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When you recognize that you will thrive not in spite of your losses but because of them...The word for that is healing. ~ Cheryl Strayed
Our first house was located across the street from a cemetery. I walked there often as I struggled to carry the sudden loss of my brother. This was a grief I made complicated and it fuels me to live more consciously. I was a new and young mother with an infant and two toddlers. It was a gruesome and tragic accident that simply shocked me and scares me still. It was me who told my mother and father.
I know I began to learn resilience in that cemetery. We visited almost every day. We explored different ways up, in and around. We learned the life there- the plants, the trees, the sun and moon and stars, the other visitors two-legged and four, the other mourners. Sometimes we had the cemetery to ourselves and made it our home. Sometimes we were outsiders there as others gathered in their own ceremonies. It was a quiet place which we made loud with our life: talking, laughing, shrieking. And crying. We made games playing and we felt safe. We also tripped, fell, bled and then we healed. We got tired there and then went home for naps. We imagined the people the names had been. We witnessed rituals symbolizing honor, love and respect: tokens placed on graves; young trees newly planted; and we learned faith new to us. Most people had lived long lives in our cemetery. And that made me hopeful for myself and hopeful for my children.
It’s easy to fixate on everything that goes to ground as time goes by. The disintegration of a relationship, the disappearance of work well done, the diminishment of a sense of purpose and meaning. But, as I’ve come to understand that life “composts” and “seeds” us as autumn does the Earth, I’ve seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the most difficult of times. ~Parker Palmer, Center for Courage and Renewal