13 October 2011

On the previous post on sharing the death of a loved one:

This is so touching, so beautiful, so saintly, so human.

I have wasted most of my life shut off from feelings, emotions, basically from living.

When I was a little girl I had a dog who refused to eat if I was not around. No one told me, so after being away for a week I came home to find him dead...starvation. You can imagine the pain and guilt and blame - not to mention the thoughts (if I had only been there he wouldn't have died) that I have carried my whole life. For years I would have dreams of him running toward me from across the yard. He never reached my arms and I would awake feeling so empty and sad. I was about 10 at the time and this dog was the closest thing to Love I had ever experienced. It has taken me 38 years to finally be open to revisiting this pain. 

Just 5 days ago, we adpoted two female kittens. The joy and love are indescribable. One of them gets almost nose to nose with me, looks me in the eyes, takes her paw and touches my eyes as if she is wiping away tears...and sometimes she is. She has no idea the comfort she is. We need each other.

My mother, father, and brother all passed away in the same year about 12 years ago. I couldn't feel anything. I wanted to, it tried to surface, but I was good at supressing. I see now how this supression robbed not only myself, but it robbed my mother, father, and brother of the Love, care, compassion, service, tenderness, comfort...that I could have given them. And it robbed the others who were hurting because I couldn't join in with them even though I deeply wanted to. I'm convinced I suffered more than they did.

Ed, I am so thankful for all that you have been sharing on this blog to get us to open up, to feel. It is very challenging to allow deep pain...there is so much resistance in the mind. It goes against the grain of human instinct.

Many of us are so concerned about being awakened and while I'm all for that, I'm finally learning what it's like to feel 'human' to some degree.

With Love and Adoration,



  1. Someone in our Sangha sent me a beautiful testimony of an opening that they had to some painful childhood memories. They were concerned that they should not have sent it to me due to the fact that it might be too much for me to handle along with other things I am dealing with.

    My response was, "I beg to differ with you my friend about sending this email to me. It was perfect in every way. Somehow it makes me love you more, the openness, the vulnerability, the humanness we share..."

    Thanks for trusting me with the secrets of your heart.

    With Love,

  2. You are welcome Ricky.


  3. It is the middle of the night here on the east coast and I can’t sleep (what’s new). Every since I wrote the reply to Edji’s blog a couple of days ago I have been drawn back to the contents again and again. Facts were shared and those facts keep inviting me to revisit them. It has taken some time to be willing. I thought a few shed tears and an overall ache in the heart would mend it all up just nice. I was mistaken!

    I was pondering the death of my mother and I wondered at how I could have been so cold, so uncaring, so hard as to not be able to sit on the hospital bed with her and hold her, stroke her hair, tell her I loved her, tell her, “Mom, I am here for you.” She obviously needed it and wanted it. I can still see it on her face. I couldn’t let myself be that vulnerable. I couldn’t look weak. I’ve never been able to show ‘need’ in any form. The school of hard knocks had taught me very clearly that vulnerability was a sign of weakness and I was a good student. It’s the only thing I ever got an A+ in.

    I remembered tonight how often I would really want and need my mom to hold me or stroke my hair or just sit beside me on the sofa as we watched television. I would just hope so badly that she could hear the silent cry and give me what I could not /would not admit I needed. She was too buried in her own silent pain to hear mine and I was way too ‘strong’ to ask. This has been a constant in my life. I see it so clearly now. It was strongly reinforced several years ago when I lost a baby at 18 weeks gestation. I can’t begin to tell you how painful it was to go to the hospital, give birth to a dead baby, and come home empty handed. The following morning I lie on the bed crying, holding tightly the blood stained blanket that he was wrapped in when Jeff (husband) came into the room and said, “You know, you can’t lie there all day and cry.” He walked out and a few minutes later I arose, put on my robe of strength and courage, pulled my act together, and showed the world how strong I was – and they really did think I was strong. This only served to strengthen my life’s motto of (I don’t need) and if I did, I’d rather die than let it be known.

    Some people say, “Life is messy, Love it”. My philosophy has been, “Life is messy, fix it, clean it up and store it neatly away.” My philosophy is not working any more. All the stored away stuff is demanding to be acknowledged, honored, and Loved.

    My Belov-Ed, I thank you from the depths of my heart for all you have done and will continue to do to help me through this. You are my savior in every sense of the word – progressively saving me from meself. I would not be where I am today without you. For the first time in my life I say, “I need you and I need you to love me.” I’m certain there will come a day when this ‘neediness’ will take its place among forgotten memories. This is not that day. I’m certain there are needs that are just waiting to have a voice. The child within – I can’t begin to imagine what she needs, but I am willing to let her speak more freely.

    These words, “I love you so very much” bow their knee as they know they could only hope to point to the Love this Heart has for you.


  4. Joan,

    Your story is heartbreaking. Your courage to speak openly about it remarkable. Profound post.

    Thank you,
    Janet B.

  5. Thanks Janet.

    It feels good to drop some of the "I have to be strong" identity. It's been a hard way to live. I don't expect being open about 'needing' to happen over night, but it definitely would not have happened without this seeing.