Sunday, April 03, 2011

Mindful healing

Losing a parent is brutal. My brother was joking when he said "It's a good thing we only have two parents", but I admit I think there's truth in that. The death of a loved one pushes us into a period of transition (what author William Bridges calls "the Neutral Zone") where we are forced to change before we can move forward with our lives.  While we have no control over the loss of a parent, the good news is that we do have some control over our own healing process and how we construct a new life in the aftermath of trauma.  The Neutral Zone is typically not a pleasant existence, but it can be a period of profound personal change.  At the end of the Neutral Zone we emerge at the start of a new beginning as a different person, hopefully one that has grown in some way from having just experienced a life transition.

It has only been a few days since my mom's passing, so I am not sure that I feel like I'm in a transition, even though my head assures me that I am. I am trying to be conscious of self-care and doing things that I know are helpful for me in times of distress. Today for example, I did some long overdue housecleaning, including the bunnies' space and the music room. I filed away a sizable stack of LPs, being conscious of the joy that I get from alphabetizing and categorizing my music. Tonight I did some yoga and had some green tea while listening to music. Tomorrow's another day, and I don't need to decide how I will manage my time until I get there. My mantra right now is 'No Stress', or at least no self-inflicted stress, because one thing that I do have control over is how I take care of myself through this difficult time.

So that's what's up.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

2 comments:

Kerri said...

Jeff--
I so love your reference to one of my favorite books from our grad school experience. I liken my last week in isolation as my neutral zone between cancer and what I hope is the ending of my treatment. While our reason for transition is very different, I have tried to follow a very similar path as to the one you are on now. I know as I have walked this path it has been nice to know that I am not alone nor are you. Sending peace through the healing my friend. I will see you on Friday.--Kerri

Jeff said...

Kerri - thank you for the comment. It makes me smile to know I'm not the only one that still refers to that Bridges book! I can't help but think that your positive attitude has played a role in your own healing. Sending you peace & positive thoughts as well :).