This is Day 85 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
Tonight, when the moon rises, it will be Beltane Eve. This is the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It's a time of bonfires and blessing the pastures with fertility rites. The young God has officially become a man, and the Goddess celebrates this by taking him as her lover. Together, they learn the secrets of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins. It's a time to wander out into the fields and find a person to make love with. It's a time to plant seeds and to harvest the seeds we have sown.
My late husband and I would always have a Beltane Eve bonfire with friends and drinks and laughter. This year, Beltane snuck up on me. I have nothing planned and no where to go. I miss my big bear of a husband with all my heart. These are the moments he would rally and say "we're going to have a bonfire anyway... even if it's just us," and he would call friends and inevitably people would come over and a wonderful night would happen. I know I can rally too, but I'm so tired. All I want to do is cocoon and sleep and hide. I want to lay down in the Beltane field and never get up again. I want to return to the earth.
Maybe suicidal desires are really just desires to get back to nature. Maybe it is the call of the wildness, asking us to remember the animal part of ourselves. I have many wise elder women in my life - many of them widows - and one of them told me, just after my husband died, to go lie down in the dirt. "Let the earth take back your pain. She not only can handle it, she desires it. Give her your grief."
I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:
Art with Grief:
- Photographer [Sarah Treanor] Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death by Jillian Wong
- When the Fall Comes, a film about Grief by Adriana Marchione
- Self-Portraits: Expressing Emotion Through Art on What's Your Grief?
- The Hard Romance of Grief by Mark Liebenow
- The poetry of John O’Donohue
Living with Grief Resources:
- Modern Loss's excellent resource list
- The Rules of Grief are for Other People by Shawn Doyle on The Good Men Project
- Grief Bibliography on Grief Healing
- Teresa “TL” Bruce's What to Say When Someone Dies
- They Brought Cookies: For A New Widow, Empathy Eases Death's Pain by Ann Finkbeiner on NPR
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
- Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief
- The Geography of Sorrow: Francis Weller on Navigating Our Loses, interviewed by Tim McKee in Sun Magazine
- How to Be a Friend in Deed by Bruce Feiler in the New York Times
- 12 Things to Know About the First Year of Grieving Someone You Can’t Live Without by Laurie Costanza in Elephant Magazine
Thank you, and see you tomorrow.