I’ve always thought of grief as a spiral.
Possibly because my daughter, Rachael-Grace was a hoop dancer for many years. The big kind of hoop, not the little hula hoop so many of us remember from our youth.
Rachael-Grace used a hoop she made herself, and she taught herself how to dance within it, spinning the hoop up and down her body. Off her arm. At her shoulders. In the air. She even set it afire once, and moved gracefully within it. At least she did until a spark caught a bit of hair and she had to put it out. Her brother, who is a firefighter, groused at her for that.
My daughter made a hoop for me and taught me how to hoop dance too. I never really mastered it but I did get the basics and it occurred to me early on that the spiral movement of the hoop up and down the body was reminiscent of grief and life.
Life twirls and swirls around us. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes we have seemingly more control over it than others.
Sometimes the hoop circles back to where it started, and sometimes we’re stronger there this time than we were the time before that, when the hoop simply sank to the ground.
My life, in one particular way, is spiraling back to the time before Chuck and I sold our home and belongings and hit the road.
There are echoes from our past, when we lived in Jersey and I was a bereavement facilitator for 2 different hospices before starting my own non-profit supporting daughters grieving the death of their moms/mother figures.
In all my life, as far as jobs go, I’ve never enjoyed anything as much as I did facilitating the many bereavement groups that I did. I remember leaving the house many times, and Chuck kissing me and wishing me a…good time? Because he knew these groups were my passion and I was good at it. Working with the people in my groups exhilarated and energized me.
Funny thing is, though completely logical, is that when he died, all my knowledge about grief and the tools to support it flew right out of my head and I was as lost as the next person.
I relied on regular phone calls with my coterie of bereavement pros from my past life in Jersey to remind me of what my mind couldn’t grasp.
Now that I’m temporarily off the road due to covid and civil unrest, I’ve been brainstorming all the ways I can translate my Odyssey of Love in some online fashion, and today my creative doors opened and I thought you know what? Do what you know. Do what you’re good at. Keep it simple and go back to basics.
So I’m organizing a bereavement group that I can do online, with the baseline of basic grief education because isn’t it appalling that people understand so little about grief? About what it is and how it plays out in our hearts and souls and bodies? The lack of understanding has always horrified me, honestly, because grief is the most human thing we’ll ever experience, and it affects everyone at one time or another.
And because I’m the person I am who refuses to do anything in a small way, my moniker regarding grief work will be Goddess of Grief.
I’m already the Goddess of Love. Yes, I realize that Venus already owns that title but she has nothing on me, so I’m appropriating it for my use.
Goddess of Grief and Goddess of Love are the perfect complement to the already familiar Fucking Warrior Goddess proclaimed proudly in raspberry pink letters on the front of my rig, PinkMagic, don’t you think?
It’s the perfect trifecta, each with their own persona. I might design costumes for each of them. And hats. Or tiaras.
Taking on bereavement facilitating again spirals me back to the 90’s when Chuck and I had a house and this was what I did, and it feels 100% natural for me to take up that mantle again (preferably a sparkly pink mantle).
I will not settle in this life I must live without Chuck. Ever.
This life I create without him will always be at least as spectacular as the one I lived with him.
Even as I grieve and miss him unbearably and life without him feels impossible and I mostly hate it.
I’ll continue to wrap it up in all the pink and sparkle I can possibly muster and I’ll create as many personas as I need to help me do what my soul calls me to do. The work is serious. Me, I’ll always be irreverent, colorful, determined, and kick ass.
Wherever he is, if he is anywhere, Chuck D is watching me do this and grinning proudly. Not one fucking bit surprised.
He knew the woman he loved better than anyone else.
Ever onwards, D.