It has been five weeks since I participated in a labyrinth workshop at Harmony Farm with Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, THE guru in rejuvenating the practice of labyrinth walking in the US of A. I'd been looking forward to October 12, 2013 from the moment I'd registered after a friend had forwarded the link to information about the workshop and registration information. Why has it taken me so long to share that day? I'm not sure. I began writing a blog post about it almost as soon as I arrived home. Yet I think something kept me from posting. Perhaps I needed more time to absorb the experience. Who knows?!? I only know I'd first considered a single post, but now it will take at least two.
October 12 was a gorgeous "Indian summer" day in my part of the world. A perfect day for a workshop, especially when part of it would be held outdoors. The format was rather loose for someone used to healthcare presentations, which would be incomplete without PowerPoint!
"How many of you are failed meditators?" was Dr. Artress's first question. There was some self-conscious laughter before almost every hand went up. Yes, labyrinth walking may be close to perfect for those of us who admit, "My name is Karen and I'm a failed meditator."
After a brief discussion of labyrinth as moving meditation, Dr. Artress introduced a written exercise, which we were to share with a partner. (Thank you, Krissi Barr, for your patience!) The question had to do with the most stressful thing in one's life. This is what I wrote about the most stressful things in my life. The most stressful things are:
- Missing my (38-year-old) baby who died June 2, 2012 of a head and neck cancer after a 27-month merry-go-round illness.
- Watching the effect of his death on his siblings, his dad and his wife.
- Concern for how to make him present to his baby daughter as she grows.
- Watching the effect on close relatives and his friends.
- Feeling helpless to help them. All of us have been thrown into an ocean of grief and each of us is trying to keep afloat. I know the others are there too, floundering, but each of us is in a different lifeboat. Sometimes I am able to see one or more of them; sometimes I am in a fog. We are not all in the same place at the same time. It scares me that I am so absorbed in my own grief that I am not there for the others I love so very much.
- He (Brandon) is moving farther away in people's minds.
- Grief will diminish while knowing it won't. (If this seems illogical, all I can say is that grief is not linear or logical.)