I woke up one morning and found myself crying. I had dreamed of meeting up with a dear elder friend in a favorite restaurant. He was sitting in the back booth. Dressed in black. As I approached him, he looked up, touched the rim of his black suede hat, and nodded to me.
He was like a ghost. I called his name over and over and he just sat there smiling and tipping his hat. I glanced around the restaurant dining room. Noticed a very robust server smiling broadly as the table was cleared. Everything seemed like a dream, probably because it was.
Where and when did my friend die? I didn’t get to say goodbye. Tears consumed me.
And then, in this early morning time as I was lying in my bed waking up slowly from the dream, I moved the covers off me and began to do my knee stretches. Movement energized me and I felt inspired to stretch deeper. Simple words came to me.
I am alive. My body is fueled with energy. I can move.
My friend came to me in the dream with a message. One simple word. Live.
Lessons of Mid-Life
When I turned 40, after a night of celebration, I awoke to the morning thinking, at last! I have arrived. Now I can get on with real living. And as the year progressed, I realized that the message was, more-so, get ready to go deeper, into a sort of ‘mud hell.”
I had to embrace the darkness in almost every aspect of my life. This “cloud” of dark would eventually become a partner in my life. I had no choice. Accept or resist its discomfort. I worked at clearing stuff in my life that no longer served me while trying to stay present to constant new developments.
Breaking the Shell
Mark Nepo, author, poet, and spiritual advisor, says that shedding is part of daily growth. We fill the shell that contains us and then when we expand it’s time to break through that shell and start a new chapter of life with another shell.
I choose to live to my fullest each day and accept that discomfort is necessary to endure as part of the journey. As I age I grieve the loss of so many who have passed in my life. Tears I shed crying in my closet, soothe me and make my walks in the sunshine almost miraculous. I honor those departed and look to the trees and the sky for their blessings. Soon, I notice I’m in a new shell, a new beginning.
How do you work with your own losses and the accompanying grief? How can you break open the shell of your life to include the loss and a new chapter emerging?
Read more musings here.