Marking a new year


          December 31st marks the exit of an old year and the entry of a new one.  Using a calendar is our way of organizing time to fit our finite way of thinking.  The universe does not recognize our timetable, but the universe is infinite and hopefully will be here forever, unlike us.  I was thinking this morning, that each new year only marks for me the time that has passed since I last saw my son, as this will be the fourth New Year’s Eve without him, and that grudgingly, I will enter the new year with a heavy heart and the knowledge of facing another year without him.  This is probably true for millions of other people in facing the new year, as we all carry loss.  However, although I too carry loss other than that for my child, and of which I seem to be able to put behind me, it is this particular loss that seems to cling to my heart.  My arms still ache and my stomache feels empty.  I wonder how am I going to face a lifetime of new years without him, and carry the knowledge that I must face each day without him devoid of the possibility that he will ever come home again.       

          Oftentimes I am told by people, with true kindness and compassion, things to help redirect my sorrow away from the reality that my son is gone.  They reassure me that I will see my son again (someday) and that he is still here with me (in spirit) and also that he wants me to be happy (as I want for him), but all these words only make me feel like no one wants to acknowledge the fact that my son is physically dead and that his physical death is something I have to deal with.  There really is no comfort from this truth or way to redirect my pain away from this fact.  It doesn’t bring him back to join me in life the way he used to.  He’ll never open Christmas presents from me again or smile at me again or talk to me again or anything in the physical realm, again.  Sadly, there is no other way to process this other than with a heavy heart.  I ask myself how will I go on living without my son.  

           I look back on the last three and a half years (since my son’s car accident) and I wonder how the heck I have been able to push myself to go forward with my life all the while carrying the burden of grief, living life without him, and the hopeless knowledge that he will never return.  Somehow, someway I have molded a new life, a life that is full of peace and joy, a life that is 100 times more fulfilling than the life I had before my son died.  How is this possible while still carrying the reality that my son is gone?

          I suppose it just comes down to incorporating the loss so it becomes just another “part” of who I am, of my total self.  I definitely face my grief as I face everything in my life, without medication or alcohol, and my loss is not “buried,” no, it with me everyday.  I guess it’s more about recognizing and honoring my loss, while at the same time not allowing it to define my existence.  Yes, I am a bereaved mother, but I am also a mother and a grandmother, a teacher, a philosopher and a writer, a singer and a dancer, someone who can renovate houses, an entrepreneur, etc.  I cry, but I also laugh and dream and get aggravated (I am human) and try and soak up every minute of life I have left to live. 
          This New Year’s Eve, I will cry for the loss of my son, but I will also spend it laughing and joking with family.  My loss is a part of the whole of me, not front and center, but as real and as close as everything else I feel in my life.  I guess it means I am fully engaged in what it means to be human.  I don’t hide how I feel nor do I ever shy away from growth and trying new things.  I am moving forward and learning how to carry my loss with dignity and grace, all the while enthusiastically flowing along the currents of life atleast until life no longer flows through me.      Happy New Year!


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Reflections from a woman who thinks too much (2).


Another month’s worth of my philosophical thoughts, contemplated early mornings with my tea:

10/10/11 Seven years ago today, I reacted to a situation in my personal life and made a decision that transformed and altered my life and the lives of everyone around me. The situation was so familiar to me, a scenario that had been repeated over and over and over throughout my life, yet, something unfamiliar happened in me and I finally, FINALLY, realized that the situation was hopeless. The realization crushed me mentally and emotionally, but also propelled me to move forward courageously from the “safety” of what I knew into a new life that both scared and fascinated me. I was uneqipped emotionally, financially, mentally, or physically for facing the world as a single woman, yet there I was making my new path. Today, 7 years later, I ask myself, “Would I have made the same decision knowing what I know now?” My answer would have to be yes, even though I’d given up so much, based upon the fact that once that light of hope finally went out, there was no way I could lie to myself anymore.

10/14/11 Sitting at home thinking and writing on this rainy Friday night. Thought I’d share with you what I was contemplating: “Spiritual growth is an inward experience that can occur in everyone who believes in their worth. This should not be confused with being worthy. There is a difference between being unworthy and feeling worthless. Unworthiness means that we have fallen short of a standard origi…nating outside of ourselves and that we judge ourselves by someone else’s standards. On the other hand, feeling worthless is when we judge ourselves as not worth anything, the most common source of feeling worthless being an inability to moderate a certain behavior. Unworthiness is not what separates us from spiritual growth, feeling worthless about ourselves does. Spiritual growth is unconditional, not because God has to settle for less but because God does not judge. We are entitled to this experience simply because we are equipped with the capacity to experience it; and it is not something we are supposed to deprive ourselves of. To grow spiritually, we simply have to believe we are as beautiful and perfect and pure as the experience makes us feel.” SWR

10/17/11 We are all born with unique potentials across every fiber of our being, potentials for unique talents and character traits, but the potential remains unrealized until something triggers an awareness and we tap into the potential. Imagine all the untapped potential we carry within us (because we only tap into that which is triggered by something). What about all the potential we carry that we never even realize is within us? We are probably a hundred times more talented than we, or the world, will ever know. I think this is a cool thought……

10/18/11 You know the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” my thought on this is that you already have to be strong and resilient in order to climb the mountains of life, otherwise you’ll shrivel up and die, maybe not literally but emotionally. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t figure out a way to come back from a hit (literally and figuratively). You find a way get back up…….thats all there is to it.

