** I’m coming to London to give a talk for Alternatives on Monday, December 16th. My husband, Michael, will be joining me for part of the evening and we’re both excited to share the experience with you. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit here.**
This week’s blog…
Housework is underrated. This morning, after hosting our annual family gathering yesterday afternoon and saying goodbye to siblings who spent the night, I enjoyed a strange sense of satisfaction as I cleared tables, vacuumed crumbs, and washed away footprints while mopping the floor. There’s something satisfying about seeing the immediate results of hard work – shiny counters, scuff-free floors, and empty rubbish and recycling bins.
While I cleaned up, I replayed the party in my mind. I found myself feeling grateful for the footprints that marked the places where loved ones stood laughing and catching up with one another. Ripped pieces of gift wrap hidden under the sofa were reminders of the jokes we shared during our Yankee Swap ritual of hysterical gift-giving.
I also noticed the healing that has taken place through the passage of time – the way grief twists and turns us in a new direction as we process the loss of those we love.
Rather than feel the stinging pain of not having my father or our cat, Poupon, with us, I recalled sweet memories of both as the night went on.
When my brother-in-law, Walter, read a touching and funny poem he’d written about dad crashing the family’s Christmas dinner from the other side, I recalled reading the annual letter Dad gave to each of us as a gift on Christmas Eve.
At one point, we all chuckled at how Poupon would open doors around the house, especially when guests stayed with us, and I shared the story of a time he broke into Louise Hay’s room when she visited Michael and I several years ago. I could hear Louise’s voice in my head telling us how she sat up in bed and said, “Well hello there, Mr. Poupon. Do come in.”
I was also happy to hear that my Mother is now ready to decorate her home for the holidays – a reminder that healing was happening all the way around.
As I finished folding the tablecloth fresh out of the dryer and placed the chairs back around the island in the kitchen, I thought to myself:
Yes, we survive the unimaginable. We recover from loss. We learn to integrate into our daily lives a new kind of relationship with those we lose.
And, in some fragile, beautiful way, life goes on.
We sweep floors.
We wash dishes.
And we remember, in a more vivid and potent way, what really matters most of all.
PS – If you’re looking for a holiday gift for that special someone who needs to take better care of herself (or himself), please consider, The Art of Extreme Self Care. A revised and updated version is now available where all books are sold and you can get a copy of the eBook version for just $1.99 wherever you purchase your electronic books.
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