Darling Wise Women,
I write to you several days after our last circle. The space to share simply did not arise until just this minute. I had a very full weekend marked by stark contrasts, so powerful were these contrasts that I feel the need to share them with you…
After our Friday circle, I went to Costco to buy supplies for my teenager’s Halloween party. The contrast from our sacred gathering to that of the crowds of Costco was shocking… and yet I was able to observe and navigate with a lens of calm and neutral presence. Friday night I found myself shaking it up on the dance floor with my husband, daughters and many friends at a “Friendsgiving” celebration at the Wildwood Community Centre. I had an acute awareness of the contrast of my day - here I was dancing and laughing with one community of friends when just a few hours earlier I was embracing grief with another community. It was truly remarkable to simply notice the contrast and revel in the opportunity to fully experience the beauty of both experiences.
On Saturday I attended Ryan’s memorial service, which was, by far, the saddest and most beautiful service I have ever witnessed. Never before have I seen such a heartfelt celebration, nor have I ever felt such a unified and intense field of grief and raw openness! The hundreds and hundreds of people at Ryan’s ceremony were truly united in their love, grief and courage. It was an honour to be there and to converse with so many caring souls at the reception that followed. Melanie played the piano and sung “Rise Up” and it was beyond moving. I was struck by the golden threads that weave us together - here was Melanie, who only just met Jen, gifting of herself in the most amazing way because she intuitively brought her song to our circle, kindly recorded it and I shared it, evoking Brenda to ask Melanie to sing at Ryan’s service. Simply breathtaking.
Oh friends, Jen is hurting immeasurably. We will continue to hold her.
Saturday night Dave and I hosted 14 rambunctious sixteen years olds for Ayla’s Halloween party. I found myself looking deeply into the eyes of each young life that walked through our door, fully aware of how easily tragedy could also affect this circle of friends. Beyond the obvious, there was additional contrasts throughout the evening as our Ayla found herself flitting between unfettered celebrations, while also dealing with the heartache of seeing her ex boyfriend date one of her girlfriends.
Sunday, I hosted two Qigong classes of young boys, the second of which includes two Waldorf boys who knew Ryan and attended his service. To play and laugh with these boys and to feel the sadness and grief of a life lost was yet another contrast and a deep honour.
I just finished sharing a wonderful circle with my Monday morning ladies where we went deep into gratitude and OH MY GOODNESS, was it incredible!
…and now I write to each of you and feel our connection and the beauty of our circle and our practice this past week. Thank-you!
UPDATE: While finishing the treasure trove, our darling host emailed me to check in. And, wow, is she intuitive! As you can likely deduce from the above, I am a little overspent and am in need of rest and self care. I also know that I am not alone in this, as so many in our circle have given so much. I would like to share Michelle’s words, words that only a true friend could utter and that I treasure and sincerely take to heart. I sense that her words may also speak to you, and so I invite you to take them in….
Thank-you Michelle! 🙏
During our Friday circle I read several pieces of the chapter “Good Grief” from the book “Broken Open”, by Elizabeth Lesser. Because there is just so much more to this chapter than I was able to share, I am copying it here for you to savour at your own pace and will. (I am aware that by doing so I may be infringing on a copyright law, but I am also trusting that Elizabeth would like you to read her words at this time). ❤️
On Friday I intended that we have ample time for a deep and long Qigong practice and we did! So much energy moving in our little group and I am forever in awe and in gratitude!
Michelle C listened deeply inward and retreated to bed during the movement part of our practice, she is truly my inspiration of self care!
I also want to thank Cathy for asking us to set out an extra cushion for her, though absent in form, she really wanted to be included in spirit as we continue to hold Jen and give space to grief.