10/19/11 Sometimes it is very difficult to hold firmly to your values, not because you doubt yourself and wrestle with how you feel, but because you have to explain yourself to those people who want you to change your mind, almost like having to defend your core values, and I don’t think it’s very nice. This kind of engagement gives me nightmares and makes me feel ill……yuck.

10/28/11 Think more often about the good that you see in other people rather than the bad, and remember that the qualities we notice in other people are reflections of what we pay attention to in ourselves. Be aware of the good qualities, which can be found in everyone in some measure, of kindness and compassion, empathy and joy, peacefulness and grace, etc. If you can “see” these qualities in your neighbor, you will be doing your own soul a huge service.

11/1/11 I wonder why there’s no ladder when you reach for a dream, nor compass or map, no life jacket or life preserver or life boat, no oxygen, no paddles, no motor, no sails, no lifeline, no lighthouse, no safety net? There’s nothing, except your dream (which prompts you to move forward) and your own will (which is the force that propels you).

10/31/11 Good Sunday morning! Ready? it’s time to or exercise. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to the gym or even lift one tiny finger. Follow me: now, lift & carry your past while stretching & reaching for the stars…that’s right….now hold it for the count of 6 billion seconds (or whatever the second count is for your life time). Wait we’re not done. See that tight rope over there? Well, I want you to walk and balance the two every day of your entire life. Just think of all the calories we burn just trying to stay balanced on that tight rope! (Oh yes, I forgot to say, SMILE while you exercise, too).

11/3/2011 Does the environment that you live in reflect all that you believe to be true about yourself or does it reflect all that others believe to be true about you? It’s not a difficult question to answer, either yes or no. If it’s no, that doesn’t mean you have to make any changes or that you are being judged, because oftentimes responsibilities dictate the type of life we have, but just know that there will come a time in your life when you will be prompted to finally create a life that reflects the “real” you. Will you be brave enough to walk off into uncharted territory & be the person you were always meant to be? If you think you will be brave, then you most certainly will give it your best shot.

11/07/11 I’m thinking that these personal qualities combined are what a person needs to achieve a challenging goal: faith, courage, persistence, tenacity, luck, timing, patience, strength, grit, nerve, humor, sweat, kindness……..I’m curious, what you would add to this list?

11/08/2011 I’ve always had dreams, and for most of my life I tried to achieve them while being surrounded by family and friends who just did not share my visions and dreams. All it did was eventually wear down my resolve and rob me of my motivation, like trying to pull a cart of cement while you’re trying to reach for the stars. For me, it was impossible. I would get to a certain point and find like an invisible ceiling that I just could not break through. Family and friends came first, and I would get pulled back down away from my goal. Now that I am free of the need of approval my spirit is light as a feather and the invisible ceiling that shielded me from the stars is dissolving away. At this pivitol point in my life, I envision a ceiling of glass (like a sky light where I can see the stars) and I see it literally melting away. Once again my spirit is right there, ready to go forward and reach the stars. I am choosing this time to go and finally be free to soar…….

11/08/2011 Losing my son changed me in many ways, one of the greatest changes for me is how much negativity and disappointment in other people I can tolerate. The answer is a resounding, NOT MUCH. I can’t bear this loss for the rest of my life and be around people who don’t respect and support me (even if it means to be alone). I’m not that strong.

11/09/2011 I believe music (be it just a simple rhythm or a melody) is the soul-mate that binds humanity. Imagine if there were loud speakers from the heavens and music started to play, kind of like when you step into an elevator, and everyone and all of creation, even all the creatures and animals and plants, stopped to listen to the music (no restrictions, all of creation, everyone and everything). The world-wide pain would ease, even if for just one song, and we would all know each other because we’d all shared this intimate moment. I mean there really is no mistaking the basic connection that occurs between people who don’t otherwise share anything in common.

11/09/2011 For most of my life, only up until a few years ago in fact, my whole world revolved around just one person. This person was the whole world to me, larger than life. Funny, now how the tables have turned for me because of my music and through the internet, now my “whole world” really is the whole world. Now, from this new vantage point, it amazes me how narrow (or maybe innocent) my perspective was. I am also amazed at how much power and authority I entrusted to just one single person in a sea of 7 billion. It really amazes me looking back at this now.

11/10/11 Star light star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish that I wish tonight: Peacefully peaceful peace descend upon the earth & encircle the downtrodden, sad, hurt, & angry; free them from the burden they bear.. let their minds be free…..

11/11/11 All I’ve really ever wanted was to live a peaceful, balanced life. I just couldn’t quite figure how. I mean, you get wrapped up with responsibilities when you are young and you think that you can make things conform to what you need. It just doesn’t work that way though. For me, starting my life over (after my son died three years ago, my divorce, and my kids all old enough to be on their own), co…mplete with a clean fresh slate to work with, I was able to create the life I always wanted, in my thougths, my actions and what I allow in my life. I think I can finally say that all my hard work has brought about the life I always wanted. I am very content with what I have created. It was like designing and building a new house.

11/23/11 Like the ocean tide, life takes and gives in a constant fluid motion, tossing us about without anything to grasp except the shifting sand. The key to surviving this unsettling existence is to NOT try and grasp for anything, simply allow the tide to move you without resistence. Yes, the storms will try and force you into panic, which will only cause you to gasp for breath and possibly drown in the tide. The storms will rage around you but you will be safe if you retain the knowledge of not trying to hold on. Like the tide, life will give and take. Rest gently on the sand…….

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.