(An excerpt from my upcoming book)
“Some things cannot be spoken or discovered until
we have been stuck, incapacitated, or blown off course for a while . . .
Out of the cross-grain of experience appears a voice
that not only sums up the process we have gone through,
but allows the soul to recognize in its timbre,
the color, the texture, and complicated entanglements of being alive.”
—David Whyte, The Heart Aroused
Role of Our Environment during Grieving
The fall and winter of 2009/10 were excruciating for me. I was constantly sick with the flu and colds, and it seemed that I just simply could not recover. The antibiotics that were prescribed for me gave nothing but allergies after which I had to recover too. I gave up on seeing doctors and was getting very tired from pain and constantly being ill.
Those were the days when I felt as if I did not have a heart anymore. Because if I did, then I could not grasp “why” and “how” it is still there. I could not understand “why” my heart did not burst into millions of particles from the pain that I experienced. How can it still be there as if “nothing” happened?
Despite the conversations that I had with my son and the messages and teachings that he provided me with and all the shifts that I felt that I had, I still was falling into a deep depression. Did the coldness of my environment contribute to it? Maybe.
Would I be better off if I had a regular and constant support from family and friends? Maybe. I know for a fact that when my dearest friend and my soul sister showed up in my doorsteps within hours of learning about what happened to us and then ended up staying with us, with me the first week . . . for sure saved my life. Without any questions, without any doubts, I know within my heart that her act of kindness, without me asking for anything, with me telling her, “Don’t come, you live too far . . .” saved me. She jumped in the plane and flew from New Mexico to Los Angeles literally in the matter of several hours and was next to me almost immediately. I am forever thankful to her.
I also know for a fact that the actions that were straightly mean and cruel did push me away and down. They added unnecessary pain to me and left me with a feeling of being totally alone without a place to hide.
Without a strong support, dealing with the reality and the fact that most of my social life was evaporating, people whom I considered friends were nowhere to be found, and many other facts made it very easy for me to just be in my bed being sick and done.
Even the spiritual leaders who counseled us seemed to be interested only in my money. Not only that, their level of skills in dealing with the grieving process happened to be almost none. Or at least those with whom our family was in touch with. I am sure there are those who are wonderful and great. We were just not fortunate to meet those. It felt to me that they, the religious leaders, became a professional class, same as politicians.
Needless to say, the struggles with my health were pressing me down to the ground and played a huge role, if not the leading one, in making feel as if I was at the end of my rope.
I was feeling weaker and weaker by the day when once again the fever came down on me as heavy as a train without brakes. The sound of the scorching metal, the rails that were melting under the wheels of the train, echoed in my head.
Once again I was hit by a flu fast and strong. It was another wave, yet I hardly felt recovered after the previous one. My whole system was weakening and exhausted. The fever was burning my body, and medications were not working. The pain inside my bones and joints was reaching the point of being unbearable.
“G-d, oh, G-d,” I pleaded. “Let me go, let me go, let me go to my son.” As a desperate beggar, I cried out, “Spare me this torture. Why are you still keeping me here? I am not needed, not good for anything. I am a broken and wounded soul. I asked you before, and I am asking you now . . . let me go and take me home.”
I felt that I reached my “it.” I felt that there was no room for me to go. That was my peak of physical and emotional pain. I did not see a way out. Out where? Why? What for? What is the meaning? Just be in pain and agony?
Yet everything was very quiet around me. No answers. No guidance. I wanted to die. That became my supreme desire. I knew that I am not
going to kill myself. I could not do that, as I promised it to my son. I wanted G-d to end my life. Naturally. I felt there was no more purpose for me. I did what I had to do. Now, I felt, it has to end.
I welcomed my physical end, and death felt to me a sweet drink of the nectar that I wanted and wish for so greatly. Nothing felt to me more desirable at that moment than the final end of the agony that I was in.
I was at the tipping point of the agony. Yet I was still breathing. I wanted to jump out of my body, yet it felt to me as if the fever was melting me into the body even stronger and deeper than I was before. I knew that my heart is broken, but it was still beating against all odds. Why? How?
Something Must Be Done
I gathered the last drop of my strength and spoke again: “G-d,” I said, “let me go now, take me home now, or you must show me why you still want me here. You must do something here. Anything! Take me now or you must tell me what I need to know. I need to know why my eyes should be opening in the morning. I need to know why I should get well. I must know why I should recover. I must know what to do next.”
The fever was burning my body in flames. If there is a hell, I was in it. I felt totally and utterly useless, nonproductive, not needed anywhere or by anyone. The emotional pain was deeper than just a feeling of being a “loser” or “broken.” I was faced with the feeling of not having a place under the sun.
I felt as if there was no more place or no need for me on Earth. Yet I was still here without knowing why. That feeling of not “needed” was more than I could handle—I wanted to run away, I wanted not to feel it. The only other place where I felt still needed, loved, and wanted was with my family that crossed over. I knew they were waiting for me. I too desperately wanted to be with them and first and foremost with my son. That was it.
