Friday, June 9, 2017

Surviving Year Two: Week 44

Full Moon Growing Pains

This is Week 44 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.

This has been a rough week. I was expecting a bit of "postpartum" after my Healing Grief - Flowering Ritual, but not to this caliber. I think there are a lot of factors at play, including the fact that my 45th birthday is almost here, which also means that the two year anniversary of my husband's death will follow two weeks later.

45 feels like one of those "big" numbers. I am solidly middle-aged and alone. The grey continues to show up in my hair. The wrinkles crinkle around my eyes. My hands are beginning to look like the hands of an old lady, and not my own. I am facing the life of a spinster widow.

As I continue to put one foot in front of the other and try to live this current life of mine, I can't stop thinking about how much my husband helped me to see myself. He knew me so well and when my life seemed to fly off the rails and I lost connection to myself, he was always there to point out what he knew about me, what he knew I was capable of and what he knew I was good at. We walked forward in out life together, hand-in-hand, making choices and decisions that were best for the two of us as a partnered team. I don't have my partner and ally anymore and I feel more lost at sea than ever.

The Grief Veil from my Healing Ritual
Now that I am close to finishing my second year as a widow, I have noticed a few things. Year One was a fog of to-do lists, grief, anxiety and being held in love and support by my friends. Year Two has been about survival — holding down a full-time job, keeping myself fed, keeping my car running, etc. It is starting to seem like Year Three is going to be about figuring out who the fuck I am now. I am not partnered. I am not a wife. I am alone, beholden to no one. This is immense freedom, but how do I make choices about my life when I don't know who I am now?

Am I an itinerant preacher, who can travel America in a van? Am I a cosmic painter who can live in a yurt in exchange for gardening? Am I a creative leader who can run a non-profit arts organization? Am I an author who can support herself by independently run book tours, relying on the kindness of new friends I haven't met yet? Am I a hands-on healer, who sees clients in a cabin in the woods? Am I a Mythologist, working in academia while writing articles on the side? Am I a Ritualist, designing personal rituals for those who need them? Am I a Witchy Radio DJ, sharing wisdom over the airwaves and being supported by my spiritual patrons?

I am all of these people and yet none of them.

Add to that, the work I am doing with my Open Human Heart, which asks me to move past my "beliefs, self-images, assumptions, blind spots, embarrassments and shadows" to find my most authentic self in Love. It's quite an intense process that feels like sitting in an alchemical alembic that is disintegrating me. I am questioning everything I have ever believed in, thought and done. It makes me question who I am, constantly and that is not a comfortable feeling. It hurts. It is bewildering. It is frightening.

Last night was the Full Moon. This month's moon has been called: the Moon of Integration, the Rose Moon, the Lotus Moon, the Green Corn Moon, the Windy Moon, the Moon When Berries are Ripe, the Moon of Horses, the Dyan Moon, the Planting Moon, the Moon When Ponies Shed Their Shaggy Hair, the Full Leaf Moon, the Turtle Moon & the Strawberry Moon (for the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries).

I am feeling the fullness of this particular lunation. I do think that this hard emotional week is part of my integration. Sometimes new growth is painful, as my delicate little sprouts reach for the sun, hoping to flower some day.

Thank you for witnessing me. See you next week.

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