Aura is defined as, “A supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature, viewed by mystics, spiritualists, and some practitioners of complementary medicine as the essence of the individual, and allegedly discernible by people with special sensibilities.” Recently, a stranger with said “special sensibilities” relayed to me that I have “grief in my aura.” He also mentioned that I am “dealing with SO MANY emotions that I am trying to solve, resolve, fix and rationalize.” That pretty much sums me up in a nutshell. My aura must look like a hot mess. Instead of a pure, bright white light or even a vibrant rainbow of colors, my aura just might appear more 50 shades of gray and foggy with a cold, salty mist spraying the space around me. At least that is how I FEEL it might look. In a currently abandoned motivational speaking piece that I worked on for weeks, I focus on the aura-its brightness and thickness and offer suggestions on ways to illuminate our light (or supposed emanation according to the above definition) while here on earth. Instead of motivating others with my spiritual lessons, I am resigned to working on my own issues, which I am hopeful will result in positive changes to my aura.
I have no idea what grief actually looks like, but I know it is a force to be reckoned with. I believe that I have been Hostess Extraordinaire to this once again uninvited guest as this is not my first trip to the Grief Rodeo. I have devoted myself to her needs for the better part of seven months with no paid time off. That is until the past few weeks when I dared to consume myself with the final arrangements of my 40th High School Class Reunion which also included attending three events associated with this weekend of festivities. A few days after the culmination of reunion events, my spouse and I headed to the mountains of North Carolina for a much deserved break.
In an effort to maintain some sense of composure in front of former classmates and their guests, I did not invite Ms. Grief to the reunion. I even rehearsed a mini speech that I would offer up should anyone (and a few did) ask me the dreaded question, “Do you have any children?” My reply was a swift and curt, “I had a son who passed away earlier this year, the result of a diabetic episode. I am not talking about it this weekend.” For the better part of three days, I (mostly) put on my gap-toothed smiling face and reconnected with fellow classmates. And then I busied myself for THE trip. The mini vacation that would provide me and my co-griever with a change of scenery complete with mountains, fresh air, touristy attractions and a sense of calm and peace that nature can usually provide.
Do you know what Ms. Grief whispered into my ear? “You can run but you cannot hide. You can mingle all weekend with former classmates and drive a few hundred miles to another state with breathtaking topography, but I MUST be included.” And so, all of that stuffing down of emotions followed by an attempted mountainous escape resulted in a stuffing up of my sinuses, a day or two of the blase’ for my Guy, and the reality that my grief and loss go where I go. As my spouse and I sat in a lipstick red, converted double-decker bus coffee shop in scenic, artsy, hippie Asheville, NC, I was overcome with emotion. Just like that. Tears spilling down my face into my pricey iced coffee. Ms. Grief had indeed joined us. For all I know she had packed a bag and ridden shotgun with us all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Oh, and about those mountain views and clean, crisp air? We experienced little of that. The picturesque terrain that defines western North Carolina was hidden by gray, foggy, misty, low-slung clouds. Sound familiar? Even my mountain escape was enveloped in its own aura of grief.
And so I say to Mr. Stranger Special Sensibilities, you are 100 % correct. There IS grief in my aura and my ever-thinking brain IS attempting to solve, resolve, fix and rationalize the tragic, unimaginable event that occurred 223 days ago. I now understand that I am at my current best at home, nestled in my cocoon, surrounded by a small group of family and friends. I read, write, exercise, and attempt to quiet my mind through meditation. But mostly, I am the hostess with the mostest to Ms. Grief. Together we are traveling my current journey of grief. Final destination? Acceptance.