Feelings Buried Alive Never Die…this is the title of a book that I recently discovered. I had an experience this weekend that reminded me of this. My friend’s mom had been in the hospital for 50 days and died over the weekend. I was able to spend time with my friend and her family and felt many waves of nostalgia and memories surfacing. We have known each other for over 40 years and while we have not been in too much contact over many of those years, the common connection of school and military dependent life was bonding. I was there to support her and her family but was also reliving some of my own grief as we shared memories. I continued to let the tears flow as I got home and went about the rest of my weekend.
As I was working in my home office the next day, I pulled the pencil drawer open like I had done so many other times. This time it drove me crazy that it barely opened because of all of the stuff that was in it. I took the time to pull out pens, pencils, and markers and put them into 3 different containers. I purged a lock that had no key to it, random notes and pieces of paper that had no meaning to me, moved 2 luggage tags to the closet that holds my luggage. Then I just sat and breathed at how nice it felt to have a clean drawer that opened easily. There is still the purge job with those 3 containers of writing instruments but at least they are not all in my drawer. I mean, who needs 25 pens, 15 pencils, and 12 markers of various kinds at their fingertips?
Clutter can often hold more than just material stuff that we tuck away. I thought about how my feelings and emotions can be like my pencil drawer – all stuffed in a drawer (my body!) and only in the moment that I have had it with not being able to open that drawer do they see the light of day! Being with my friend as she grieved the loss of her Mom awakened some buried feelings about my own Mom who had died in 2010. At the time I was still deeply sad about the breakup and divorce from my husband and I remember feeling like there was too much sadness to process and stuffed them away somewhere so that I didn’t have to deal with them.
I’m allowing for the uncluttering of my body by letting the emotions of grief from the death of my own Mom to surface instead of diverting my attention and stuffing it back in my body somewhere. So much of my history is riddled with health issues that I can tie directly back to particular kinds of losses that I had experienced.
And here’s the gift – as I combed through that drawer and got all the way to the bottom of it I found the card that my family so lovingly prepared at the funeral home for Mom’s funeral in 2010. I felt love and loss at the same time and as my tears welled up, I acknowledged both. I set the card out on my dining room table and marveled at the synchronicity of finding this card at this time. I’m allowing all sorts of memories to surface and tears are coming and going, purging what I stored in my body 9 years ago. I feel her love around me and the tears yield to happy memories and feelings of her.
It bears out time and time again in my own life and those of my clients that there are gifts that become apparent out of allowing the expression of loss to have its day. If you need help to clear out some stuck or cluttered emotions in your body please consider working with me to move to the other side of your grief. You can learn more about how I work with people here: https://www.energym.org/one-on-one/