The Things They Carry…

Sometimes I’m surprised at what tilts the scales toward grieving.

Earlier last year I received news that a co-worker of mine “separated from employment” and I felt such a loss. I was also in the middle of reading “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” which is a book (among other things) about mothers and daughters. I had just finished reading the part where Sidda, the daughter, learns a revealing secret about her mother’s past. This made me think about my own mother and how little I know of her early life.

I wanted a scrapbook like Sidda’s mother gave her filled with memorabilia of the Ya-Ya’s…something to fill in the gaps of my own knowing of my mother. I wanted to know her secrets.

When the loss of my co-worker and the remembered loss of my mother who died when I was 24 joined forces, I went down into the dark waters of grief. The two losses seemed inseparable.

After some resistance to feeling the sadness, I finally allowed it.

During this incredibly difficult time of the Corona Virus, there are many losses. Not only the loss of loved ones, but the loss of employment, loss of financial security, the loss of home and the incredible loss of companionship that “sheltering in” forces upon us. It’s a lot to hold.

On the other side of my tears, what resonated with me was the fact that if we can know so little of the suffering of our own family members…parents, siblings, close relatives…how can we ever expect to understand the thousands of losses of everyone else?

So when the people around us act out in the ways they inevitably will, let us take a deep breath and hold them gently in our hearts. We know so little of their lives.

8 Thoughts

  1. Hi Jeanne,

    Always so lovely and heartwarming to read your musings. Your name came up several times this fall as your canvas work has been admired on my Blanchard Knockabout ‘Pearl’ at Leschi.

    You may also have worked your magic on my Dad’s sailboat at Shilshole, ‘Invicta”. He had raved about Jeanne.

    Thankful & Blessed, Gail Schueler

    On Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 6:25 PM Stella Sunday Afternoons wrote:

    > Jeanne Celeste posted: “Sometimes I’m surprised at what tilts the scales > toward grieving. Earlier last year I received news that a co-worker of mine > “separated from employment” and I felt such a loss. I was also in the > middle of reading “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterho” >

    1. Thanks for responding Gail! I remember my 40 years of canvas work with fondness and the many wonderful people like yourself and your dad that I had the pleasure of meeting. I gave it my all and it gave back in kind!
      Blessings to you also!!
      Jeanne

  2. Thanks Jeanne…so beautiful.

    On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 6:25 PM Stella Sunday Afternoons wrote:

    > Jeanne Celeste posted: “Sometimes I’m surprised at what tilts the scales > toward grieving. Earlier last year I received news that a co-worker of mine > “separated from employment” and I felt such a loss. I was also in the > middle of reading “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterho” >

  3. I, too, know next to nothing of my mother’s history and feel that sadness at spending 20 years with someone who never revealed themselves. Such a waste, for both of us. I think we may have had more in common with each other had she just let down that damn guard.

    1. I’m sad to hear you’ve had a similar experience. I think that when our parents’ lives get fleshed out we can have so much more understanding for who we are also…the deep things that have shaped us and that form our narratives…a topic I’ve been thinking about lately. Miss you!
      Jeanne

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