The fever was climbing higher and higher, melting the bravado of being “OK” and the fake “strength” that I was able to create in the last year and a half in my attempt to face the world and the expectations that were projected on me. The pain constricted my body more and more. My tolerance came to an end.
The physical pain became more than I could bear. “G-d,” I wept again, “have mercy on me and my soul. Take me to my son now or come and heal me now. Do something. Do something. Now!”
I honestly and sincerely did not care if I would live. I did not want it. I could not be in the limb any longer. Somewhere between life and death. Something had to happen. That really and truly was my “IT.” I was ready to go. I needed to be released, to Life or to Death.
Surrender . . . What Is It?
The ice-cold water with a strong smell of vinegar touched my face. My husband was trying to wrap me up in the wet, ice-cold cloth. They dried up almost immediately. I was truly burning in flames. My soul refused to fight any longer. It could not bear any more. It became quiet. Nothing was fighting in me any longer. The emotional pain left me. I fully surrendered my soul to the rapid fire of a fever. I knew that I was done. I knew that I was ready to go. I surrendered.
I heard many times and I read many times about “surrender,” but I guess I never really grasped what that is. It might not even be possible to really understand it until we are in it. And I did have my share of “surrenders” before, but it was nothing like this time.
Even now I feel limited in describing that stage. I think that the most shocking and/or profound experience that stayed with me from that day was that the meaning of “I or me” stopped its existence, and something else took over. It felt as if a chain of events was turned on and they had to take place and they (events) had nothing to do with my will or wish. It was unknown.
I did not know what is waiting for me. I felt as if I was falling or drifting somewhere. It felt as if I have been dissolved into something bigger than me. I stopped seeing myself and felt that something saw me. Something saw me! Something was looking directly at me!
I felt that I got noticed, accounted for, recognized. It felt as if I was staying on the stage under the spotlight and everyone was looking and listening to me. I had no idea who “everyone” or “something” was.
Another layer of ice-cold fabric touched my body, bringing a momentary relief from the pain. The penetrating smell of vinegar resonated in my body as an obnoxious ring of the alarm clock interrupting my fall to oblivion. I did not resist, nor did I help. I could not say if it was night or morning. I did not know what day it was or which hour of the day. Time stopped its existence. I was present to the present.
Wisdom of the Broken Heart
I felt as if something heavy was pressing on my chest. I felt as if I was drowning in the deep mud. I could not breathe. I saw myself being buried under the ruins and broken bricks of my life and could not move. Suddenly I saw my son staying next to me.
“Mom, I am here,” he said. “I am here with you. Mom, I love you.” His voice was reaching me and pulling me from under the rubble. Then he continued. “Mom, I want to show you something. Mom, look.”
I saw a transparent screen appearing right before my eyes. Just in the corner of my bedroom. Within a few moments, on that screen I saw a projection a human heart that was broken, shattered into the smallest pieces. The heart on the screen was barely beating.
“Mom, you have a broken heart. When we lose someone or something dear to us, our heart is getting cracked and/or broken. The pieces are getting loose and separated from each other, making the size of the heart bigger. With every pain, with every loss, the space between the pieces is getting wider and wider. However, they would not stay that way for long. Something has to come in to fill the void, the space between the pieces and cracks. That space, the essence of that space, will affect the condition and projection of the whole heart. The space between the pieces of the heart holds the secret of all.
“You see, either the Divine Love and Wisdom or the lack of it will fill the space. The space will be filled. The void will be filled. The question is—by ‘what’?
“It will depend on your free will. If you will allow, if you will trust, and if you will ask, then Divine Providence will come and will pour its love and its energy into your heart. It will fill every crack, every open space, making your heart whole again, only bigger. The Divine love will become a filler in your heart, and it will shine even more so than ever.
“Now your heart will contain the love of Divine Wisdom within. And not only the broken pieces will now be glued together by it, but your heart will be filled with radiance that will assist you in penetrating the darkness that you will face.
“However,” my son continued, “if you will not allow, will not ask, then the space will be filled with something else that lacks the light of the Divine Love and its Wisdom. It will get filled with dark matters: sorrow, bitterness, anger, and fear. It will be filled by darkness. It also will keep the pieces together, very tight, with almost no space between. The heart will be shrinking, and there will be no radiance, no light, no love. With time, this heart will start to consume energy and light around it. Sucking life of everything that it will meet and bringing darkness in every corner and every situation that you will find yourself in.
“The choice is yours, Mom.”
The 3-D vision of the broken heart with chipped pieces floating around and away was still projected on a “screen” for me to observe. It reminded me of a broken crystal vase that was shattered to many pieces by its fall. The broken parts and the base of the “vase” looked dim and dull and were moving in slow motion in the air.
They were surrounded by darkness. It looked as if the law of gravity did not apply to them. Each of the pieces went to its own direction and was flooding without any pattern. Some pieces were large and some were small. I tried to count how many pieces were there. But I could not focus long enough. I was getting weary and tired and started to drift away again.
Suddenly I felt a boost of energy around me. It brought me back, and I looked on the “screen” again. The glowing hand appeared from the deep darkness. I could not see any faces or figures; it was just a hand that radiated with light.
