The War You Left Inside My Mind… [a 5 minute insight talk given in San Jose, July 2015]

I’ve written 5 talks trying to bend my insights to the kindness and honesty themes.

At 11:30 Saturday night, I finally decided that Dr. David can address the themes since the main talk is his arena and I will talk to you about a very unexpected set of insights I’ve received in the midst of tragedy.

It’s tragic to lose a family member when they are not yet 60 and appear to have no outward physical problems. There’s an extra layer of stress and confusion when they take their own life.

On May 17 this year (2015), our beloved Sandra drove out to the coast and ended her own life. She was living in our home. We had invited her to move in two years ago when she was struggling from deep grief for her favorite dog which only amplified her lifelong struggle with clinical depression.

Sandra and I had known each other for 31 years and lived together for 20 of them.

When a loved one suicides it frappes your thinking processes. This event ripped a cavernous hole in my life and 31 years of actions and beliefs tumbled out into my lap. The line between worlds got very blurry for me. I tried with my whole being to pull her back through every air molecule from wherever she is. I acquired the inner position of waiting for her return. The difficulty with that is that she kept not returning. If I could have stopped that process I would have. I was aware of its non-sense.

Insight number one: just as I was powerless to stop this weird waiting I was doing, Sam’s illness kept her from getting help. In a way she was powerless over her suicide. I realize that won’t be favorable to some here and I get it. And, I still feel that some mental illness is terminal, and suicide is the way one dies from it.

Insight number two: we get off of this ride only partly by our choice.  There were so many things that could have stopped this from occurring that night. The police could have arrived on thescene to see if she needed help with her car. An awareness could have crossed her mind, a voice in her head, a noise outside the car. There are so many possibilities and none of them happened. So, just as I know your God is bigger than your problems, I also feel that it’s not as easy as simply deciding to take your life, there has to be total and absolute “permission,” if you will.

I’m clear that this was not her act of anger at anyone;  it wasn’t a missed cry for help; neither of her notes lay any blame anywhere. It was time for the pain to end. Time to stop struggling.

And her leaving left a war in my mind. I still can’t quite comprehend it. The shock has barely worn off.  And still, there are these winks from the unseen threaded through my life now that have deepened my faith and moved some points of belief into the “knowing” category:

Sam adored animals. They adored her. All her spendable cash was donated to organizations that help animals. Unbeknownst to her, my first ceremony as a minister was for the animal ministry Remembrance Day.  I performed it without knowing she was headed to the coast the same day for the last time.  I remembered her dog at that ceremony.

We are cared for – before we know to ask…

The very next weekend Susanne Giesseman was the guest speaker. Susanne is an evidence based medium – in other words dead people talk to her. She had only just met me and had no idea what I was dealing with. She tapped me before service and told me I had recently lost someone, and that person couldn’t tell me what was wrong while they were alive. I was amazed and comforted.

When I went to her website to try to make an appointment for a reading I saw that the waiting list was closed and that over 200 people were on it. I called her anyway explaining that I felt so lost as to how to proceed. She said she’d put me on the list. I was grateful.

A week later she called to say that she had a spot of the next day which I took without hesitating.

When she called she said she was calling from Yosemite.

Again, I was amazed. Yosemite was the place I went with Sandra 29 years earlier on our very first road trip. The reading was completely dead on (sorry for the bad pun) with facts and voice impressions that one would have had to have known Sandra in order to express them.

That incident coupled with some interesting dog-barking-at-nothing moments (which led to finding information vital to resolving her estate) bring us to Insight number three: Life is eternal – this plane here is but one part of a vast continuum.

I miss Sam, and, I’ve talked to her more now than when she was in her body. There is so much about her last year of life and the way it ended that is tragic.  Right next to that is the knowing that she is free from her pain and has flown into the arms of a God that knows only good. She left her war behind for the rest of us to fight.

The final insight (to date): All we have is right now. And right now, and right now. It’s never too late to do a u-turn on your agitation and frustration and surrender to all the love and connection available in this moment. That miracle place where there is oddness, and humor, and eyes that look out and in, and home, and hands to hold, music to sing, talks to have, walks to take, things to lose, and prayers to say.

Here. Right now…

Posted in Essays about Life, Grief, Having a Soul, Spiritual Stuff, Suicide | Leave a comment

I Do Declare

I declare each of us to be “home”

Right here and right now.

