GRIEF AND GRATITUDE


Museologists have been traveling again… to a memorial service and celebration of a dear friend’s life well lived. As we flew suspended above gigantic puffy cumulus clouds drifting lazily over the Gulf of Mexico, these “auto-pilot” minds were being carried along towards the philosophical possibility that grief and gratitude are two sides of the same coin. We are, of course, not the first ones to ponder this profundity; however, recent experiences bring these two elements up close and personal.

GRIEF: Emotional pain or distress from an extreme cause, as bereavement, affliction or loss; deep sorrow or sadness; the cause of such sadness.

TO MOURN: The act of expressing GRIEF.

GRATITUDE: A warm and friendly appreciation of a kindness or a favor received; thankfulness; gratefulness.

TO BE GRATEFUL: The act of being appreciative or thankful for kindness shown or benefits received. Agreeable; REFRESHING.

The human mind-heart-body is an astonishingly creative and resilient work of art! Take, for example, the last four days. It borders on the miraculous to consider what mind-heart-body is capable of experiencing and processing simultaneously. Let us share a diluted overview “list” highlighting the last 96 hours:

First… The Phone Call. The kind of call we all know will come some day or night. We dread this call because it brings with it a sense of deep absence and loss. Instantaneously, a VOID now exists and is felt on the planet when one of us departs. The heart feels pain and sorrow yet beats on… allowing us to:

**Efficiently communicate via cell phones and satellite with individuals who offer their help and expertise without hesitation. (Thank you Toni, Teri and Robin!)

**Travel through the skies at 565 miles per hour.


**Travel on land at 70+ miles per hour with no more than 36 inches between cars.

**Go without sleep.

**Genuinely smile at the blessed latte-making saint in the Dipsea Café. (
definitely caffeinated, whole milk, no foam, sprinkled with Ghiradelli cocoa).

**Hug your Best Friend…her Daughter…her Mom…her Sister because they just lost their Dad, Grandfather and Husband.

**Feel a warm strong hand on your shoulder as a sign of “checking in” and signaling an unconditional presence.

**Hold loved ones and friends, arms around each other, giving and sharing strength and support.

**Meet an exceptional pastor with a brilliant sense of humor who welcomes everyone regardless of creed or religious belief without arrogance, judgment or disdain.
(This comment comes to you from a “born again pagan” who studies and respects Native American spirituality and medicine)

**View the photo collage of an exceptional man’s life and feeling awe, respect, love, loss, sadness, pain, joy and gratitude… all at the same time.

**Sit alone in the lovely chapel of Peace Lutheran Church in Mill Valley California; as the cool silence calms, one becomes intensely aware of the extraordinary power of nature and human kindness expressed through beautifully arranged flowers (Thank you Sally!)….dozens of yellow and red roses, lilies, hydrangeas, tulips and iris.

**Watch men and women work companionably, side by side, setting out amazing offerings of food and drink as renown film-makers (friends of the family) quietly and unpretentiously set up a video camera to record the event.

**Listen to the dedicated organist warming up for the service unaware that she accompanies a dozen
glorious birds singing merrily in the budding tree outside the open stained glass window.

**Watch the indomitable courage of four tall, beautiful, elegant, intelligent women (one is only nine years old…but she deserves this description) as they greet those who have come to share in their loss.

Brilliant Words. Stellar deeds. Inspirational music prompting unified voices. Photographs memorializing an extraordinary life. Fragrant Flowers. A Gentleman’s English Tea. All of these are the material manifestations of human magnificence…energies that resonate with loving-kindness, respect, compassion and caring.

Grief and Gratitude. Woven together in the human tapestry of understanding because they “see” the invisible, they “feel” the intangible and together they “achieve” the sometimes seemingly impossible task of making it through the day.

POSTSCRIPT: Allow yourself seven minutes to review and contemplate what your mind-heart-body have experienced and processed during the last 96 hours. Prepare to be AMAZED!

2 comments:

Pattie Mosca said...

You are blessed to have had the pleasure of his company...to know the strength of a man and his family. You are blessed to be able to write this is such a way that one can't help but know the miracle of LIFE and DEATH.
I am blessed to know you.

Anonymous said...

magic info ,