One of my all time favourite books is called ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. Admittedly I haven’t even finished it yet. I have the book on kindle and audible. I prefer listening to her. She has a soothing voice. Not that annoying grating voice.
This book is deep. It is life changing and I can only listen to one chapter at a time. Then I need to set it down, walk away, breathe and reflect.
My best friend sent me a message yesterday, “I am listening to that f*cking book!!!” I laughed. I knew what she meant.
One story Glennon shares is when her sister was going through a divorce. Her sister moved into her basement for a year. She explained how her sister would spend time with her family and then retreat to her room. One of the first nights, Glennon went down to check on her. She heard her crying. She realized in that moment she could not “go with her” to that place. She could not fix her. She understood that grief is a very lonely place and no one can know exactly how you feel. But she said she sat outside that door keeping vigil. Ensuring no one would disturb her sister. She instead sent her energy and love to her sister from afar. She was her gatekeeper. She described this room as her sister’s cocoon. She knew eventually she would be transformed. Not perfect, but her broken pieces put together and a new shape created.
On one particular day when talking to her mom on the phone, her mom asked, “How is your sister?” Glennon said she knew that was the wrong question. The question should be “WHO is your sister?”
When I think of my daughters, their pain, their loss, their grief. I know I cannot fix it. I am a fixer. I see a problem and I try to fix it. I am a “doer.” If there is an action anywhere, I find it. Much to the annoyance of some.
But let’s be real, I am a broken mess too. Especially losing my son in law.
But I know I cannot ‘go to that exact place’ and heal their deepest wounds. If I could, I would in a heartbeat. But I cannot. There is no “mom fix” for this pain. But I can stand vigil. I can provide a safe place for them to go into their cocoon. To sit in it. I can protect the best I can. I watch them transform into something new. I am watching this.
Are they the same? No. Are they broken? Yes. Are they transforming? Yes. I will say that this is a high price to pay for this transformation. I wish these tremendous life losses did not happen. It is shit and I will not pretend. It is a reality that I would not wish upon anyone. Let alone the two humans on this earth that mean more to me than anyone or anything.
I go back to the question, “How are they?” and know this is the wrong question. The correct question is “WHO are they?”
They are warriors. They come from a long line of warriors.
They are resilient.
They are hurting.
They are never going to be the same.
Their future looks different than what we all expected, assumed.
They help others.
They share their deepest feelings and they keep their feelings inside when it is too much to express.
They are beautiful, inside and out.
They are caterpillars in a cocoon.
They are broken butterflies figuring out life.