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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Fabric of Death

The unexpected death of her husband has left my sister hanging on a thread. They were supposed to spend their 40th wedding anniversary together this past weekend, but sadly there will be no more celebrations of this kind. The grieving process although necessary feels as if I am watching her slowly fade away. She has tried counseling but feels so disconnected that she no longer attempts to share her pain. If you have ever been around someone like this, you can attest to the ache within your own heart as you watch helplessly knowing it's a personal journey. (To learn more about this tragedy please read.)

Last spring when this occurred I was compelled to move my office into her home and I lived with her for 6 weeks. It was during this endeavor when I saw first-hand how the body goes into shock and denial. She would wake each morning hoping it had all been a bad dream. She stopped eating or caring and her nurturing spirit turned towards her beloved pets. Now she fears they too will get sick and leave her alone with her thoughts.

It was during his funeral as she was searching through his belongings when the idea first struck me. I had meditated the night before he had passed and he had spoken to me. I asked him how I could help his wife and his reply came very clearly.

"Hold her. She is a strong woman that can do anything in this world, but she cannot hold herself."


As she was rummaging through his things looking for his policeman's badge I looked at all of his shirts with tiny golf emblems on them. As a retired police chief he had moved into his next profession as a caddy master at a local golf course. His closet told the story. Policeman's emblems embroidered on jackets to country club insignias adorning his shirts. These would make a beautiful quilt, I thought. She could take this quilt and wrap herself in him. He could hold her once more.

Pattie proudly displays her handiwork
And so I spoke with my other sister Pattie, the one born with a needle and thread in her hand, and asked if she would help. Susan and Pattie have never really been close and I wasn't really sure how this would turn out. They are both talented seamstresses. I held my breath hoping Susan would agree to this, after all we were cutting up his clothes. Susan was honored that Pattie would take the project on. I sat back knowing my role was the bridge that had come up with the idea and had put the two of them together.
Pattie had to work with whatever Susan gave her— ties, shirts, jackets and even his pajamas. She cut, measured and hand-sewed non-stop committing all of her spare time to this amazing feat.

Meanwhile I arranged to have a sister's weekend in my home. All three came to spend some relaxing time in sunny Florida... this event happened to fall on the non-celebrated 40th wedding anniversary.  Susan needed us and all four sisters gathered to support her. There were tears and laughter and healing as we blended together and supported one another.

I had forgotten about the quilt as I knew it would take Pattie until springtime to finish it. But I was wrong. As Susan sat limp with emotions and tried her best to smile through her pain, Pattie handed her a package. Susan opened it with trembling hands and cried tears of joy. The quilt is a masterpiece and with it comes healing. Healing for a woman that is grieving for her husband, healing for two sisters that have never really connected. The fabric is woven from memories that will embrace our sister Susan and help bring some comfort to her broken heart. I felt myself overcome as well as I remembered when the idea was first given to me...did Lee help plan this? Was he whispering to me that day?

The next morning my youngest sister Dotsi did a meditation at dawn.
"I was doing my meditation,"  she said, "and seeing lovely colors and I was waiting for what the images would become when a stupid song kept playing. It was a Bee Gee's song and it really was bothering me as it kept interrupting my meditation."
"What was the song?" I asked.
"Something about emotions," she replied.
And so I did a quick search on the web and found the lyrics Dotsi had heard being sung as she was sharing a bed near our sleeping sister Susan.
In the words of a broken heart
It's just emotion that's taken me over
Tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul
But if you don't come back
Come home to me, darling
You know that there'll be nobody left in this world to hold me tight
Nobody left in this world to kiss goodnight
Goodnight
Goodnight

It now holds her every night.
Meditation is a wondrous thing to experience. I am now encouraging my grieving sister to try again. She had stopped as she feared being alone with her sorrow. I believe meditation has given me a clear channel to be able to act upon inspiring thoughts coming to me from my Higher-Self. I believe it gave Susan the ability to be held once more.
To learn how you can use meditation to enrich your life please read How to Begin.