Labels

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One role remains
Unchanged
I am a mother
Grateful to have this last shred
Of identity
I embrace this label
All that it entails
But then stop
Dead in my tracks
What and who is this voice in my head
That needs these labels to function
Why hold on so tight
Who is the “I” that is so in need
Are you afraid “I”
That you will no longer exist
Without the labels
You rush from one identity to the next
A frazzled bee
Searching for nectar
A way to survive
Sustain
Can you say
I have no labels
No answers
No identity
and yet
Still be?

The Grief Alchemist

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Invasion

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Doors open and close
Footsteps in the hall
Knocking
Doctors and nurses
Are you there?
We need you
I block my ears
Needing to be alone
Only memories of a past
now gone
These faint reminders linger
Like shadows in the hall
Not sure where to go
What to do
I am told
Patience
Have patience
I hear the robin
Singing in the backyard
A reminder of present life
Beyond the shadows
I open the window
Breathing in song
Clean air
The hope of a fresh day
A new kind of invasion
One that I can
Welcome in

The Grief Alchemist

Clay

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I am clay
I sit here and stare at this lump of grey
A previously sculptured identity which no longer exists
I am back to the beginning
Birth
My fingers itch
Wanting to dig in and start molding
A conditioned response
Learned over time
That I must be something
Call myself something
So when someone asks I can say
I am this
I stop myself and sit
Staring at the mound
An unknown terrain
Not yet familiar
Can I be in the beauty of the grey
Trusting that with time
The clay will soften and mold
Blend
That creation is slowly at work
Discovering new ways to bend
And all that I have to do is be
Sit with it
Embrace it for what it is right now
Letting go of what it might become
Trusting that the beauty is already there
In front of me
Waiting for me to see
That nothing is lost
I am
And always will be
Me

The Grief Alchemist

Bleeding Heart

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Waking up
By the tears that flood me
Hurt me
Heart shivering
Bleeding
In its state of fragility
Quivering
How to hold on
Keep it from shattering completely
I see your name everywhere
And a knife cuts inside
As muscles droop and slacken
Around my mouth
Preventing a smile
Or lightness
Darkness tugs
Drawing me lower
Lower
Sinking
Sadness
Tears
When will it leave
Be completely done
If I only knew
How to stop the bleeding

The Grief Alchemist

Beauty Within the Sadness

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rain and teaThere is beauty within the sadness
A faint song
A Tender note hanging on a teardrop
Calling from beyond the grief
Extending a curled up finger
Inviting me to listen
To bring the notes to the foreground
Allowing them to step out of the pain
And into the sun
A warm embrace
A reminder that all is not lost
And there is still a life to live
In the silence
I tilt my head
To hear those notes
Never forgetting the song
Of who I am

The Grief Alchemist

Street Cleaner

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I just watched a video about moving through pain. It was very profound. I have known at an intellectual level that healing comes from going into the pain and I feel that I do that but I am realizing all the times I don’t go to it and run away or eat or think I’m bored and have anxiety when it’s actually grief and all that I have to do is go to it. I think my weight is showing me all the times I don’t go to it. I want to change this. I want to become better at noticing the cues. I want to be more mindful and more discerning. I guess with the new year coming up, this can be a resolution. Let me be completely aware of my actions connected to grief. It’s such an easy sentence to write yet it feels like a tall order, one I am willing to take on though. When I can see what I’m doing, I can navigate more consciously. Pain is like a street cleaner. It takes all the debris out of my life that I no longer need and leaves me with the bare essentials. It gives me a clear road with few distractions. I never realized how many things I had in my life that were pure clutter, on both the physical and emotional level. The physical clutter is leaving, waving sadly as it hitch hikes to another place. As it leaves, anxiety tags along too; an added bonus. Friendships are shifting, moving, changing, in some cases leaving. This was scary at first yet now I understand. It’s all about clearing the road for new things to come in. The clutter in my head is a little harder to deal with, not so easy to see, yet in need of some debris removal. This is where I need to bring mindfulness in. I shall do my best to notice the committee in my mind and fire a few of the members, if need be. I will navigate through this pain, be on this road, and understand that there is a sacredness to what I am feeling. There is something so pure about reaching the core of my being, in a moment of grief, that I can also feel it’s beauty in the exact same moment. I am on this ride. I did not choose it but now that I am on it, I will do my best to notice the scenery, knowing that with each mile I traverse, it will change.
The Grief Alchemist

Grief is a Teacher

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Grief is a teacher. It teaches self-love. It asks me to be gentle with myself, to slow down, to take the time to feel and to connect back to myself. It does not allow me to jump ahead. It stops me in my tracks and reels me back into the present because that is where I need to be. It asks me to be loving, not just to my children, but to myself. When I pause, reflect, feel and allow myself to have the time that I need, the grief becomes gentle, more understanding, forgiving. It is my teacher. It is pointing me in a new direction, giving me tools to use in my life, keeping my edges soft, my timelines and pressures blurry. Everything happens as it’s supposed to anyway. Things somehow fall into place. All that I need to do now is to wrap my arms around myself, to relax, take it easy and let life lead me one step at a time.