Sunday, May 29

Kisses For a Son 5/29/16

         Some friends and I visited this morning.

        We stood in a circle.  The cool breeze wafting around us, a wonderful respite from yesterday's hot weather.

        Someone new to me walked by, then dropped in, joining us.  Everyone knew each other.  The odd man out was you know who.  That's okay.   The unknown woman had heard about me.  She checked me out.

        No.  Not that way.
      Her pain robbed
any joy she could know.  Depression oozed from her.   A glaze filled her eyes as she stood across from me.   If I got closer, I feared I would pick up her emotional disease.

        Her shoulders slumped.  Quiet, lethargic words escaped from her lips when she spoke.  Her roots were from Cherry Hill, New Jersey,

        Then the news.  Eighteen months ago her son died.  In his early thirties.  That's why she looked as she did.

         Defeated, tired and worn.

        It is easy, avoid-ing discussions about death.  Especi-ally about loved ones. Those with the grief-stricken person often feel awkward.  Leaning into the subject, I asked how old he was.  Those grieving want to talk about their departed loved ones.

       She opened up.  This is the first step towards healing from loss.  We open up about our feelings.  We experience them.  We do not stuff the hurtful, troubling emotions.

      Our conversation moved to the blouse she wore.  Different.   A black T-shirt cov-ered with a lip print design.  Within min-utes, I was in tears.  She explained what she wore.

      "These lip markings are the kisses I have for my son."

      "Hearing your explanation, tears are filling my eyes,"  I said.   An-other woman said, "Me too."

       It is wonderful, being present.  Say-ing what we feel.  The wings of our spirit unfurl when we do.

       I was glad I ven-tured into this delicate subject with the woman I met today.  We get to know a person when we become more aware of their softer sides.  This happens when we know more about them than their name and what they do.

      When present, we remain true to our values.  We ack-nowledge them.  We stand in our power. This is not true for the faint of heart, those who fear expressing what they feel and want.

      Whatever fears we have about what others think of our authentic selves can be over-come. This happens when we are moved by the boldness that being present offers: de-claring what is alive within. We are genuine, transparent.

       In the process, we are our happier, truer selves.  And life unfolds riches we would have never known, like being in touch with a mother who wears kisses for a lost son. 


Anonymous said...

Dear Pablo,
Wow! What a touching moment. That moment was also a kiss from God. I marvel at moments like that when God puts things into perspective. With all the chaos going on around us, disconnecting us, mainly because of being in the head, I'm so glad that you felt the moment with your heart. Also, Happy Birthday, buddy. ��
God bless, Pablo.

Lynne Becker said...

Hi Pablo. As most of us who are fortunate enough to keep living eventually experience, I have become an unwilling expert in how the grieving would like to be treated. And I can attest to your choosing the most perfect gift for that grieving mother: asking her about her son and listening to her. From 2007 thru 2012 my family and I lost four immediate family members. The thing I longed most for, besides having them back, was for other people to know who it was that we lost. A few people, who had already been down that road, really did this for me and it was so helpful to begin to get the pain from the inside to the outside. I try to pass this along to others now whenever possible. Lynne

Anonymous said...

Hi Pablo,
What a touching moment. I marvel at God's grace, which brings perspective, above all the chaos that whirls around in our heads, or the negative events that occur around us. Thank you for modeling what was alive within you. Also thanks for having the courage to be completely vulnerable with a new person. As I read your post, I was rooting for you and rooting for myself to do the same. I'm glad this mother was able to connect with you and express her grief.
I cried today as well. I was working on my report cards today. Although I did accomplish a lot, and I am grateful for being ahead of the game, and even though I have completed report cards many times in my teaching career, they always take a toll on me.
It hurts. It's always difficult for me. I also had to be a caregiver for a parent today and run errands, do chores to take care of my family's needs yesterday. I mourned because I was simply tired and worn out.
I felt better after crying, and I patted myself on the chest and said to myself, "There, there. You've given enough. Time to let go for today. You were amazing this weekend."
By the way, Happy Birthday to you."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for modeling transparency with another human being. Your courage is appreciated.

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