Rituals

We all have individual rituals. If I miss my morning coffee ritual, which doesn’t happen often, my whole day is thrown off. I have a couple friend, who take a nap every afternoon for 15 minutes with the timer set. Another friend, does yoga daily. We now have the ritual of picking out the perfect face mask for the store outing. All of these help us feel grounded and add to our individuality.

Then there are the collective rituals; weddings, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, baby showers, graduations, baptisms, cheering on a sports team, dancing at a concert, Friday prayers and funerals to name a few. In participating in these, we bond, we are allowed to express emotions in socially acceptable ways. We can feel relief, inspired, connected and full of love sometimes during rituals. All these rituals will come back and certainly some new ones are being created at this moment. I’ve had a couple of 6  feet apart lunches outdoors with a friend. That’s a new one. Zoom conversations and workshops.

A few years ago, I became estranged from my daughter and grandchildren. It’s been a lonely grief process at times. Aside from my friends, who have held me, listened, and loved me. I certainly felt at a loss for an appropriate way to express my emotions at times. It’s not the kind of grief that is talked about often. Shame can be a hinderance. I was going to join a grief group once, however was told that since no one had died I couldn’t join in. Understandable, but where do I put this grief? It’s not the kind of loss that is talked about often. I feel for those who have lost a loved one to Covid19. I hear stories of virtual funerals. Meantime, they need a hug.

This poem from my collection: Snippets on Estrangement

I Need a Funeral

I need a funeral
Bring food and flowers
Hold me
Cry with me
Tell stories of those we love

No one has died
But they are missing
May never be seen again

 

Photo credit, Fscott images, ritual gathering for sea turtle release.

 

What’s on the inside

It’s 6:00 AM. The house I’m renting is in the town of Pescadero. The walls are thin and the roosters crow starting around 5:30. During the night I’ve heard some terrible dog fights. My mind goes to missing my daughter and grandchildren. I give that a few tears then get up and get the coffee going. This morning I’m going to get in some quiet time with a walk on the beach. I look at Facebook a bit. Love seeing what everyone is up to, until that one photo of grand parents and grandkids shows up and then I have click off. Grief is complicated as it is. Experiencing grief for a child who is still alive, who does not want you in their life adds another element of complication. It’s a grief that goes unrecognized. When I’m with everyone at the hot springs I will excuse myself for a little nap. No one has to know why. Alone time is more essential so that this grief does not interfere with everyone’s good time.