The broken pieces started to gather together right above the palm, as if the magnetic pull was gathering them. They were still “free” to move around. However, now they seemed uniformed by the light that was coming between them. After a short while, they took the shape of a heart. Each piece was now filled with light and shone as a Swarovski crystal under the bright light.
The radiance of the light that was coming and shining from the singular piece was more bright and more colorful than the light that was touching it. The prism of a broken piece created a new, bright, colorful, and multidimensional light that was not there yet before. Every broken piece miraculously was birthing such an amazing brilliance of light that could not be brought to the existence would it remind “whole” and unbroken.
It looked exactly as my son described to me. A heart that was broken and shattered into many pieces now almost doubled its size in comparison with the heart that was not broken. That broken heart was now full of light radiating between the pieces and throughout every space.
It was floating right above the glowing hand; had a healthy, vibrant, and strong beating; and looked whole and complete with an amazing brilliant radiance around it. Just as a well-cut diamond. Just brilliant shine.
The fever was still burning my body. I was looking at the projection of the broken heart. Yes, it was magnificent. Yes, it was making sense. Yes, it was something that I did not know before. And with all that, I did not feel connected. Something was missing. My purpose. It was not there.
I don’t a have purpose to live for. Nothing feels meaningful to me. I am done here. I want to go home, I thought again.
The sadness was coming from a depth that I had never experienced before. I surrendered to that sadness. I did not have a fight within me. I was drifting away again. The tears started to flow. I knew that those were the tears of my soul. Very salty and burning hot.
“You have a purpose,” I heard a soft whisper right into my ear. It was not the voice of my son.
“You have a purpose,” it whispered again. “Your purpose is to wake up every morning and let me heal you. Your purpose is to get healed.”
The “screen” with a glowing brilliance of a broken heart appeared again. However, this time I felt different. Something inside me felt awakened, for the first time in a long time. Now I knew that I was given a purpose. It was humble and simple, and it felt true and right.
The purpose was nothing glamorous. There was nothing grand about it. It spoke truth to me. It was simple. It was doable. It was clear.
It was something that I knew I could do. The goal and the purpose was just to “wake up” every morning and to allow Divine Providence to enter into my heart and heal it. I felt that I could do this. I can wake up in the morning. I could do that. I felt that I could survive a day, just a day, till the next morning. I just had to survive till the next morning!
It felt that if I do it now, then maybe I’ll be able to stay on my two feet too. Without crushing and following down again and again. And if I did that one morning, then another morning, and then the morning after that, maybe I will be “OK.”
In addition, I felt that something else, someone else, wanted me to survive. Not only my son. Someone wanted to care for me. Someone saw my heart and now was interested in the wellness of it. The pain, the fever, started to diminish, and shortly I was able to breathe easier and easier and easier. The weight on my chest was now lifting.
What Is Next?
Interestingly, the vision that I saw, the “screen,” and the glowing heart were present for about a week. It maintained its location in the bedroom where it first appeared to me. It was the first thing that I saw when I woke up and last when I went to sleep. It remained there for a week or so of what was taking place. Then it disappeared, leaving an imprint in my mind and an ability to bring it to my memory at my will.
I knew that my heart would never be the same. How could it be? However, I also now knew that if we have a broken heart, it does not mean that it can’t be whole again. I now knew that the broken pieces of my heart could be held together by Divine Wisdom and Care.
And that I too have an ability to bring that love, that compassion to every situation I am going to find myself in. That with time the Divine Love and Compassion will fill the spaces between the pieces with its light until the last crack is glued by it.
Once again I got reminded that I am not alone in this journey called Life. Once again I was reminded that I am watched and noticed. That Journey that we are taking under the Shadow of Death is not walked alone.
In that Desert of Death, regardless of what our physical, our corporeal reality wants to see and believe, is just nothing but an illusion. Regardless how painful and real it feels.
Once again, I was shown that when we are faced with even the most challenging situations in life and feel that our life is over, even when we find ourselves in the darkest corners of our existence and feel that we can’t take another breath or take another step forward, or everything has lost meaning, our life is still valuable and still has a purpose . . . even if we are not able to recognize it at that moment . . . as I could not that day or days before. Regardless how powerful the darkness is and wants to be and wants us to believe . . . we still have an unbroken part within.
Did my struggles end? Did Life stop questioning me? Did tests stop coming? Did pain leave me? The answer is no, no, no. Not at all.
However, since that day, I stopped struggling with the questions of me still being here on Earth. I was given a new purpose.
Now my purpose was just to wake up in the morning and open up myself for healing. My search for my purpose, for my place under the sun, was now over.
The new dawn now was waiting for me. I now knew that my heart, regardless of how broken it was, was still needed, it was still loved, and it was safely resting in the palm of Divinity.
I now knew that the hand that was holding my heart not only will heal it, but also will guide it where it must go from this point forward. I knew that I could trust that.
What is next in store for me? Don’t know . . . this chapter of life is not written yet . . . what is next for you?
Let’s wake up in the morning and we shall see . . . together . . .