100 Days of Wisdom: Wisdom Day 80 – The Wisdom in Connection and Belonging

Wisdom Day 80: The Wisdom in Connection and Belonging

Read about the 100 days of Wisdom™ Project by Tonya Marie

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“Friend Chick” picture  taken during Barbra Watson-Riley’s memorial services weekend in Phoenix, AZ

“We gather in a group to be witnessed, to be supported, and to be both equalized and elevated in our struggles, gifts and ambitions. Common ground is very fertile ground … it is, what Emerson calls, “…the common heart of which all sincere conversation is worship.” Where two or more are joined with the same intention, grace intensifies and solutions multiply. Belongingness heals and nourishes with its affirmative recognition that we are not alone. Simultaneously, we are able to experience our unity and our uniqueness.” ~ Danielle LaPorte

December 22, 2013

Dearest Wisdom Circle,

Barbra Watson-Riley

I love this passage from Danielle LaPorte. And oh boy do I need a support circle right now. As an only child, sometimes I can withdrawal into my own world to be with me, myself and I when the ups, downs and challenges of life start to snowball and weigh me down. And recently I lost a childhood sister friend, Barbra Watson-Riley (a/k/a Pinkwellchick), to triple negative breast cancer.

So the allure of solitude is great.

The rush of adrenalin that hit as the signs of her inevitable passing began to quicken is gone. And the reality of her absence has hit me and her family and friends hard. But one of the greatest gifts Barbra gave to us is the gift of true, authentic, enduring friendship. She was a self-described and fully actualized “friend chick”. She had so many circles of friends and one of her greatest joys in life was when those circles intersected and overlapped. Her passing has brought us all together. To grieve. To forgive. To commune. To heal. And ultimately, to evolve. Continue reading

Finding joy in the process of grief

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Dr. Earl A. Grollman

I’ve been more quiet than usual this month because I’ve been dealing with the final transition of my grandmother, Celeste Lee Jones Borden (a/k/a Nana), on March 30, 2012.

We celebrated her Homegoing Service on Saturday, April 7, 2012 and although her passing was not unexpected, I am still adjusting to the reality that her physical presence as I knew it is gone forever.

[I wrote about her fearless spirit in a February 15, 2012 post “Resolve. Commit. Just do it!]

I celebrate her life well lived and the amazing times we’ve shared not only throughout my life but especially at the end of her life. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to ensure that nothing was left unsaid or undone (a true gift!). I also celebrate her spiritual freedom from a body that was in rapid decline. Yet still, I miss her physical presence immensely.

I have and continue to experience the full range of emotions that surface in the midst of the grieving process; the bitter, the sweet, the heaviness, the light. I’ve experienced joyful visitations by her loving presence that created pure miracles, especially when I felt alone and in need of encouragement. And I intend to share those personal and reflective moments in the weeks and months to come as I unpack their significance and influence. But for now, I choose to lean into and surrender to the process.

After her transition I committed to maintaining space to breathe and room to grieve. I have been intentional about creating opportunities for silent reflection, tears, remembering, forgetting, communing with nature, family and friends and for accepting what is.

I’ve been protective of my time and energy, my emotions and my process, choosing to spend time in solitude or with those who have the divine ability to honor the emotional space I am in. Those light workers and “soul” mates in my life gifted with the ability to honor where I am without trying to fix me. They “hold the space” by holding me, they listen while I repeat myself and lose my train of thought, allow me to come undone, and energize and support me in my process.

I am not focused on a result. There is no destination, plan or agenda for my grief. I’m open to the journey because I know that the only way to is through. On this journey, I celebrate and acknowledge my Nana’s life, legacy and transition into a different plane of existence. And I accept that grief is a necessary process of transition; as necessary and inevitable as death itself. Grief is the beginning and the end.

And most importantly, “grief is a sign that you loved well.” [Unknown]

[Originally posted at ByTheSpirit.net]

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Wisdom in the Whisper™ lessons and WisdomintheWhisper.com by Tonya Marie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wisdominthewhisper.com.