Still alive in a wound still fresh
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. Sitting on the tarmac waiting for my flight to take off to Canberra to visit my sister for Christmas, I picked up the in-flight magazine and started to read an interview with Pulitzer prize-winner, Junot Diaz. In it he quotes these words, a fragment from an Octavio Paz poem:
Still alive in a wound still fresh
There is something so unbearably honest about these words. They are instantly recognizable to anyone who has suffered a recent loss. Sitting with my sister far from our home in Ireland, we marveled at how we ever managed to get through our first Christmas when only 3 weeks earlier our mother had died – a wound so unbearably fresh. It is a wound which has healed slowly over the past two years, but which is still palpably there at the heart of our fractured family.
We all carry wounds and scars which never fully heal – the loss of a loved one; the end of a dream; the unasked for change in our identity and sense of who we are. And yet we are still alive. We continue to breathe, to put one foot in front of the other. Our resilience and our courage are truly remarkable, even if some days all we can manage is to just breathe and be.
Oh so beautifully put, Marie, and so devastatingly true. And so true that inspiration and connection spring from the most unexpected places.
Have you also read a post on FEC-this today where T talks of the long process of grief and how our loved ones live on in our hearts and memories, and the essence of what we are? http://fecthis.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/live-forever/
Your posts resonate strongly with me too, remembering this time a year ago in the last weeks of my father’s life. Grief is something which makes others uncomfortable and we feel bound to swallow what we feel.
I am thinking to post something drawing from your posts later today, if that is ok with you?
Love and warm hugs to you
Beautiful, oh those wounds. Thank you for this.
So insightful. So beautiful. So very real. Thank you.
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Hello Marie, I lost my Mother three weeks before Christmas too. It will be 18 years this coming Christmas. Though the grief has subsided there is still a scar but there is also space for the good memories to flood in. I hope you and your sister find that space too.
TW thank you for your comment. Christmas time is such a sad time to lose a loved one, but I am glad to hear that the pain has eased over the years – although I am sure you still miss her very much.
“…just breathe and be.” it sounds so simple, and it is; the challenge is to remember just how important it is and to connect with it.
I have spent the better part of a month being alone due to many things – snow and ice storms, many friends and family vacationing in warmer climes, the lack of energy from treatment to take responsibility to reach out and make plans. sometimes I feel caught up in the worrisome thoughts of how I can go on without Hugh, how scary just opening the mailbox can be, how I can ever find myself again – and the one thing that helps me is that very thing – just breathe and be. when I feel on the brink of getting lost in all the “what ifs”, it’s helped me. I mentally ask myself – am I okay, right here and now? can I make it through the next 15 minutes – well, good! now, the next hour? and sometimes, that four word exercise takes me a little further – I may even be able to feel happy. feeling happy leads to gratitude – a place that gives me great comfort. it allows me to realize that I am doing the best I am able, that I am making progress with healing from treatment, that I am getting stronger, and that I can exchange the “what ifs” for all the possibilities life can offer.
also, I feel very deeply that to just breathe and be helps us to feel connected to the universe, that our hearts and minds and souls become more acutely receptive to the purpose of life.
C. S Lewis said:
“you do not have a soul.
you are a soul.
you have a body”
maybe that is a way to say that even though we get bogged down with so much of what our bodies go through – with illness and betrayal, the wear and tear from everyday stressors, the demands of work and not near enough time to relax, losses upon losses – we sometimes forget that it is our soul, the real essence of what and who we are that needs nurturing and acknowledging to keep it’s life-force, which is LOVE, freely flowing both within ourselves and out to others. our human bodies may betray us, may drag our sorry selves to an abyss of failure and bewilderment and anger and sadness, one does not have to be connected to religiosity to develop the inner spirituality that can adapt and evolve as we question what on earth are we doing here?! but if we remember to just breathe and be and are able to look into our soul for answers, we might have a better chance to find peacefulness. sometimes, there just simply are no answers, but perhaps it’s searching for them that is the pojnt of it all.
I feel compelled to recognize that not everyone believes that we are souls, and that I respect that belief. what I have written above is my own personal belief and I would never wish to be disrespectful to what other’s ascribe to. we all have to find our own way and in our own time as to how we move though life.
much love and light,
I really needed to hear these words right at this moment. Thank you!
This really sums up my life right now, Some days I can just breathe and be. Other days I muster a bit more energy and fill my day with distractions from whatever source. There’s something very touching about the human spirit–our wounds may be different, but the resilience of life is the same, freshening us as we meet the challenges of healing. Thanks for sharing this quote that universally resonates with us. My prayers are with you and your sister. XOX
Marie, this is a beautiful quote, and sometimes just breathing and being require courage. Sometimes that’s all one can do, day by day. We heal somewhat, but we never forget the loss of loved ones.