Friday, July 8, 2011

Road Trip-a Healing prescription!!

The summer was always our favorite time of year! Starting with Mothers Day until the end of July we were celebrating something every couple of weeks. Mothers Day-Memorial Day-Fathers Day-My birthday-4th of July-My husbands birthday-and our wedding anniversary, every two weeks or so all summer long. That all changed for me when he was killed a few weeks after our wedding anniversary, and the long, difficult healing process of grief began.

The morning before my husband was killed, we sat on the deck for a couple of hours. We talked and planned. Mr. Bill was starting a new job that day, and we discussed getting back on track financially, and we discussed our 10th wedding anniversary. We were married at a courthouse,our son the best man and  the snack bar attendant as my witness. We planned to have a vow renewal, a small wedding for our 10th anniversary.A wedding, with a beautiful dress that I had already designed- I spent a long time in the theatre as a costume designer-it would have been a spectacular dress! We would make the same trip that we made as a family honeymoon trip-going back to the Black Hills, a wonderfully spiritual magical place that we all adore.As my friend Michelle referred to it,"the place where love and family became one!"

July 30 is that 10th anniversary. As part of my continuing healing, I have just booked the trip for my son and I to take. We are not going until a few weeks later, I want this trip to be a new beginning, and if we went on the anniversary it would hurt too much.So we will go after all of the days that are no longer celebratory for me, and we are hoping to continue learning how to celebrate life again.

I firmly believe in the idea of sacred space. I after all, spend a lot of time on my deck, which is for me a place of safety and sacredness. Most faith traditions have an idea of sacred space. For me, sacred space is often more a state of being than an actual place, but there are also places where we can instantly feel more at peace, more able to access the things of Spirit. My deck is sacred space, but when I am away from home it is almost as if that sacred place is where ever I am. I visited the home of a dear friend, and her deck, which looked nothing like mine, felt the same, and was for me a refuge of meditation and worship. Staying in a convention hotel, I once slipped out of the room without waking my roommate to find a lovely secluded chair in the lobby that felt like a sacred space for my prayers and meditation. A sacred space feels right, it feels safe, and nurturing, and healing.

One of Mr. Bill and my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, was to take a Sunday drive. We always planned to buy a house, and we would drive through different neighborhoods just looking at the for sale signs. I often made him a little crazy, sometimes we would turn into a neighborhood, and I immediately asked him to get out of it, it FELT wrong. Now some of these were lovely neighborhoods, in the best parts of town, but the Spirit of the place was just disturbing. When we were ready to actually purchase a home, we looked at dozens, and I drove our realtor crazy too. When we turned onto the street we live on, I felt safe and nurtured. As our realtor opened the front door of this house before I stepped a foot across the threshold , I knew I was home.

Home is what I feel in the Black Hills. I think because it was where our life as a family began it will always be a sacred place for me. So, as my spirit heals, I feel the need to return to that place to honor the memory of the time before the grief, and perhaps to move into a time where the grief can heal. Paradoxically, I will be traveling back to the place where I experienced my first symptom of neurological disease (you can read about it in the blog post from 4/29 A Glimpse Into One Part of My Life).

Last spring when my son's health and our financial problems became an issue, Spirit told me that this trip would be provided in September. Thanks to our "Great American Road Trip" last fall, I have enough rewards points that I only need to pay for two nights lodging-and those will earn me enough points that I will be able to receive free lodging again next year!!! So, the majority expense will be gas and food, and I know when Spirit has promised something, provision will be provided. My therapist said this week that this trip is just the prescription she would write for me.

So, as I move through the minefield of birthdays and anniversaries this summer, I feel stronger, and part of that is because I know I am supposed to go home to the place where love and family became one!!


Jeff Elvis said...

Esther,I know totally how you feel. In the last two years my grandfather, Mother, and then father died. It completely shook my entire world. The other day was my mothers two years since passing away, but yet it feels she was just here yesterday.My point is, your not alone, there are many just like you all around,and as one of those persons who share your grief, myself and my family just had to go on a road trip and shake it all off. It felt good and i hope you do the same.I want to believe that our loved ones are happy seeing us just moving on and being happy.So go have fun, and see a little bit of the world.

Groote's Gaggle said...

I remember receiving your wedding announcement card (letter). It's been 10 years!?! Sacred space, yes indeed it's important. My most sacred is Zion National Park in southern Utah and then the Pacific Ocean; particularly Pacific Beach, OR.

Thanks for sharing.

mcq2u said...

You know my favorite love story is the story of your and Mr.Bill's love. I love reading that you are feeling stronger, and that Spirit is leading you home. Home is where the heart is, so I pray that going home will lend some healing to your broken heart.
Love you!

Andrea said...

EB, I don't know if you ever got to the Ramapo Reservation when you were in NJ, but there are sacred spaces there, and they are a balm on the soul for sure. Thanks for the reminder to go there more often. :-)

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