Mourning Allison’s Sister with Joyful Love

I didn’t know how much joy there could be in grief until sorrow encompassed me and a warm flow of unconditional love spread throughout my entire being. Someone I knew experienced a death in her family and it hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks when I learned of her demise . . .

Her sister – who may have been in her mid 40s – had been suffering from what was an incurable malady. She was in and out of the hospital and only recently placed in a hospice, according to my friend, Allison.

Allison had notified me and other seekers that her sister had passed on at 11 o’clock yesterday morning. When I learned of the death, I was struck with such sorrow I could not believe it. I compared it to the loss I felt not for a family member — my mother, my father or my older brother —  but for a soldier friend who was shot and killed in Vietnam.

I was unable to grief for him because of the war. We had to get back to combat patrols, and I did not have the time to mourn in a proper fashion some 40 years ago.

prayer-silhouette-man

Parting with a loved one is sweet sorrow

 

I finally set things right several years ago at a retreat for veterans with PTSD. I was at a place called Omega Institute in update New York. I cried like a baby and felt so much relief in doing so. His name was First Lieutenant Victor Lee Ellinger, one of only three junior officers in my infantry unit.

I never met Allison’s sister. But I cried for Allison and her family and friends who did know Allison’s sibling.

————

Grief can have a joyful quality about it. It is like Shakespeare said in one of his many plays. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” (I underlined the important part!) I believe the story may have been Romeo and Juliet.

It could have been about Michael J and Allison’s sister for the feeling I got from such a parting . . .

 ———–
I thank all that is holy that I had got to know her through the efforts of the universe and the love that exists everywhere.
We miss you dear Coleen.
Always and forever.
But, you will never be “apart” from us!

3 comments on “Mourning Allison’s Sister with Joyful Love

  1. Oh Michael, thanks for sharing this. So much pain and sorrow for all of our soldiers who fought in wars, only to be brought back with no way of healing the scares or tools to rebuild.
    I’m so glad you found Omega Instit. They have amazing teachers and even though I have not gone to the Instit, I have studied with others who have taken workshops and teachers who have taught there. If there is anywhere where we can find healing it is places like Omega, Upaya, Gampo Abby… What a profound experience of being able to finally touch your grief. New grief can often be the catalyst for working on old grief, especially if it is unresolved or we never let ourselves acknowledge it in the first place
    Your post was so rich. It kills me to know that when people come stateside now, there are limits to how many people can be given the diagnosis of PTSD. I don’t think we should send anyone out into the world until we know how to keep them safe mentally and spiritually, let alone medically.
    I know you left a post for me about your interest in the Dharma…. I would like to suggest Steven and Andrea Levine’s The Grief Process. It is so profound and so extra-ordinary. He not only takes us through meditation on the all-encompassing losses like a child, a spouse, etc but also the day to day losses like a friend or even our body betraying us. I am actually about to start listening to it as preparation for upcoming surgery.
    I so honor you journey and your strength and courage to share it with us.
    Namaste, Jennifer

    • contoveros says:

      I like the idea of having letters for everyone. I also have to work on my obit to include the most important part of my journey which commenced in 2008 when I became disabled and was “able” to seek answers to questions of a lifetime.

      No, I never found the answers from Santa Claus or Madison Avenue. I “experienced” insight from going within and touching the Source that goes by so many different names.

      You got in touch with the Source in the 1990s. You are now working as a Bodhisattva to help bring others to the light.

      Thanks!

  2. contoveros says:

    My dear friends at Inner Source in Malvern, PA, share the loss with both a hope and a joy that can accompany one on their journey beyond.

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