We are home in this moment, home within ourselves, within the walls of this sanctuary called “Body.”

God is inside our hearts and we live always from inside the heart of God

Whatever we’ve done or thought or said that made us think we were less than whole is done.

Right now we think a new.

We open to our connectedness, our relatedness to all life.

We allow ourselves to cherish our human experience.

We relax knowing this human experience is fool proof.

No matter what, we grow and expand.

As we relax and open, we allow ourselves to contribute to the ever flowing stream of life. Whether by a smile, or a life’s work, our contribution is our faith in action, our willingness to participate.

Life is whole perfect, complete, and connected. I am whole, perfect, complete and connected exactly as I am and exactly as I am not. All is well. And so….it is!

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Off She Goes…

…Like a shot in the dark.

shot-in-darkIt is an amazing thing, grief. It’s as powerful as I imagine God to be, if God were to show up as a state of being. I can not ever say which stage I’m in because it changes all the time and has no linear fashion.

I am definitely not the same person I was before Sam shot herself in the neck, on the coast, one Spring Sunday night in May.

May 17th to be exact.

10 PM (or so) to be even more accurate.

It’s November now. I can work without too much cloudy thinking, However, I have a tendency to work so much that the grief unintentionally gets shoved aside. It will have it’s way – grief always finds me. I’ve concluded that if you are to avoid it completely you must catch it at the beginning, going as deep as you can with your refusal. If you indulge yourself, even a little, in the horror, sadness and confusion, grief takes that as a “yes.”

So, when the police called in response to my missing persons report and told me they found the car with Sandra in it, dead from a gun shot wound (presumably self inflicted), I screamed. Alone in my kitchen on that Tuesday afternoon…or was it Monday? I screamed and screamed and screamed, “no, no no NONONO oh God NO!” and I lost my feet below me. That was my ’yes.’ It came so fast and unexpectedly that I couldn’t catch myself.

Then that idiotic female police officer told me, through clenched teeth, that I needed to pull it together when I spoke with the coroner or they wouldn’t give me information. I was completely shocked at her command. She had just told me that my only true family, outside my marriage, was gone for good, would not be coming home to our house where she’d been living for the last two years. I did my best to follow orders – I had to. I needed to know more.

As it turns out, the Monterey County coroner was kind, comforting, and fully expected me to be a mess. Det. Diana Foster also let me know that she specifically asked that  first officer to either go to my home to deliver the news, or make sure I had someone with me. Santa Clara County doesn’t provide the “knock on the door.” Apparently they also don’t give a crap If your alone or not. That first officer was almost gleeful when she told me they found Sam. She told the coroner she was just excited to be able to have me stop worrying. Does anyone else see the disconnect here?

And why, you may be wondering, does it matter? Nothing could change the horrible news. I know, and yet…that news changed my life forever. It changed my family’s life forever. Indelible from that day is that officer’s greed. She was probably panicking as she experienced my meltdown, really “getting” (way too late) the trauma involved in satisfying her need to be the deliverer of the news. How could I insinuate such a thing?  The coroner was frustrated and clear with her, IF YOU CANNOT GO TO THE HOME OR MAKE SURE SHE’S NOT ALONE, don’t tell her, just give her my phone number. Detective Foster said she would have come herself, from Monterey Country (an hours drive) to deliver it herself.

So what is this writing about?  It’s about grief. It’s about greed. It’s about what we take from people when we are so desperate in our unmet needs that we ignore all commands, requests, obligations, and agreements.

Sam didn’t keep hers.

And neither did that officer.

And neither did I.

But that’s another story.

 

 

MDM

2015-Nov.

shot-in-dark

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My Tenant and My Neighbor

The Life I knew left a note on the dining room table…

You are in good hands. I’ll be back. Take care of yourself.

We’ll both know when that old witch is done with you.

That’s when I’ll come home.

Love,  Life

Does Life, as a cantankerous neighbor, ever come to borrow sugar?

Or is “momentary upheaval” the way it saunters over to loan you a cup of flour and yeast for the rising, a good neighbor indeed and no longer in your home?

Yet, without sugar there is no bread for life.

In the echo of a rifle blast at 10 PM on a Sunday in May, Grief came a’ knocking and is not a neighbor. No sugar to lend.

