Who knew that turkey gravy could be an emotional trigger?
My mom elevated turkey gravy to unprecedented levels. Flour, drippings, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Pure magic.
I could drink her gravy by the bowl.
These days, making the gravy is my responsibility. Even with the same ingredients, try as I might I’ve yet to replicate her level of mastery. Maybe it’s a Mom thing?
This past Thanksgiving was the second one without Mom. She had long retired from cooking on Thanksgiving, but now she is no longer at the table with us.
I always think of her when I make the gravy. I can still see her at the stove with the metal whisk in her hand effortlessly beating the ingredients into a cohesive submission as the flames danced up the sides of the sauce pan. Not a measuring spoon in sight. She just knew.
It’s always an emotional time for me.
It’s a process, grieving is. A personal process. A non-linear often unpredictable process, often without an end date.
Often processed alone.
There is no one “right” way to grieve. No one “right” way to get to the other side of the pain. I’m not even sure if there is another side to get to.
Often we don’t understand why the hurt still hurts, why the emptiness still feels so empty. Especially when we try to convince Continue reading “Owning The Emptiness and The Permission To Grieve”
It’s rather paradoxical. And perhaps can only be done from a detached sense of self awareness.
But it’s an important part of the process.
Life often uses rather unconventional teaching methods to get us to learn what we need to learn. Many of those lessons unfortunately involve a degree of pain, quite often repeated until the lesson is eventually learned.
Like heated steel is reshaped between the anvil and the force of the blacksmith’s hammer, life, too, can heat us and beat us and reshape us through its own hammering process. The people and situations which at times can confusingly hurt us will often reshape us, change us, but if we look deeper we will often see there was a purpose to the pain.
It’s not a pleasant process. Even with a detached sense of self awareness. And usually it’s not something we express gratitude for.
Perhaps we should.
It’s not easy to thank those who’ve hammered us. But that hammering is what has changed us, often against our will, but often for the better.
And for that I’ve learned to be grateful.
To talk with him, you’d have no idea of all he has been going through. The smile and the usual jovial confidence in his voice did a wonderful job of covering the pain and emptiness.
But the pain was quite real, always simmering just below the surface, out of sight but never out of his mind.
Sometimes life just isn’t easy. It’s a feeling we’ve all known at some point, perhaps even right now. Sometimes life is confusing, overwhelming, uncertain, empty. What compounds the hurt is the human tendency to keep our emotional pain a secret. We’ve been societally conditioned to believe an admission of emotional difficulty is a sign of weakness. So we keep it all inside, festering, doing all we can to manage the pain, constructing facades of happiness and stability for all to see, afraid of the shameful truth we feel we need to hide from the world.
At times, the opposite is true. Some have courageously opened their deepest self and Continue reading “The Greatest Gift You’ll Ever Give”
Until you understand their pain, you will never understand the person. Without such understanding, the truth is inevitably distorted, and our expectations of others are flawed from the very beginning.
Understanding another’s pain is itself a flawed concept. To truly know pain you must own it. No matter their best intentions, no one else will ever know exactly how you feel. But what needs to be understood is that there is pain in all of us, the emotional dents and dings collected on life’s journey.
We judge others by what we see in front of us. Actions and attitudes not meeting our expectations are often met with harshness and disdain. A logical response in the mind of many. But what if we Continue reading “Random Acts of Blindness”