On Mourning . . .
You may have noticed that no Terra Spirit Newsletter came out in January. My mom, Joyce Weltman, passed away in January. I was too busy having that experience to be able to communicate about it or about anything else. Mom had a good life. There were plenty of struggles, but she always had support and love. Though her passing is sad, it was harder still to see her in a body that would no longer support her life. I believe she was greeted in Heaven by her family members who pre-deceased her and by all her pets: from her childhood white rats to her many dogs.
The experience of mourning has to be as individual, as unique as each of us is. When surrounded by loads of loving, extended family at the funeral and the Shiva (the Jewish version of Visitation), I craved time alone or with only my immediate kin. I never even invited my many wonderful and loving friends to come to the funeral or the Shiva. I told them to wait, to save their hugs for a later date. I was on overload.
My introverted self needed time alone to process, to hear my own thoughts. I know my dear cousins must have wondered why I shied away from them, why I refrained from talking about my feelings. Some of them came from many hundreds of miles away to be with me and yet, I knew it would serve me best to NOT talk, to NOT share my feelings, to NOT talk about my mother's life, not at that moment. Too much inside me was unexamined and swirling...
I felt full to bursting, like a cork under pressure, ready to pop: full of roller-coaster up-and-down feelings, full of unprocessed emotion. I was trying hard to control myself, to not descend into rudeness with those who most love me. My deep, intense, personal feelings needed quiet time to rise to the surface and to be fully felt. I could NOT give off-the-cuff quickie explanations of my internal workings... they were not yet understood. I knew my cousins were there to support me, and yet, they were NOT what I needed at that moment. I needed to write in my journal, to be alone with my internal Self.
Once again, I learn the lesson of what it is to be me: to become aware of my needs and to do what is right for me, to "Know thyself". I am clear now that Introvert Me is drained by being around large groups of people (or even small groups over an extended period of time). I am aware that when my brain begins to turn to mush, I need to go off by myself to write or to take a long, solo walk. I understand that the greater danger is not in being rude, but in losing my Self in the process of accommodating others' needs.
Over the years I have always thought I was offering comfort when I went to Visitations, to funerals, to Shiva houses. Now, I wonder. Was I helping? I'm guessing that what was in my heart and in my prayers was helpful. In the future, I will also ask "Do you want to be with people now or would you feel better with some time alone?"
Apologies to my wonderful family. Thanks for your understanding. Also, to my friends: hug time has arrived. Thanks for being patient.