Archive for January 16th, 2012

for sheili on world aids day

Here is something I wrote for a team member….

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Image by Barnaby via Flickr

I feel recharged again… my words had slipped away and I was unfocused… tripped up in some headiness that need not have been… taken down some roads that were less travelled for reasons…  but I’m away and being out of one’s average everdayness can do so much to shake the cobwebs out.  So can being in the company of incredible souls!  If you don’t have some sort of practice to get ourself out of your daily grind, your habitual world, find one…. create a space that allows for magic, re-creating, and celebrating… For I have learned over the past two weeks how crucial it is so I pass that lesson on to you.

I’ve been scanning a book tonight, Being Mindful, Easing Suffering, by Christopher Johns, a palliative care nurse.  In part one of his book, he talks about the importance of journal writing and really, his book is just that… his journal writing through his experiences…

This is one of the few regrets that I have from the experience of companioning my brother through his living with dying.  I was 25 and had no idea how these events would shape my life, my career, and benefit other people.  Next month it will be 17 yrs… people who were there are no longer here.  Some of the people who had “bear witness” to our tragic blessing can no longer verify timelines, stories, fill in the blanks, etc.  Things don’t still have the same emotional punch.  Little things have lost their meaning in the span of time and healing that has since taken place.

If I had to do anything over again it would be to write and write and write.  Now one thing that I did do was to write my best friend (at the time) at least once a week and I’m sure the letters chronicle that time.  Who knows if she has them after all these years.  I really don’t even have this friendship anymore so in a sense, that’s all lost.  I also wrote poetry, good/bad/indifferent, life seemed to make more sense through poetry than it did through journal writing…  And I have learned that no one is in your life for your whole life.. not family, not best friends, no partners, not children…. why not create some sort of footprint for their presence in your life?

I would encourage you to write and write and write and throw nothing away.  Or take photos.  Or write music.  Or paint.  Or whatever you need to do to have a record of your journey with grieving, with living with an illness, etc.  It is powerful for yourself and if you are brave and can share, our narratives and images of our world in any given moment are extra-ordinarily powerful.

If you were smarter than I was and have things that you’d feel comfortable sharing, please feel free to leave comments, links, etc.  I’d love to hold space here to honor your wisdom.

Peace,  Jennifer

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