This is Day 143 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
I've been thinking a lot about the connections between widows and witches. Both are often solitary and without men. Both stay up all night and have a deep understanding of the cycles of life and death. I am pulling back on the strings of my ancient ancestry. I am asking for help from all the widowed witches of the past.
The old myths and stories have always helped me. Someone who constantly inspires me to keep understanding the power of the story is Dr. Martin Shaw and the Westcountry School of Myth and Story. If you ever get a chance to see him speak or take a workshop with him, do it! He wrote a great piece this week on the vote on the referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union, but I think it's helpful on a deeper level of understanding why bad things happen in the world:
"...our life will never be ordinary, actually. Never. No matter how hard we try. You are going to be faced with furious giants waving cudgels, nights sobbing raw throated in a hollow tree, sea journeys over vikings waves, padding crisp tundra snow to steal one whisker from a Siberian tiger. You may experience much of this in a small hamlet in western Canada with an aging population, but it’ll come. It may be disguised as divorce, opportunity, illness, depression, solitude, but it’ll come." from to hell with ordinary by Dr. Martin Shaw
I am living my own story. I am the widow that once was joyful and hopeful, but was thrust out into the dark woods. I trudge on alone. Sometimes a caravan of families pass me and give me wine and food. We share our stories over the fire and then we part ways and I am alone again. Where am I going? When will this journey end? I keep my heart and eye on the moon to guide me. I think about walking into the ocean and joining the turtles and sea lions. I want to let them devour me, and my leftover pieces become mere flotsam and jetsam, swirling into the depths. Until then, I trudge along, my trusty tuxedo kitties at my side.
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:
- Filmmaker Gemma Green Hope made a short animation in memory of her grandmother
- Photographer Sarah Treanor Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death
- 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
- What Joe Biden Has Said About Dealing With Personal Tragedy And Grief
- Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
- How Grief Can Make You Sick
- What's Your Grief?
- The Grief Geek
- Modern Loss's excellent resource list
- The writings of Tim Lawrence
- 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 Losses, 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.