Friday, October 3, 2014

Fly Robin Fly

Kiss today goodbye
The sweetness and the sorrow
Wish me luck, the same to you
But I can't forget
What I did for love, what I did for love

Look, my eyes are dry
The gift was ours to borrow
It's as if we always knew
And I won't forget, what I did for love
What I did for love

Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love's what we'll remember

Kiss today goodbye
Point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won't forget, can't forget
What I did for love.
~ Marvin Hamlisch & Edward Kleban

Yesterday we said good-bye.  I knew it was coming;  we'd been talking about it during our recent visits together.  Our relationship, as it was defined, had come full circle and run its course.  It was time to say good-bye.  

We did what we had to do.  Now the time had come to travel on, pointed toward tomorrow.   Yesterday Amber and I said good-bye.  Amber is my bereavement counselor.  She's the amazing woman I've been privileged to have as my guide and safety net of support in my grief recovery and healing journey for the past 22 months.   Yesterday Amber lovingly kicked this bird out of her nest - - fly robin fly - - our work together is now complete.  As I shared with her the events from two days before (read:  Shaken), and other happenings of the preceding three weeks, she set it up with a warm smile,  "I've taken you as far I can, you are o.k."   "We are done, aren't we?", I affirmed.  She tilted her head and gently nodded in agreement.   I am happy.  I am sad.  I am a little scared.  

Happy, in that, this is what we've been working toward.  It was the purpose why our relationship existed.   We accomplished what we set out to do.   Heal, recover, and grow - SMO - out of grief, for love, in life.   I did it for love.  For the love I have for myself, out of the grief over my loss caused by Boomer's death and into a new life.    Amber was a gift, a lifeline, a safety net, a professional sage who knew, understood, and showed me the way out of what was the darkest, most painful, and scary experience of my life to date.    She guided me through to the light.  To see the light.  To live in the light.  To be the light.

I am sad because we'd grown quite fond of one another.  I am in awe of who she is and the capacity she holds in her heart to do what she does professionally.  It takes an immensely special person to be a bereavement counselor.  There's alot of hopelessness that walks into the rooms of grief counseling; varying degrees of  despair, sorrow, angst, fear, uncertainty, and loneliness within each client.  She did it for love.  In Amber's eyes, I was hopeful - - always.  She saw it in me from the beginning.  I had my hopeless moments, many, every single one was normal, still always beneath it I was hopeful and determined.  I trusted her, I listened to her,  I did the work, I never missed a session. Her hope for my healing was also mine.    My admiration for Amber is huge.  Plus, Amber is a really cool person.  Soulful, spiritual and she plays the drums.   We exchanged books, spoke of theology and spirituality and laughed.   I will miss her.    

Funny, this feeling of being a little scared too.  Throughout my grief healing experience, there have been good days and bad days.   Triggers that spin me down into the well of paralyzing sadness, sometimes faster and farther than I could grasp hold of, and ALWAYS unpredictable in occurrence.  Amber has been my ladder out, back up to solid ground whenever I couldn't do it alone or didn't know how.  We tapered our sessions as my healing and confidence of skill to navigate the blind, winding road of grief grew.   Our sessions started out weekly, after we got through the big "firsts" (read: Ascension ) we moved to bi-weekly.  We attempted going monthly, but that was too much for me and held steady with visits every three weeks.   The regularity was a security I could count on, so essential while recovering  from an emotional trauma that is anything but reliable - - except perhaps how unreliable it is.  But as I progressed from being the attentive student to an apprentice, independently doing the work and reporting back what happened, what I did and how it went, we knew our time together was winding down.  Still, I'm afraid of the boogey man that may or may not show up and pull the rug out from under me once again.  What will I do?     Should a serious grief crisis occur that I'm unable to move through, I can simply make a call - - and the robin can fly back to the nest for some fresh nourishment.
SMO in Chicago 2014

It was our graduation day, my graduation I suppose, and Amber is the gleaming parent in the success of our endeavor together.  While there is no certificate of achievement or celebratory ceremony, our session yesterday did linger with many poignant pausing moments of quiet reflection - - the sweetness and the sorrow - - neither of us wanted it to end.  I tried to convey my gratitude and appreciation for all she has done for me.  It's still without sufficient expression - - the impact Amber has made on my life.  I wouldn't be where I am today without her.  That's what I told her.  Then the circle began to close - - she reached for the sleeve of her sweater to wipe her tears.  "SCORE!"  I proclaimed as we mutually laughed, "I made my counselor cry!"  It doesn't get much better than that - - the sweetness and the sorrow.   Yes it does. Amber paused, wiped her eyes and said,  "Shannon, if I weren't your clinician, I'd want to be your friend."  Zowie!  I was floored; what a beautiful thing to hear and I will never forget it.  Then the circle completed when I handed Amber  the box of kleenex.  We hugged tight and gazed back to each other as we walked out our separate ways.  Kiss today good-bye.  I cried all the way home - - the sweetness and the sorrow.

Thank you Amber.  Wish me luck; the same to you.  I won't forget, can't forget...  what I did... what you did...what we did together.  This barely scratches the surface of how I feel. 

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