Grief is the new tenant who, once in the door, refuses to cooperate and cannot be evicted. No one forsakes Grief.  She is patient and remembers EVERYTHING – her raging passion must be endured until she has paralyzed every sinew and woven every tear.

Here is what Life whispered as Life moved next door that night:                                            You cannot evict transformation from the DNA in Grief’s selfish fangs.

So, I sit at that same table, waiting with fine cakes and a few drops of brandy, to negotiate with this free-loader. It’s a bribe in hopes Grief will be kind enough to tell me what her plans are, rather than ambushing me at every turn.

So far?  it’s just me and my libations, and the second hand passing the first, as grief rumbles around getting settled – the knot in my soul pulled tighter by a vast echo from the gaping unknown…

She WILL have her way with me yet.

MDM 8/2015

1999 Elf -Paris with Lilac

RIP Sandra Lorraine Sedillos May 17, 2015

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Compassion

CompassionHearts

A great rose colored door
That portal to the knowing of suffering and
connection to the love that will heal it.

A door I have no choice about passing through,
rather, I am sucked out from the center of my belly
through an open heart.
Pulled

-by the sight of a homeless person cold and ragged.
-The sound of crying from one who’s done her best
and can do no more.
-The receipt of a blank stare from one deeply numbed
by too much hurt.

The choice lies not in passing through the portal;
the choice is about leaving the door open.

Who would willingly leave this door open,
or even ajar?
I’m not sure…
it was open when I got here,
and the one time I slammed that door shut
the pain in my life grew greater;
the inner turmoil constant and
the dark aloneness so certain
that I ran back to the door
and opened it wide;
Willing to know again,
to be connected to the love
beyond and through the suffering.
-MDM 1998

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What’s NOT on my mind?

Having just graduated from ministerial school I am now (provisionally) granted the title of “reverend.” You’d think having gone through all the scholastic hoops, with the intention of just that, it would be natural and exciting to “finally arrive.”

Many have asked, “are you relieved?” To which, my response is a pause and then, “its more than that.”
It is so much more than that. Truthfully, it is no where near relief. its a brand new place, triggering utterly new feelings.

It is like walking on a surface I’ve never felt.

Imagine stepping onto a surface whose texture was foreign to your feet, whose laws of gravity didn’t pull you down, they pulled you in. Each step has it’s own discovery and new awareness and integration. When I expressed this, Dr.David Bruner said to me,”welcome to the rest of your life. You have left behind the old life and nothing will be the same. You create what’s next every minute.”

So far, he’s right. Every second unfolds as a unique creation. The passsing of time, as experience unfolds upon it, is also forever changed. I was called here. I have answered, and this calling answers back in a language I hope to spend the rest of my life deciphering. May it serve the world just as God, “in-as-and-through me” intends.
Blessings,
Meghan, Reverend

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Dance, Anyone?

As I sat down to return to my writing (finally, and at long last) I perused some recent blogs. Each one with a picture or video placed strategically here and there. It began to niggle me a little, the time it would take to include all the juicy photos, etc. to seduce readers – “lookie, hey, over here! Read mine!” I have lived long enough to understand that it’s a tide I can’t swim against. However, it’s tempting. I am tempted to experiment. Could I write with enough texture to make you forget that there isn’t a photo? Could I seduce you with words, a catchy title and nothing more…well, except for a nod here or there from the numbers who’ve read it?

See, I believe the whole point in writing is to lead you inside, not out.
Not at first glance.

No, I mean for you to go inside, to your own internal version of the written words; to lead you to your own stories. And to invite you to then look out from an either changed or enhanced perspective.

I’ve begun reading Anna Karenina. Tolstoy has it! He is that master who writes with so much texture that we effortlessly see what he’s writing about –  our version. Once I lay down a picture of her, you then see my version of what he wrote. The implication is that Anna looks like that photo. The story takes the tone of the publishers image of her on the front cover, as opposed to what my mind might have conjured. I love opening books with nothing on the front cover. I am then completely free to allow my creative mind to do what it does best, create.

Writing is an invitation to dance creatively on the dance-floor of the writer’s proposed reality. Reading is simply following the writer’s lead onto your own inner dance-floor,  to the music of that magical meaning factory called your mind. No props, no preview, just a fresh new dance every time you open the cover…or click on the link embedded in the photo.

I may not resist the temptation.

This piece officially begins my re dedication to writing.
Shall we dance?Dance2 don

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