Thursday, January 21, 2010
Starting with Goodbye: My Perspective Part 1
I feel as though I have just given birth. I am physically and emotionally exhausted, yet I am filled with joy, light and peace; I am also experiencing immense grief. Six years ago, I met someone who was to become instrumental in bringing me closer to my truth, and inevitably, closer to God. I was filled with new life that was about to come into this world, had just moved to a new house, in a new town, where my husband had accepted a job transfer. I knew two people, both of whom lived fairly far from me and had busy lives with their children, etc. One of them, Jenny, recommended I join a local Mom's group that got together weekly for Mom's Night Out and Playgroup. Later, my midwife spoke of the same group, suggesting that I get to know them and reach out for support in adjusting to the new town and the new baby. It's an awfully good thing that I sometimes listen to suggestions from others. :) I believe it was my second time joining the group that I decided to voice my desires: I remembered with the birth of my second child that my Mom's group from our previous town had brought food for our family. It was such a comfort, and so helpful. This was what I asked of this new, unfamiliar group. I later learned that several of the Mom's were, shall we say, slightly annoyed with my assumption that I could just step right in and join them, never having had anything to do with them before then. In the moment though, I was not aware of such reactions; because in the moment, a beautiful lady, quiet and strong, leaning in, yet mostly observing the group, decided to comment. She said she would be happy to put together a list of days that food could be brought to my family and she made herself first on that list. She became, as she was for so many in the group, my ticket into the most supportive, strong, intelligent and active Circle of Women and Families that I had ever been a part of. There are not enough words, nor any of them quite fitting, to describe the community this group is for most of us in it. We are as a family, yet sometimes bound together even stronger than family. We have nursed one another's children, taken turns caring for the sick and injured among us, discussing things that are most sacred and sometimes most trite. :) We have stood outside restaurants for hours after closing, shivering in the cold or sweating in the heat, just to spend "one more minute" talking together before heading back to homes with babies, children, husbands and pets that needed us. More often than not, play dates at parks turned into family dinners out or back at someone's home. Holiday traditions began, from watching a Christmas Parade each year, making Gingerbread houses together, to gathering in large number to tie dye together. Sometimes there were more of us out at parks, events and dinners, sometimes less. Sometimes those that joined us had been with the group from it's inception, beginning their journey of Motherhood/Family as a part of this wondrous support group, and sometimes, like myself, they were guided to the group by their need for support in being new to the area, or becoming a parent again. Some branched away as life changes and moves were made, or the group dynamic changed; in any gathering of women, there is an ebb and flow, and this was just as a part of our group as in any other. The constant was that there was always someone who would be there to support whoever needed supporting. We have supported each other in birthing our babies, in cleaning our homes, in picking out jewelry, choosing a place to vacation, choosing how to best parent and teach our children. And now we have supported one of our own as she journeyed from this world into the next. Much as we gather together to give each other strength, love and a hand to hold while our children are in the womb, and later as we birth them, we gathered to give Serenity Dixon the strength to fight for her life, the love she needed to hold on, and the comfort and togetherness she wanted us to have for each other as she finally said goodbye to her closest friends, her daughter, her husband and her family. This is the story of what happened in my life during the final days of Serenity's life, and the following mourning and festivities. As always, I write for myself, yet hope that it helps whoever is reading in some way or another. Some details that I wish to include may not be appropriate for younger eyes, or for anyone who does not do well with hospital-style endings. I intend to be gentle, yet graphic, as I write for release as well as for remembrance of a most beautiful, inspiring, gentle, sweet, loving lady. I know Serenity wouldn't have me do this any other way, as she was most accepting of whatever anyone else needed, as long as she was able to comply. :) Continued in the next post....
Posted by Tracee at 1/21/2010 04:17:00 PM