Gratitude Is An Alchemist

Then !

Then !

Now ! My latest Get Your Wellness On event in Palermo, Italy

Now ! My latest Get Your Wellness On event in Palermo, Italy

Re-reading the following post of January 8, 2010, written two months and five days after Andrew’s death, I am reminded of how far I’ve come since then… I feel everything I felt then but… how can I say… the perspective… the angle from which I see and feel has shifted and for this I never cease to be grateful.
Yes, for when everything in our heart is enveloped in gratitude, everything changes and is transmuted.

Like Love, Gratitude is a great Alchemist.

Thank you Esmeralda, I say feelingly, to myself.
Thank you for staying engaged, interested, vigilant and watchful of everything within and without yourself.
I could not have got this far without the diligence and depth of love that comes with awareness… Awareness of our own oneness with EVERYTHING.

Tigger & Eeyore

A couple of days ago a friend of mine reproached me because:
“We know you are grieving,” he said. “You write about it every day. What about the Law of Attraction, what do you think you get if you keep talking about grief? And how does that help the dialogue about suicide?”

I don’t know how to answer those questions. I don’t have a magic solution or a magic suggestion, but talking about it can’t help but raise awareness. And there must be awareness of something before there can be understanding, I think.
One mother I “met” through the blog, told me that she meets with other mothers once a month at Whole Foods. Over soup and sandwiches they talk about their teenage children, and various teenage issues. She told me that at the next get together she will bring up the subject of suicide.

The contribution I would like to make however, the notion that I want to put out there, is the need to start looking within for answers. The malaise that affects the whole planet has been manifesting in many forms – from extreme weather and natural as well as financial disasters, to the increase of modern diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
If we look at how different our lives were from those of our children, do we feel joy and excitement about the world we’ve brought them into, or trepidation and anxiety for them, for their future?
Would it be too much, too difficult, to stop and think and ask ourselves what is it that we are not addressing? Is it not worth taking the time to try answering that mystical question: “Who am I?”

In the mean time I am grieving. I never knew that there existed such depths of despair as I’m in now. I look at the rest of my family, survivors like me, and I know that they too are enduring their own private hell.

Andrew’s nickname, Tigger, was given to him by my husband because he was always bouncing around. Alas, right now, I am the Eeyore of the story.

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4 thoughts on “Gratitude Is An Alchemist

  1. Thank you for sharing and making a difference. if i am honest with you, the many times i thought about taking a leap off the golden gate bridge and there were quite a few, it was the things i learned through your process that stopped me and made me say , “i couldn’t do this to other people, I must go on.” talking about it helps. From my experienceof sharing with trusted friends i find that they too have been to the abyss and survived. regarding your friend who seems to be more interested in the Law of attraction than your grief…well what can i say, the world is full of people who don’t want to be inconvenienced by the pain of others and the publishing houses have made millions off of perpetuating the myth that being spiritual and creating a wonderful happily ever after life depends on ignoring all pain, doubt, fear, darkness or aspects of the shadow side when in truth we must work through all of that or at least acknowledge the truth of it in order to heal and manifest that light we are seeking. when you ignore the monster in the baseent he doesnt go away, he just gets hungry and angry and eventually bursts through the floorboards and he’s pissed when he gets out. better to make friends with him and feed him love until he decides to go away for good. much love to you!
    Prabuddh

    • Wow, Prabhud!
      Thank YOU for sharing.
      While reading what you wrote I was reminded of that evening in Washington Square Park when you came with me giving out suicide prevention information cards to people who had gathered there after the latest spate of suicide. When we run out of those cards we gave my card. Then someone who’d gotten my card contacted me a few days later, asking to speak at Suicide fundraiser.
      Yes, discovering, acknowledging and releasing what’s in our own underworld is the process, the journey back to Love, to ourselves. Trouble is that the very process of healing and integrating our various aspects, is painful. Knowing, recognizing the painful side of the liberating purification process is half the battle, I believe. In fact I know it to be so, and I never tire to alert people of this whenever I am on the “road”, like when I was in Sicily for the GYWO in Palermo. When I talk about this as I did to a group of teen-agers living in foster homes, I see a dawning understanding in people’s eyes, along with flicker of hope to light what was moments before, dark and soulful eyes.

      I have recently come across an author, Denise Linn, whose books I am finding uplifting. She has written many, why don’t you go and see which ones they have at your public library?

      Big hug Prabhud. Thank you for writing, thank for your light.
      Esmeralda

  2. Great title…great thought…gratitude is an alchemist. Thank you.

    When Michael died, I began wearing earrings again. I have pierced ears but stopped wearing earrings when I was raising so many children. I became accustomed to being simple and plain. Wearing earrings again symbolized change and a statement to the world that I am alive and accessorized! It also reminded me of Michael. He had, before he took a tragic turn toward depression and self-destruction, lived life to the fullest. He was known for his stylish wardrobe; he was “classy” (not my words, but the words of a middle-age, female property manager from Honolulu who had rented a Waikiki apartment to him.) He was classy in a Gene Kelly (think Singing in the Rain) or Richard Gere way (think Pretty Woman)–the way he looked, the way he smiled, and in the way he treated people. He did not inherit his fashion sense from me! So the best I could do at the moment to make an action statement that demonstrated a distinctive change others would notice about me physically and that would say I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU Michael was to wear earrings and claim back a part of me that LIVED LIFE with flair. I started with wearing small posts and when I went “grief shopping” during that first year after he died I bought new earrings, a lot. This summer, when cleaning, I found some very big earrings I used to wear during the 1980s, and maybe early 1990s–red, orange, turquoise, emerald green earrings– tucked away in a jewelry box in the bottom of a chest of drawers.

    This summer I also bought new clothes for work and new running shoes. I typically dread clothes shopping. But this summer, very atypically of me, I wanted to buy new clothes. By a kind heavenly miracle (but that’s another story), I bought a new dress for Michael’s funeral and since then have purchased apparel on an as-needed basis: a Get Your Wellness On Fair, a son’s wedding reception, and for suicide prevention public presentations. I am feeling a gradual resurgence of spring returning to my heart, a desire to wake up and live. I haven’t owned running shoes for two, possibly three years. The last time I had a significant, designed work out plan was in 2007-2008. It ended the November Michael died. The actual desire, to seriously exercise, feels unfamiliar and strange. I haven’t felt that desire for so long. I haven’t experienced the energized motivation to achieve a long-term goal for quite a while. My goal for years has been to wake up and get up, do what needed to be done for the day, and then return to the comfort of sleep, rest, safety, and solitude of my bed and room. Another evidence of spring. I am grateful for the winter of my grief, so that I can rejoice now in the returning of spring. I am grateful for each season.

    • Thank you for sharing Kukunaokala.
      I too bought new clothes for Sicily because the Mayor’s office had arranged a press conference about the event, for the day after I arrived. But wow, what a journey that was! All the time and effort I spent on making sure I would look and feel my best at this press conference and the many events that followed, was for nothing! Why? My suitcase didn’t arrive with me! It didn’t arrive for two whole days!
      You have no idea of how deep within myself I had to draw to be able to “perform.” What a growing opportunity that was, but how distressed I was at the time.
      After the event I spent the rest of my time in Sicily wanting to sleep and rest most of the time. I did none of the long walks along the seashore that I had been looking forward to doing. Most of the time I was there, I lay on the sand near the sea and dozed.
      But now, thank God, I feel renewed and energized again and off I trot to the park for power walks, and to yoga a couple of times a week.
      But wow, you are talking about running! I am impressed! Run Kukunaokala run, run, run. Run Kukunaokal run, run, run 😉

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