Friday, August 18, 2017

the completion letter

Yesterday we had our last meeting in the grief recovery process group. Our last task was to write a completion letter to that person (or situation for that matter) we felt we had unfinished communication with. For every meeting we've had - 6 of them - I've felt lighter and lighter, until the 5th meeting last Monday. 

Suddenly I was really low for a couple of days, which isn't a surprising reaction. Grief recovery isn't a straight forward process, the only thing straight forward are the steps we take. And my dip came late in the process. Saying goodbye to a situation, a person (alive or deceased), a relationship you have adapted yourself to, that no longer serves you or have stopped served you a long time ago, that's a sorrow in itself. All these layers of sorrow, who knew they come in so many shapes and forms?

Good thing I know how to talk myself out of the blues and worry by now. And as sad as writing that honest completion letter was, I read it out loud to myself, cried, danced and slept well. It was easy enough to read it in the group but I did cry some more, we all did. It's strange how sad it is to say goodbye to sorrow, in this particular brooding form. But I can't stress enough how grateful I am to have been given this chance to this process at a reasonably early stage, but not too soon after either, and not after years and years of possible brooding and self-analyzing the whys and why nots ad finitum. 

Of course it isn't as turning on and off a switch and suddenly everything is hunky dory just because you've written and read that completion letter. But, at least when it comes to a deceased person, you have worked the unfinished things through via this process, you have said I'm sorry for, I forgive you for, I had wished that, Thank you for and farewell and that is quite a big deal for the recovery. Being at peace is too.

The relationship, the love that was will always be, the happy memories too. But I will not keep on processing the sad memories, the questions I will never get answers to. Dwell on anger, disappointments, the things that might turn bitter and toxic. The things I wanted more or less of, or different, the things I can't change, they are accepted now, for me to heal and be well.

Being where I am now, being more open to new beginnings, things, people, happenings, life in general than I've been in a long time - that is actually quite scary too. Like a veil has been lifted and I can't really hide anymore. At the same time it is wistful, saying goodbye to a loss is a loss in itself, it is also exciting. What will happen now? What will come next? My next steps in life? What will make complete sense?

After the meeting yesterday I had decided to buy some special tea, and biscuits, to accompany my own private ceremony of burning some significant papers when I got home. The reason for this was that one of the heartwarming messages I got at that seance in January - 11 in pictures, 14 in words (and even more in talk), out of which 15 made complete and mindblowing sense right there and then, some have made sense since and a couple have begun to make strange, serendipitous sense these past few weeks only. And for new readers; it's a completely anonymous group seance, noone knows who is coming, noone knows if someone is coming, it's a spur of the moment thing at least for me. I may be open to possibilities but I'm never gullible - was simply "English tea and biscuits. Go to a tea shop." (For you who know me, you know I drink so much tea it practically pours out of my ears.)

For some reason I got an image of an old tea shop in Stockholm that I strangely enough had never visited before, when I read that sentence back then. So yesterday was the day for it. And such a lovely lovely shop it was! In the posh part of the city, a place where little ol' ladies have bought tea and coffee since 1916. They only sell their own tea and coffee blends, the packaging is very colourful, basic and stylish and oh the scent, the wonderful tea scent. I will most certainly visit more regularly from now on. The friendly staff offered some teas I might enjoy (black or red fruity, flowery notes are my tea tune of choice) and I settled for one of each. Plus a package of shortbread-ish biscuits.

It was only on the train home I realised the black tea was called Angel tea.

Coincidences, life's little messages to tell you you're not alone.

And it's perfectly alright to be an atheist like me and still believe life is pretty magical sometimes. I just think most of us have lost that sense of openness and wonder in our busy, sometimes stressful, sometimes difficult lives.

I burned some papers, I drank the Angel tea (which was lovely and my whole kitchen smells with it from the paper bag), ate some biscuits, was exhausted in that liberating way when your brain is just completely empty and had a really good night's sleep. Today I had to ran some errands in the city, it was too rainy to go for a long walk, but I picked up some lunch and enjoyed it al fresco on a bench by the waters. Me and my semi-empty brain needed peace and time to collect thoughts and adjust to my shift in both focus and life. It was a perfect day for it.

Completion. Life. Gratitude. And tea.

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