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let it burn

clinton, washington

For the past couple of weeks, I've had no music and no art.  I've sat by the window most of the day and looked out at the water.  I've also done a lot of blog hopping.

Knowingly,  I've been avoiding thinking about the reason behind my transition.  There are moments in the day when the feelings rise up uncontrollably.   I know grief is a complicated maze.

Tonight I bought the  Hans Zimmers Inception Soundtrack and "Time" set me in this mood for thinking.

Guilt is what makes me most vulnerable right now.  ZenDotStudio reminded me in her post that I need to show myself compassion.

Beth Witrogen McLeod writes, "Yet no matter how much we have done as caregivers, it takes time to feel we did enough, especially when we were trying to balance our complex of roles."  Her book,
The Aftermath of Loss: Guilt vs. Relief,  is specifically for caregivers in mourning.

whidbey island full moon rising

Years ago, I had a dream of a burning house.  Inside was one person;   Outside was a woman.  She was the partner of the person inside the burning building.   The relationship was painful and she no longer wanted to be a part of it.  Other people outside were throwing buckets of water on the flames trying to put the fire out.  She watched for some time and finally said, "Let it burn."

Most of my dreams at that time were about my self in conflict. The people in the dreams were really different parts of me.

So, the burning question:

What boat do you need to burn?

I didn't do enough.  That's the boat I'm burning.

Rationally, I know I uprooted myself for two years (along with my husband) to be my Mom's full time caregiver.   I need to give myself credit for that and remember how happy Mom was that she had us all at home with her.  I need to remember the times we had together because I was there.

see more here about the burning question series inspired by


Cheryl said…
Sharing your grief can be cathartic. SARK also has a book on grieving. Do you think you could have saved your mother?
GalleryJuana said…
Thank you for the Sark info. I'll take a look at that.
The disease took her. I can see that, so I don't think I could have saved her. Thank you for making me underline that point.
Kathryn Dyche said…
I was never a caregiver but having lost my father several years ago I know how heavy grief can way on the soul. It's not always an easy journey and one that will forever change you but be gentle with yourself and reach out to those who love you when you need their support. Hugs x
Kathryn Dyche said…
I was never a caregiver but having lost my father several years ago I know how heavy grief can way on the soul. It's not always an easy journey and one that will forever change you but be gentle with yourself and reach out to those who love you when you need their support. Hugs x
Tracy said…
Beautiful images... and beautiful sharing, Juana. We can all only do our best at many given moment in any given time. Grief is one of the hardest boats to let burn. Be kind to yourself. You couldn't save your mother. But you can save yourself now. ((HUGS))
My Dear Friend..there is nothing that hurts more, to wish we could have done more for someone we love, when we lose them..I have been down the road..Living in Maine, mom was in L.I.,New York..I bought her here with me and got her better, but she wanted to return home..I followed her wishes..but had battle with brother/sister, that live near mom..It was a very painful time..But you know what gives me peace? Knowing I did all I could to make her life happy..and she knew how much I loved her..That is what helped me get through my grief..keep that thought close to your heart..Your mom is at peace now and bet she met my mom..Sending you love and prayers..Carolyn/Rosebud.
GalleryJuana said…
Kathryn, thank you for the reminder to be gentle with myself. I often forget that.

Tracy, I think that is true and something to remember: that we are doing our best at any given moment.

Rosebud, You're so right: as long as we're respecting the person's wishes and doing all we can to make them happy, then we can have peace with ourselves. Mom knew how much I loved her, so I 'll also keep that reminder in my heart.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Your words have helped dearly.

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