The Journey from Sadness to Strength
The last night my dad was in the hospital in Tulsa before he was transported by air ambulance home, the brutal reality of his impending death really sank in for me. I remember holding his hand, he had very strong hands, I also remember thinking how I needed to be present and soak up everything about him because I just didn’t know how much longer we had together. I slept next to dad in a recliner so I could be right there if he needed anything. He was having a restless time and I could tell something was bothering him. My dad was a man of very few words and he never talked about his feelings, although, I probably pushed him slightly beyond his comfort zone more than anyone when it came to those kinds of conversations. I am not sure what possessed me to ask this but it was what came to my mind, I said “dad are you sad, mad or scared?”
He wept silently and said, “mostly sad.” I hugged him and wanted so desperately to take his sadness away, he had been through so much. I told him I was sad too, and we both sat there crying, it was the closest I have ever felt to my dad. The emotions I feel when I recall that night are as real to me now as when I experienced them. I was flashing back to that night because I caught myself a few days ago saying I am mostly sad about a situation I am experiencing. It really doesn’t matter why, but the feelings are there and intense, very intense sadness. What made the experience even more raw was the thought that dad’s sadness had to be so much worst than what I am experiencing now. When I think about everything he was going through; he was in pain, severe pain, he could not eat or drink, he could no longer enjoy distractions like video games or music, it did not comfort him anymore, and then he was experiencing this incredible sadness on top of everything else. I am ashamed to say in spite of that I was still feeling sorry for myself, and oh how I wish I could talk to him right now, he always knew how to make me feel better.
Sadness is such a challenging emotion to be with, mad and scared are focused on the external, your mad at someone or scared of something, but sadness comes from within and is focused inward, its personal. My friend, I can’t just call her my friend, she is my shamanic angel spirit guide, told me, “honey the universe will take care of you, trust, just trust.” So as I was sitting there feeling sad and just trusting that is what I needed to be experiencing, a girlfriend calls my home number, she tried my cell and I did not answer so she persisted. I answer, she hears in my voice, I am not my perky, happy self so she asked what is going on. I told her I am feeling sorry for myself, by the end of the conversation I am laughing, my daughter picks up an extension while I am still talking to my friend and joins our conversation, and I told her to grab a funny movie I need to lighten my mood. She says, “ok how about Spaceballs?” I told her that was a perfect choice. While she’s getting the movie and after I hang up from my girlfriend, another friend texts me, he has a wicked sense of humor and he is giving me his latest observations on life. His observations are usually hilarious and caustic and always at his own expense, and always make me laugh. The very next text on my phone is my neighbor she calls herself Gladys Kravitz, after the nosy neighbor from a sitcom in the 60’s called Bewitched. I do have to say my Gladys Kravitz is nosy in the best way possible, she looks after everyone’s kids and property and she facilitates the great community we have here, always encouraging us to get together and celebrate. So Gladys then texted me saying she was bringing over a gift and told me to have a cocktail ready. This all took place in the span of 20 minutes, I looked up to the ceiling and gave thanks to the universe for taking such good care of me. So my shamanic angel spirit guide, as always, is correct, the universe is taking care of me, and I am getting some distance from this sadness.
I have always been fascinated by people who can hide their emotions, and we all know people like this, they can walk into a meeting right after received devastating news and pull it off as if they were having the best day of their life. I say I am fascinated by them because I am terrible at that, when people ask me how I am doing I don’t always say good or great, I tend to wear my emotions like a Mike Tyson face tattoo. As with everything in this beautiful life there is a light side and a dark side to that way of being. The light side is that I tend to experience what I am experiencing and by letting it out as it comes is does not so adversely affect my health, the dark side is that I am fully exposed to my peers and can be in a very vulnerable position.
Fortunately I come from a long line of strong and powerful women, and if you are wondering yes my shamanic angel spirit guide told me that, and I have to agree. My mom used to say to me “just remember there comes a time when you have to stand up for yourself Marsielark”, and my sweet and loving grandmother who thought “my stars” and “for pete’s sake” were the most fowl cuss words a person could utter once told me during a difficult time in my life, “well don’t take any crap.” When my grandmother gave me that advice at first I almost dropped the phone in utter amazement, to hear such a word come out of my grandmother’s mouth. My grandmother was a person of very high integrity, she once found herself in an unthinkable situation where her integrity was questioned, she never wavered, she knew her values, her morals. While that episode in her life was painful, and caused her great sadness, she was amazing in her strength…………I stopped writing my blog at this point and had to leave so I would not miss my yoga class, while in class this morning our yoga teacher Jan said “can you all see all these dragonflies out there?” I could not believe it, there were hundreds of dragonflies flitting around outside the window, it was beautiful, and I instantly felt electricity shoot through my body. My grandmother loved dragonflies and one of the last gifts she gave me was a pair of green dragonfly earrings. I had this immediate feeling of love surrounding me. So I knew she was reaching out to me today to feel her strength and sending me a message to feel my internal power and strength, which is what I intend to do.
While all these strong and powerful women I have descended from have all passed on to the spirit realm, I know their love surrounds me and fills me with humility, courage and compassion, they are guiding me, so I am trusting; trusting the process, trusting the universe, and trusting my dragonfly spirit guides.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khalil Gibran