Today at church is the Burning Bowl Ceremony. This is an annual service at the church we are now attending. We write what no longer serves us from the past year or years and we burn it to symbolize letting it go and releasing it. We don’t literally burn it since the church doesn’t have a chimney, but we shred our pieces of paper, maybe even more powerful as you can hear the shredders grinding away all of the things we are leaving in our past.
When the pastor talks about letting go, the first thing that comes to mind is Shayna. I mean I’m not taking Shayna with me into 2016. 2015 is the year I have to let her go. This is what comes to mind. What a crazy thought. No way I’m letting go of Shayna. That will never happen, not in 2016, 2026 or 2086. So, let’s just set that aside. What else do I need to let go of? I think of control. I need to let go of control. I am a control freak. I realize I try to control everything. From the smallest thing- little noises that bother me- I can’t stand the sound of people eating, to trying to control Ty as if she is an extension of me, to judging myself all of the time for not being as enlightened as I think I should be by now. My desire to have perfect self-control so I can stop suffering actually causes me to suffer. That’s it. I write down control on the paper and all of the ways I’m going to try to give it up this year. I start my my march to the shredder.
During the service the pastor brings up The Work of Byron Katie. I haven’t read the book or take any of the courses mainly because the little I have heard about it rubs me the wrong way, kind of like Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking or Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life (which I have read). There is this bit in Byron Katie’s work about “Loving what is.” Frankly, I don’t know what that means, but I cannot accept it for the way it sounds. I can try to accept what is. Eventually, we have to accept what is. There is nothing more futile than going to war with reality. It’s a war you’re going to lose every time. But, I don’t have to love it. I’ve been working on accepting Shayna’s death. Really, really hard. I force myself to face the reality. I try to find the good in it. I try to find the purpose in it. I try to look at the big picture, to think long term. I’m doing everything I can find to do. A couple of weeks ago I thought maybe I hadn’t accepted it, but I was at least resigned to it. I was no longer fighting it. Now I’m pretty sure I was wrong.
I’m reading a book now called “I’ll Meet You At the Base of the Mountain”. It’s written by a woman whose 21 year old daughter passed in an automobile accident. I can relate to just about everything she says and I appreciate her being so honest. I feel as if my life is over. She has three other kids (all older) and a husband and wants to live for them, but she talks about the urge to step in front of a bus. Yes! I feel that too. It’s good to know I am not the only one. The pain here is just too much facing the reality of a life without one of your children knowing that we are always only a moment, a literal heartbeat away, sometimes we just want to take that step. Thank you Donna Visocky for your unfiltered honesty. I can also relate to Donna’s headfirst dive into the “woo woo world” as she calls it. Reading everything she could about the afterlife, reincarnation, mediumship, NDEs, etc. etc. It’s become my obsession. All I want to do is learn more, meditate on it and share it with anyone who will listen. But, what I can’t relate to is Donna has found new purpose in her life. She changed her career after her daughter died. I haven’t finished the book yet, but she seems to accepted that Kristi’s passing was part of the plan for her Donna’s soul growth. I’d still take Shayna back in a heartbeat if I could. Yeah, I believe I planned this, rather we planned this, but what the hell was I thinking at the time? I could go back and smack Spirit Brian sitting in heavenly realms right upside his spirit body head.
The reason I have to confess I haven’t accepted this yet is I still haven’t accepted the idea of living years or even decades without Shayna. When I hear a parent say it’s been 10 or 15 or 20 years since his child passed, I cringe. When I hear a parent say anything other than I miss her like crazy, I don’t know that I ever want to get there. When I hear a parent say “I have joy in my life again”, I tilt my head like a puppy when a human does something he just can’t grasp. "Huh?“ I guess I will have accepted this when I can think about Shayna’s passing without wanting to die myself. And if that is truly the measure, I don’t know that I ever will accept it. Maybe that’s not important though as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other and making it one day at a time. Acceptance is a big goal. Maybe it shouldn’t even be a goal.