.  Although he has been away from home since Rob died, it has not been for several days or located hundreds of miles away.

As I confronted this absence of power, I found my head filling with unhelpful thoughts: If I can't see him, how do I know he is okay?  What will I do if he should become hurt or worse? People die when you least expect it. Look at what happened to Rob.

I found sitting still with these thoughts difficult, troublesome even and so I took myself out for a long, long walk at dusk. Walking is a source of comfort and after watching Rob lose the capacity to walk, I treasure my walking time. As I walked, I listened to a meditation tape and the first words I heard focused on being still in order to create flow.

Find your still space. Let yourself be still. And from that center place all feelings can flow to the surface. They move through you rather then hold you and weigh you down. Our truest present moment is always filled with a sense of love and hopefulness. As your feelings flow you become lighter, heaviness--the weight disappears. And anything feels possible.  So let's move towards that space.

I walked for about an hour, cried a bit, felt shaky, noticed the light on the water, the call of birds, kayakers on the lake, and when I returned home, I began to settle--to find comfort in my home and my place in it. I watched a brief video on watercolor washes and found myself resettling. I began painting again last weekend.

None of this diminishes how much I miss my husband. The loss of Rob is a fairly constant sorrow and still a source of shock as might be imagined. But here's the thing I most want to acknowledge: there is also room within for other feelings too. That's a bit of a miracle.

And now, I feel hopeful because I can acknowledge the courage I showed by letting Devon go with love and keeping separate the crazy talk in my mind that is fear based. I acknowledged how I was feeling and affirmed Devon is okay and so am I.  He is with others whom I trust and off to have an adventure. I'm home and good with no need to outdistance the ways I feel. I can find that stillness with comfort.

This is the new normal. I am beginning to feel competent once again.


  1. Thank you for always finding beautiful words.

    1. Thank you, David for making time to read, to witness, and to comment.