As I was in the midst of that laughter... I could feel it was my first real authentic spontaneous deeply thorough joyful laugh since September 18th. I could feel this massive distinction so vividly that it stunned me a little. I laugh a lot. More like a toddler does than an adult and while that has remained true-there are different kind of laughters. Some more free flowing than others.
In Steel Magnolias, this scene is only funny if you know and understand the characters, the families and the community -their humor. Otherwise, it's really not that funny, kind of mean spirited but it's not when you are in the circle........and it's not when....you have been where this mother has been emotionally. Tony Robins often says, to change our state, do something extreme to cut through the circuit... bang...
Great movie....And that quote I love so very much
"Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions" said after this scene by, I believe Dolly Parton.
For me, my New Years laugh was more like this:
THIS IS US.
It was actually a FaceTime conversation with my parents that had me tune into the show, THIS IS US. My father, wasn't the only old school-older generation father to see that show and state how much he respected the father of that show, Jack and how it had him reflect on himself as a father. He was all lit up to watch that show. Jack, Jack, Jack...What a guy. "What an incredible man," he would say. He was pretty selective about what he considered to be well written shows, I knew I could trust his lit up.
I love this scene with Kate because it filters into the power of releasing what is there. This show, in my opinion is a gift to the world because it offers humans the opportunity to understand...tough feelings, losses and more...are both individual and collective and everyone has their own work to do...while it's much easier to do that work with and in community....
When what was true is no longer true for you personally...
That no longer feels true for me.
They say nothing is worse than the loss of a child but I don't know about that. I really don't know if that is true or not because that no longer feels true for me - as me. (I am strictly speaking for myself twenty-three years away from my loss) It's not less or more for me in my experience- it's just a completely different pain. I do want to be clear that I'm really just speaking for myself here and just like the story unfolding on THIS IS US, and how we are hearing what happened twenty years after it happened, the same is true for me. Donovan was twenty three years ago for me. It's an old incident, an old story, one that has been in my life and the life of my family for two decades. There have been several moments through this current experience where I have felt really grateful to have been living alone and having enough time to heal all that residue grief I didn't even know I had going on (Until that African Grief Ritual weekend) because I can't even imagine how this past five months would have gone for me if I didn't just recently handle all that residue.
With Donovan, I was so young and it felt very raw and very deep from a female physiological, biological perspective. My uterus hadn't even returned to normal yet and I was still producing milk so I was a very vulnerable wire with all of my circuits being blown inside my actual body when that trauma happened. Not hypothetically speaking, or just emotionally speaking...my body was literally going through massive changes already.
With my father, 23 years later, I felt this loss move through my bones, which I have already expressed. I never would have imagined or had ever known that was possible. My grandmother was really the only loss that felt painful yet a soft kind of...she lived her life kind of softness and I wonder if that was because of her age.
I met a man the other day whose father died at 95 years old. That's almost an additional forty years of living. The loss for this man was painful yet soft. The kind of softness that comes with living close to one hundred years.
My experience with my father leaving this world, wasn't so soft and I think that doesn't just have to do with the fact that he was my father. I think a part of that has to do with his age too. Yet I don't know that... I'm just guessing here....
I think grief comes in layers and levels and I am aware by my saying I am not sure if it's true that the loss of a child is the hardest loss there is, any mother reading this may have some feelings about that within her own experience. So I really want to say, this is just my life I'm talking about here. The tenderness of my own heart, the work within my soul, my bones...I can't speak for anyone else. In remembering the woman that I met when I was heading to Iowa, to go to the Raj, her grandfather had just passed away, the reason she was traveling. She had also lost a child and for her, the loss of her grandfather (Who she was very close to because he raised her) was far more significant of a pain for her than her child dying. I thought, wow, her truth didn't match mine. I wondered what kind of Goddess she was as the Demeter in me couldn't relate to her on any level, yet that didn't mean I didn't believe her or feel like she didn't have a right to her truth. Mostly I wanted so much (instinctively) to interview her.
What was true for her didn't take away from what was true for me at that time and what was true for me, doesn't mean it has to be true for all mothers. I think this is super important and this has come up for me in the last few years, most recently with the passing of my Dad. The most comforting thing I can think of that soothes me deeply is to simply ask me. Empathy, compassion and a little thing called "Relatability" I believe can co-exist with individuality and individuality includes things like time, emotional evolutionary process's and moving through different phases. Organic and spontaneous melting, shifting, growing and an ever evolving journey of understanding grief moves however it moves. It's mysterious, subjective and just like how three children can grow up in the same house and have three completely different experiences of their childhood, the same is true for love and loss. There are people who sooth us and people who don't.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D "The Goddess in Everywoman" a brilliant creation for women. The reason movies like Steel Magnolias, Sex in the City and even This Is Us are gifts is because it allows room for women to be different and still love each other. Allowing families to be different as individuals and still be one. We can also see ourselves more clearly when we sit back, watch another story unfold. Perhaps think with more empathy and compassion about a friend, a sibling, our parents. Anything that expands our consciousness and moves us into a new phase or a deeper understanding...it's just good. (As always, this is just my own opinion)
Anyway: Jean Shinoda gives women an opportunity to simplify and call forth whichever goddess any woman may need to activate to get her through any of her life phases.
• Athena, help me to think clearly in this situation.
• Persephone, help me to stay open and receptive.
• Hera, help me to make a commitment and be faithful.
• Demeter, teach me to be patient and generous, help me to be a good mother.
• Artemis, keep me focused on that goal in the distance.
• Aphrodite, help me to love and enjoy my body.
• Hestia, honor me with your presence, bring me peace and serenity.
Knowledge of the “goddesses” provides useful information for men, too. Men who want to understand women better can use goddess patterns to learn that there are different types of women and what to expect from them. They also help men understand women who are complex or who appear to be contradictory. Knowledge of the “goddesses” also provides therapists who work with women with useful clinical insights into their patients’ interpersonal and intra psychic conflicts. Goddess patterns help account for differences in personality; they contribute information about the potential for psychological difficulties and psychiatric symptoms. And they indicate the ways a woman in a particular goddess pattern can grow.
I think too, as far as me being me goes...I've been so deeply committed to my rituals and weaving the thread of my own truth, my own love and how I feel about the people who are no longer here.... I think that has been one of the greatest gifts I have given myself... Time, patience, understanding and just the ability to find a container that allows me to move through
Speaking of guessing.... about this long-lasting relationship thing....