Recently, as described in my post, Until We Meet Again, I had to say ‘good-bye’ to a very special man whom I had the privilege of knowing through my job at a day shelter for homeless men. He was hospitalized last weekend, diagnosed with cancer that had spread throughout his body on Wednesday, and passed away on Friday evening. On Friday morning, I held his hand in mine, trying to comfort him, as he writhed in pain, and I promised him not to let go until he was resting comfortably. When the nurse finally administered the dose of morphine that alleviated his pain and suffering, his hand slipped from mine. As soon as he let go, he was at peace. That image has replayed in my scattered mind, as I struggle to let go of someone else who has meant the world to me.
I wish, like the picture above states, that I could simply take a deep breath, let it go, and be done with it. It’s not that easy, though. It is a process, a difficult one at that. For someone as impatient and stubborn as I can be, I just want my pain to end as quickly as the morphine injection took away that dear soul’s pain. That, as I intimately know, having traveled this road more than once, is not how this process works. It is soul searing, painful work, and yesterday, I truly doubted whether I could get through this one more time. I returned to a place so dark that the last time I was there was two and a half years ago, when I had to be hospitalized for anxiety and depression. I was paralyzed, and none of my tried and true tricks of the trade would alleviate my pain. I was in serious trouble, and I needed help.
This morning, I felt the paralysis still there, but I was able to somehow fight back. I sought the help I needed from my very wise and compassionate friend and mentor, Trude, who welcomed me into her home with open arms and a dose of straight talk and advice that was able to permeate the clamor in my mind. She sat with me in my intense pain, and together, we started to sort through the false beliefs that I cling to about myself and this other person and devised a mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional plan to restore me to sanity. In that two and a half hours, I shed plenty of tears, shared some of my most painful thoughts, allowed myself to be vulnerable, and began to surrender to a power greater than myself, whom I identify as God, and the truth began to emerge. It is said that the truth will set you free, but before it does, it will hurt like hell. I definitely would agree, but I would rather deal with the hard, ugly truth than believe a pretty little (and sometimes big) lie again and again.
So, while I am no longer completely emotionally and physically paralyzed, the painful truth remains. I am still in the process of defining what letting go of this person means for me and to me, and I have to trust in the plan that Trude and I constructed to help me to let go of what poisons my spirit and embrace what will heal me. I also have to trust that I cannot do this by myself, so I am turning to the trusted people in my life and to God to help me help myself. I took a baby step today, but that first step will lead me back to the person I know, love, and value-me.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story