Love, Loss and Leaving Notes at the Labyrinth
It had been months – over six months, to be precise – that I had been able to visit my sacred space – the labyrinth that I shared with Sarah, just about a week before she passed away.
For the past six or seven months, I have been recovering from a serious lower back/hip injury. I truly believe it was a manifestation of the grief and trauma surrounding her death, and other major significant losses.
Trauma recovery is not an easy journey. Yet, as I start feeling better – physically, spiritually and emotionally – I am appreciating learning about myself. What makes me tick, how I respond to things, where trauma is stored and so much more. I am learning modalities to assist with uncomfortable feelings, and I have had the opportunity to share “Emotional Sobriety” in workshops I have facilitated.
One of the coolest things about trauma recovery is the reconnection with the body. What different sensations mean; how they can help protect or even share what is needed. Because I have had to be very mindful of movement to prevent re-injury, I listen to my body and am in tune with my needs. That mindfulness is seeping into my spiritual and emotional needs, too.
On the emotional level, I am able to connect sensations in my body and correlate the emotion attached to it. So even if I don’t know why I am feeling a certain way, I know that I am feeling something. I’ve learned that feeling and learning about emotions can be compared to peeling an onion – just as one layer comes off, the next layer is saying something. And, like an onion, some feelings are so strong, they make you cry.
Spiritually, I have had my eyes open to so many new things and ideas that I could probably write a book. The most amazing thing is that as the fog of grief and trauma lighten, the beauty of the outdoors can truly brighten. Colors are more vivid, and I am more aware of nature and all the critters that visit me in the yard – a place of sanctuary for me, especially since I have been isolated to due lack of mobility.
As I am finally able to walk better and sit in the car a bit longer, a very dear friend took me to the labyrinth last week. As excited as I was to return, I was nervous, too. This sacred space is where I connect with Sarah the most. Would I be overcome with grief? Could I make it around the labyrinth? Would the car ride be too much?
As we entered the labyrinth, I showed my friend the journal entry from November 24, 2019, when Sarah and I visited. I shared that I regretted not having Sarah sign her name. And as I shared other journal entries, giggling as to how many times I’ve been to “my” sacred space, a journal entry under one of mine literally knocked me for a loop, bringing tears to my eyes.
On December 3, 2020 – the one-year anniversary of Sarah’s transition – someone left this note:
I believe I know who left this note, someone who was an amazing support at the beginning of my journey. Tears filling in my eyes, I was feeling so much love and on such a deep, spiritual level. After savoring the feelings in my body and soul, allowing the tears – a mixture of grief and joy – we continued on into the labyrinth. Though I had to use my walker, I was thrilled that I was able to get to the center of the labyrinth – the last place I was able to give Sarah a hug and a kiss on her forehead.
Anyone who new Sarah well, knew that she was an avid collector of many things – rocks included. She loved painting them and leaving them for others to find. On our desks, her Papa and I have the rocks she painted for us.
More aware of my surroundings now, as I got closer to the center of the labyrinth, my eyes filled with tears again. In the center – where many people leave a note or other items – there was a pile of rocks.
Oh, Sarah! I felt like she left these for me.
I left the labyrinth with more joy in my heart than I have felt in a very long time. I was with a dear, dear friend who has supported me in ways I will never be able to thank her for; I was left a dear, dear note from someone instrumental in my healing – someone who remembered Sarah! (A major fear anyone dealing with child loss is, will this child be remembered?) And I found a dear, dear message in the center of the labyrinth – I felt like it was from Sarah.
As I have mentioned before, I am removing the weight of grief, one rock at a time. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty. The hole in my heart from Sarah’s loss is huge. However, when there are moments of joy and connection – I can fill that hole with love and support on a spiritual and emotional level. I can physically feel the shift. In fact, I have been able to walk short distances unassisted since my visit to the labyrinth.
And it inspires me to be more mindful and keep walking – even though the journey of recovery can be very slow, often times very painful, baby steps.
Namaste and much love,
© Lynne Cobb – 2021