Finding my Bliss

Friday, 29 August 2014

Coming up for Breath

I am taking a little detour off of the 'Grief Path' story for the time being,
for I am feeling entrenched and bogged down by the detail and not lifted!
I will be back chipping in now and again with my progress on this difficult road
but, my aspirations for telling the whole story might have to be weaved into the everyday,
for I do not want to drown in my own grief story...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Grief Story on the Hoof ~ Entry 4

Orb Hunting a Lovely Distraction ...

Grieving is the hardest day's work I have ever done, and for sure grief is work for it has a purpose an outworking! I am learning all the time, like you cannot move on from grief it is something you have to go through! You might have already detected my feeling a need to move on from the previous post, but I have realised there is no sidestepping grief, this is not an option.  Grief is attached to the thing or person loved and lost, the bigger the attachment the deeper the grief! Like the saying "grief is the price you pay for loving".  I said at the beginning I wanted to document my experience here in the darkest place I've been so far and to be honest with myself and readers. So this is no place for flowery speech or for setting grief in the middle of a rose garden, much of this is raw stuff! Having said that hope does orbit around me and sitting in a rose garden would certainly help too! 

I am no stranger to depression, I have had my share of this sometimes soul destroying mental condition.  I have come across coping tools but, nothing actually takes depression away as has been well documented recently by the death of depression sufferer Robin Williams.  However, one tool that does help is distraction. I am well used to this tool, that is one reason I blog and seek expression through this media. Also photography which in itself is a marvelous aid for not only focusing in the moment but also as a means to usher gratitude into the perspective.

I learned quite a while ago now, through my study of Buddhism actually that the practice of gratitude is a very good way to cope when you are overwhelmed by depressing situations, to actively seek gratitude.  This was not a new thought to me at the time, being brought up on the Christian concept of counting your blessings one by one, but this had actually gone over my head for some years probably because it was not the right time for me to appreciate this wisdom.  After reading how gratitude can transform your day I got to think about the numerical semantics of this practice and it dawned on me that if you can fill your head-space with reasons to be grateful then it is logical that there will be less space for other more negative thoughts to take seed and inevitably make depression more difficult to bear.

Just now I am making use of these tools knowing I am given to depressive periods anyway and my intention is to make this situation more bearable through distraction and gratitude practice, but I know full-well when I go back to normal everyday activities the same feelings of grief will return.  The feelings come out of the blue in waves, not always through bad thoughts though like the way my love suffered so before he died, but after the happy flashbacks to things we did together, I seem to get many of these at random times in the day then as always the grief comes flooding back, the yearning for that which cannot be.

I will be visiting a support worker from the hospice where my husband died next week, I may need extra counselling they said because of the trauma surrounding his death so I am going to take all of the help I can, not with a victim frame of mind but in curious way, for I am aware grieving is natural and I am interested in the subject.  I have vowed along the 'Warrior Path' and I know it is possible to turn this experience into something valuable for both myself and others.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Grief Story on the Hoof ~ Entry 3

Grief Processing
I have a brand new camera, I got it before my love took ill.  I have only used it twice, it was easier to get my old beloved camera out whilst studying technicalities for the switch over.  Then life got in the way and here I am still using my old familiar trusted friend even though the battery casing is broke and held together with an elastic band!

My daughter said I "just have to plough through the days" and this is exactly how it is each day, same, same, I seem stuck in the repeated pattern of grief, I so want to move on from this experience for I feel bogged down.  My house is on the open market without a stir, I keep mowing the grass, keeping up appearances, hoping someone will fall in love with the place as we both did 15 years ago... But then I don't really know where it is I want to go, except for the calling ocean but I just know I need to be away from this, these days, this life.... I want to start again a new life, a new camera, new experiences...

I know grieving is a process, and like any other process, it takes time and I must be patient for it to have its outworking,  however, I know that I am nearing the end of this chapter ready to turn the page, to fly away. In the meantime I am still finding images to play with, to see what becomes, evolves.... 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Grief Story on the Hoof ~ Entry 2

Of Friends & Angels

Well here I am trying to relate my grief story!
Grief is such a difficult animal to get a hold on, only a few weeks back I was thinking "I'm doing okay,
no need for any counselling" then bam I was knocked to the ground, could not stop crying and the wave of confusion hit me like never before!  I felt as I had read somewhere that I was going crazy, this was really frightening. I had to visit the doctor.  I also had to eat my own words, the ones I had even written about here, so this is a hard lesson to learn ~ I am not of a superhuman species despite my endeavors in personal growth but just like nearly everyone I need help!  I have reached out and will be getting professional support shortly.

In the meantime I am giving a shout of cheer to all the lovely people who have helped me so far, starting with my friend Christine of Mystic Meandering who has been there for me all along, through all of the painful days supporting me. Christine often reflects back to me things I'm already thinking, this is a powerful reinforcement of my thoughts when I see her words and it encourages me so. 

