Walking Through Water: Grief, Meditation & This Week on the Lost Coast

My brother has been gone for 4 months

I’ve developed a routine: I wake up in the morning, go and light a candle for my grandparents and for my great-aunt Ruby and place it in my shrine.

I light another for my brother, Dana, which I carry with me to the couch. I wear Dana’s warm and fuzzy jacket, cross my legs and practice meditating – breathing in and out, focusing on the light of the candle, or closing my eyes.

Either way, any way, I want to know how to do this, how to meditate, how to silence the monkey in my mind.

My brother has been gone for 4 months.

I can’t explain what it’s like to see these guys hanging out and having fun together.

It’s happiness at what they have, pain in what I’ve lost:

This bittersweet joy that they are now experiencing what I once did.

Sibling love.

As pure and true and whole as it gets.

A brother and sister who will hold each other’s backs. Best friends. The only person in the world who knew all of my secrets, who’d hang out with me and talk apps, pinterest, self-improvement books and in the next breath, call me a wimp and laugh at me (not with; at).

My back-up plan has always involved Dana – “if something bad happens, I’ll go to Dana,” – he was only barely a year older than me, but I turned to him more than I ever turned to my parents.

That’s Dana. Bright light, golden boy.

Micah picked the lemons and the mint, then made lemonade and brought out a couple of cups to his brother and sister to enjoy while they soaked

What a kid!

Micah made this, too – a home-made hummingbird feeder.

I’ll write a post at some point about his school pieces, but in a nutshell, he’s going to school 3 days a week now and at home for bigger projects for 2 days. We’ll see how it goes. We’re discovering that Micah’s an exceptionally gifted person, and an asynchronous developer – which means that he’s developing on-par with his age for some things (like his social skills), and through the roof with others (like his critical thinking, reading and more). We’re trying to figure him out, and in that figuring out, I think we will be testing him in a wide-range of things soon.

He’s a very interesting and unusual cookie.

We’ve been going to Blue Lake – my Mom is working on transforming Dana’s house (and also where my Grandma lived) into a grief and loss retreat.

It’s so painful to be in the spaces where Dana was, sometimes it just about knocks me over.

But those places are also where I most want to be. Not because I like pain; it’s just memories, the physical connection.

I want to hold my brother close for as long as I possibly can, never let him go.

I know it’s moot, but in replaying the last time I hung out with him, I want to go back to that moment and take Dana with me to Oregon, kidnap him if necessary. Keep him with me until the day that he was shot passes.

I want to wake up and have all of this be one really bad dream.

Did you see “The Little Prince” on Netflix?

The rose in the end, right?

I loved that. I think of that all the time now, with Dana.

Because I need to see him in everything.

He is the beauty in the sky now, the bird flexing his wings.

He is the morning mist, the song of the wind, harmony in water.

My heart still physically aches.

I simply can’t think of the reality of the rest of my life without Dana.

I can’t go there.

It hurts too much.

I’m still just walking, step by step.

One foot in front of the other.

Trying as best as I can to move forward in the light.

There’s a part of me that wants this post to be helpful in some way. Point out something that has been useful to me in this grief process.

Say something positive like, ‘these walks really help!’

And it’s true, I suppose, that the walks do help.

Walking is better than sitting inside all day.

But often I’ll be walking and I’ll come upon a place where Dana and I once stood and laughed, or a memory will flit through my head and I swear I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut, I stop, I can’t breathe, I just choke on my tears.

No fucking way I can do this.

So I find myself blocking off my emotions because the pain is just too intense, the reality is more than I can handle.

This is why I instinctively turn to meditation. 

Through that, the monkey in my mind can be silenced (with work, and boring work at that), and I can get to a space in which I simply be, without thought, pain. Just be, exist in my consciousness.

A lot of the photos on this post are for sale on my photography site, Meriah Snaps. Or  you could call it Meriahs Naps.

Meriah
is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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4 Comments

  • I thoroughly enjoy your writing, and your willingness to share your life, joys, and doubts. Your title of this post struck me: “Walking Through Water” …. Have you read any of Madeleine L’Engle’s non fiction? She has a book called “Walking on Water” reflections of faith and art, that I think you would find interesting. As the only one left on earth from my birth family (Mom, Dad, and only sister), at 68 I have found grief a bit easier to deal with. Not easy, but easier.

    Have you read C. S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed”? Madeleine wrote the foreword to it and one phrase really said it all to me, page 7, “Perhaps all believing people feel, like Lewis, a horror of those who say of any tragedy, ‘Thy Will Be Done’, as though a Gold of love never wills anything but good for us creatures.” And again, on page 9, “For the true consolations of religion are not rosy and cozy, but com-forting in the true meaning of that word: com-fort: with strength. Strength to go on living, and to trust that whatever anyone we love who has died needs, is being taken care of by that Love which began it all.”

    Another book of hers that you might enjoy is “Glimpses of Grace” Daily Thoughts and Reflections, where she writes something for each day of the year. It is interesting to re-read this book frequently and see what resonates with me each time. You also might want to try “A Rock That is Higher”, Story as Truth.

    As wonderful and enlightening as her fiction is, her non fiction is truly where she shines. She’s definitely my favorite author!

    • WHOAH.

      Chills down my spine. Madeleine L’Engle is hands-down my favorite author for ‘A Wind in the Door’, ‘Swiftly Tilting Planet’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ – but especially ‘A Wind in the Door’. I had no idea that she wrote nonfiction – nor anything related to faith/art.

      I also love CS Lewis’ Narnia series of course, and while i had heard that he did write a lot of nonfiction, I haven’t delved into it.

      Thank you so much for these recommendations and your comments – you’ve given me a real gift. I’ll be ordering these books.

      xoxo

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