Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Retreat was Magic

The retreat was MAGIC.  The photo above was taken at the end of our release and remembrance ceremony - that is a very large sky lantern we are lighting.  Most of the weekend was spent in "Kairos" or spirit time - thanks to our wonderful Saturday morning speaker, Alicia  (you can meet Alicia at the blog, "Forever Changed" - she is on the blog roll to the right) we learned lots about Kairos and the healing power of the spirit time experience.

The Grief Project has completed a one year cycle of service to the bereaved and its impact is enormous.  So many widowed are talking about how "they have been changed/healed/transformed" by Sacred Journey and The Grief Project.  My heart is full. 

I returned home late Sunday, unpacked, did laundry, repacked and after an acupuncture appointment this morning, I will be headed to the airport to depart for San Francisco.  Tonight I will be in Napa.  I will stay in a hotel, get my car in the morning and then I am going to visit the Senior Services Center, a home health care agency and other gather other resources for the aging journey ahead for Mother (and me as her support person).

Wednesday afternoon, I will motor on up to Yountville to begin my visit with Mother.  I will be posting while in California.  A closing note:  I am humbled that TGP is really up and off the ground and that it is making an impact.  For those of us who work in the nonprofit sector - there is no better thing to hear than our work changed a life.  That is the reason to be.   Many blessings to everyone - I will catch you from California.  Big Hugs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sacred Journey

I have not blogged much at all about the project that is so dear to my heart.  The Grief Project (www.griefproject.org) is a peer support organization that provides companionship, hope, healing and support to women and men who have suffered the loss of their life partner.

This weekend is our (second annual) widowed retreat.  I am so very excited - I began to dream the grief project in 2005 - and here we are.  This year the retreat has 3 times the participants of last year.  Rooted in participation and reaching out to those who in need - we are here to stand witness, to be a companion, to be there for those who are taking that devastating journey of loss and transformation.

So, my car is packed - the workshop presenters are ready - we have lots of gifts and surprises.  The gift in the grief project is my consulting group (*and the generosity and support of my business partner) funds the organization - that means the entire weekend costs $200.  We also hold one-day Gatherings several times a year - they are free.  My heart is so happy that we can welcome those in need and by that I mean heart and soul need without thought to money.   Of course, we are growing and so my next job is to begin to raise funds to make TGP sustainable over the long haul.

No mind for the future right now -- we are off to laugh, hug, cry, learn, be, eat, and be happy to be in a big group that 'gets it"  -  Yay!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My heart hurts

I know this is the best thing. I know it was a long time coming. I know, I know, I know. i am grieving the loss of someone and something that was very dear to me. I will honor the grief. I will walk through to the next place. But damn, it hurts. Just saying.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Here I am - Monday evening.  Sucking it all in.  Mourning the loss of a dream - knowing that this was the best action I could take.

I am happy that I finally posted a photo of him ---- he is was so important in my life.  Saturday afternoon I told him that "we" were over.  I am sad but committed to myself and the future.

More to come...............................

Saturday, July 14, 2012


My mother continues to decline.  I have learned so much from her on this journey.   I am so grateful that I can be present to her.  When I was there in February, I bought her all new clothes.  At that point, I bought "what I thought she should have".   Once I returned home to Minnesota (after several phone conversations with her) I ordered the "travel knit" pants she likes to wear - practical as those cotton pants were (for someone with incontinence problems) those are not her style.  So what if the travel knits wear out faster and have a tendency to hold on to objectionable odors.  Who cares!  No matter her decline, she has always been a woman of great beauty and style.

Today as I was canning pickles, I thought about how far we have come on this journey of aging and loving one another.  Mother and I have always had differences of opinion - in the end of days here we are, the two of us.  Today I realized that I might have been unconsciously taking out some deeply buried "adolescent crap" out on her when I purchase her "practical cotton pants".    Mother has always been the definition of controlling, including every aspect of my upbringing and just maybe I was acting out some long held thing - who knows, who cares.  We are here together until the end of days and I am honored to companion her on this difficult journey. 

 She has begun to have frequent falls.  Two weeks ago, she fell and knocked out one of her front teeth.  Luckily, that is something the dentist can repair.  It is now "good as new".  She fell again this week trying to hang the hummingbird feeder.  I hope she stays vertical until I arrive on August 1.

Of course, I worry.  Of course, I want her to be safe.  Of course, of course, of course.  I have learned to curb my worry and anxiety and not have it spill over onto her.  I try to honor her decisions and speak only lovingly and constructively to her.

Today when I called, she was baking cookies.  These are the prepacked "Nestle Toll House" cookies that you can purchase in your supermarket's refrigerated case.  She has been baking these for the last few years.  They are "her cookies" and she gives them to her neighbors and friends.  She would be mortified if she thought anyone thought she didn't mix the batter from scratch. :-)

When I spoke with her, I saw us - how alike we are and how much I have inherited from her.  She can't slow down and she won't slow down - feeling needed - doing things for others - being active - using her hands, these are all intrinsic to what and how she is.  I am so grateful to for that legacy and to have inherited that can-do spirit,  She is the energizer bunny and if she falls and hurts herself - she is living her life - not sitting on the shelf.  A priceless and precious legacy.  Thank you Mother.