Christine also sees things in my images that I don't such as the one I posted last,
 here ~ 'Grief Story on the Hoof Entry1'
I could see a scene of a rough landscape with mountainous backdrop that I interpreted to be my current grieving situation but Christine saw something else, what appeared to be a woman looking down on the edge of the image. When I looked again, yes, I could see her too, I'd missed her so this is what I thought I would do ~

I embellished the woman in Picasa, using the re-touch tool as it acts like a clone, I turned her into a 'guardian angel' giving her wings! For this is how I experience my online friends, they are there for each other like gaurdian angels throughout the seasons, looking for ways to bolster one-another up when the going gets tough.  Also sharing stories of womankind together, knowing that we all need to hear them.  As my friend Suzanne over at Sperlygirl expresses beautifully in her post Conjuring Kindness " she speaks of our "collective ability" to do this, via our individual stories.  I think story telling is contagious, the more we do this the more our stories will spread! This is what we want to do as women spread the love for each other, for the world, the world needs more of our female nurturing love.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Grief Story on the Hoof ~ Entry 1

I'm in the process of investigating grief.   Prior to my love's departure from this life I believed I had come far with my personal growth and spiritual journey. Along the way I have encountered a number of "dark nights of the soul", surviving these experiences has fueled the desire to keep my head above water now at this the darkest night so far! I want to test if the former lessons hold true for this period and what adjustments can be made.

Up until a few weeks ago and all through the painful experience of finding out the dreadful news that my love had only weeks to live and subsequently witnessing his decline in the most harrowing manner I stayed amazingly strong! I put this down to just two things I prayed for 'strength & wisdom', strength to see me through and wisdom to know how to deal with the days and what to do. I feel I had both, although each day was a challenge my spirit didn't dip that low to bowl me over. I knew I had to keep going for him, myself and family.

This sense of 'keeping it together' carried on for a while after the funeral, I was constantly reminded of this by family and friends who said how amazingly strong I was. These days I have to admit I feel challenged somewhat coping with my grief along with facing problems associated with being single on reduced finances and dealing with the practicalities of living alone in a property needing high physical and financial maintenance, my husband was like a park-keeper and I have been feeling rightly or wrongly the need to fill that role for him...

So I have decided to document my grieving course in the form of an on-line diary here in this space for these reasons to ~
  • allow myself a place where I can empty out my sometimes random thoughts onto the page, not only will this be therapeutic but also help me make some-kind of sense to it all.
  • hold a record of this story for myself that I may know where I have come from and where I am in the present moment and where this is leading, kind of charting my course. 
  • come up with conclusions that work for me and that might be useful for others who find themselves in similar situations.

In theory I would like to post daily but in reality the entries will be random for I do not want to put any pressure on myself at this time knowing I must be 'kind and gentle with myself' in my vulnerability. I intend to keep my love of photography alive through this period as I already know this is 'medicine' for me, I will be posting images as usual but trying to explain more on how this practice really does help!

Image I have always loved abstract art, the above and opposite images fit that category. The original was a macro photo I had taken of a candle holder in bright sunlight. Using some of the edits from Google Picasa I transformed the image into a piece of art.  I think this works well as an abstract because of the strong graphic elements in the original adding interest to the abstract. Metaphorically speaking it fits in with how I am feeling too! The dark horizontal lines at the bottom resemble a dusty road strewn along a rocky landscape with a mountainous backdrop, where I feel I am presently! But, with hope hovering above as depicted by the coloured graphic wings! You can always interpret your abstract art and see something intuitive and meaningful for yourself, this is therapy, a good way to spend time when your life is asking all kinds of questions!

Monday, 11 August 2014


When grief hits hard, those moments when you dip and sink,
the best thing is to just Be, wait until something calls to you

  from somewhere between shadow and light

just one little shaft playing somewhere may induce you

to grab hold of its tail and cling real tight

 for there you might just find
a glimmer of hope your heart's delight..

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Healing Reflections along the Grief Path

I prayed, yes I still pray this is what I do, part of who I am, my connecting with source. I prayed for just two things when my love became seriously ill, I prayed for strength to see me through and wisdom to know how to tread along the 'Dark Passage'. My father worked in dark passages for most of his adult life as a coal miner, religion was not high on Dad's agenda but the simple and humble acknowledgement of his maker was what I learned from him, coupled with my own inherent leanings towards spirituality through a love of creation I was destined from an early age to be a seeker...

I think I would have been about eight or nine at the time when Dad came home from the mine unsettled by having lost his watch somewhere that day, I heard him tell Mum whilst she was preparing dinner. I remember turning to prayer and asking for God's help on the matter in my childish way then leaving it with him for food was about to be served.  Later on that evening I overheard a conversation ending with "well I never, thank you very much". Yes the watch was back! Deepak Chopra in his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire asserts "there is no such thing as coincidence". "Not only are these strange, everyday experiences meaningful, but they offer glimpses of the infinite possibilities we could embrace".

Over the weekend "black dog" paid me a visit and to be honest he was outstaying his welcome, I could not shake him off.  So what would a grieving girl do and particularly one who has vowed along the 'warrior path'?  I have found it's sometimes not a matter of fighting but just Being with what is... Whilst I was Being, listening to Chill Radio and sitting with my love's photo who's smile keeps me going a very strange thing happened! They played Clair de Lune my love's favourite piano music from childhood, which incidentally was played at his funeral.  Clair de Lune is a highly unusual piece for this radio station so as the tears flowed I took it to be a sign of comfort from my love, not a coincidence but the spontaneous fulfillment of my desire...