Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Grief

Do you ever think you are done with working on an issue? Perhaps you've done therapy, you've talked with a friend, you've written in your journal. And you think you have a handle on the crux of the thing so you can let it go and move on? Well, I thought I was done working on my relationship with my mom, who has been gone since 2001. We didn't have a close relationship and I didn't have the opportunity to heal things with her as I did with my dad during the last three years of his life. But I've processed a lot around her and really did think I was done.

But another layer has surfaced and it's about grief. I am grieving the loss of a deep, loving connection with my mother while she was alive. I am thinking of fond memories of my time with her, rather than painful ones. And in this process, I am recognizing my mother shut down and cut herself off from her Spirit Light, or Higher Self, or whatever you want to call it. And as a result, cut off the love she felt for me. Now, with this work I am doing, I am beginning to have tremendous empathy for the loss she experienced in not living the life she could have lived and grieving the loss we both experienced by not allowing love to flow between us in a natural way.

Truly, forgiveness is not about the other person. It is about us. It is so we do not carry the burden of anger, resentment, guilt and hurt. So we can be free to love. It is about freedom from emotional pain.

Are you holding onto anything you shouldn't? I'm working on it...


Anonymous said...

It took me years to get over the grieving of my mother and husband who died within 2 months, I still get the odd pangs of grief especially around certain days of the year but now I celebrate their lives not their passing.
Enjoyed reading about some of the feelings I have experienced over the past 15 years.

Claudia Moser said...

Yes, I am also working on learning how to let go, some people have no room in my life ...

Tracy Jo said...

It is hard when those emotions surface when you thought you were done. Thinking of you as you travel through these emotions. I am definitely still working through forgiveness with people in my life. One step at a time!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I wasn't really close to my mother either and there is some odd guilt about that.

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, that is a powerful 1-2 punch indeed.
Claudia, yes, I get that.
Tracy Jo. Yes, one step at a time is a good motto.
Diane, I know, it does feel odd sometimes, doesn't it.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I don't have a great relationship with my mother either. And now she's had a couple of falls, hitting her head, and so her memory is like Swiss cheese. She knows who I am, but doesn't always remember other details, like who my son is or how old he is. It's trying. And I feel tremendous guilt about wishing I didn't have to deal with it.

Karen Walker said...

OH my goodness, L.G., i know that guilt - I had it as I cared for my father the last three years of his life. Of course you wish you didn't have to deal with it. But you are dealing with it, as hard as it is, so feel very good about yourself, okay?

Al Diaz said...

I do have some issues but not with my mother. I'm practicing the "take it out, acknowledge it and let it go" therapy now.
Thanks for your visit to the cave! Have a wonderful day :D

Father Dragon Writes

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It frees our soul.

Bish Denham said...

I've was blessed - lucky? - to have two parents who were loving and kind. No issues to deal with. The grief I felt at their deaths was that universal grief of loss for a parent. My sister and I felt a bit stranded and alone.

Manzanita said...

I don't think I am holding onto anything. If I were, I'm too damn old to remember what it is, anyway. LOL

Karen, I truly believe your Mom is in a place of love right now and she would not want you in a state of blame.

Arlee Bird said...

This is so true. Glad you're working it through.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Unknown said...

Oh boy, it's so tough. I'm sometimes haunted by the past and it can be a struggle to let go of it. But once it's done, it's so liberating... til memories start haunting again.

Hope you can release the regret soon, Karen. Give it to God.

Karen Walker said...

Al, I think I like that brand of therapy
Alex, yes, it sure does!
Bish, how lucky you are
Manzanita, I believe that, too
Lee, I'm trying...
Pk, thanks, I am

Mark Means said...

They say time heals all wounds, but I think some things take more time than others. I truly believe that, if you keep working on it, you'll get there.

Best wishes!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Some things are so painful and deeply embedded that it takes extra work to uncover and heal. You can do it.

I'll miss you in the A to Z Challenge.

Play off the Page

Gene Bodzin said...

My wife and I have been going through a private hell because of her father, a lifelong closet sadist, self-absorbed and abusive toward anybody who does not share his fascination with himself. This is what she wrote on her blog (Wisdom Cracks) over the weekend:
Yesterday I ended a defining relationship with a family member, whose emotional abuse became intolerable. Why did I put up with it for so long? Fear, obligation, guilt. I come from a long tradition of shame. But it’s not so easy to step out of that loop. I was shocked to find myself actually missing it today. As destructive as a relationship can be, the sense of reality you draw from it can be addictive. (Is that what co-dependence is?) Probably the litmus test of a dysfunctional relationship is loving—or trying to love—someone when it’s just no fun. Now that it’s over, there’s a serious hole to fill—and no amount of buttered popcorn can achieve that existential task. I want to unmemorize that habit of letting my feelings dominate my brain. To stop reliving the past, I need to think greater than my feelings. How? By loving ferociously, by bringing light into the lives of others.