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This week I went to a therapist to help me deal with James’ death. When I told him I’d practiced self-hypnosis for almost 25 years, he asked me “where I went” during hypnosis, what mental image I used and why I chose it. My answer was the ancient Mayan ruin of Tulum in the Yucatan Peninsula. From the top of the temple Castillo, the soothing blue sky seems to magically rise out of the sea. The Mayans called it Sian Ka’an, the place where the sky is born, and I go there in hypnosis because it is empowering, majestic and peaceful.<PREVIEWEND>
The therapist asked me to close my eyes and see the place where the sky is born. He then told me to imagine a big dial in the middle of the same sky, a dial I can turn from one to 10, and to imagine that sense of empowering peace as I turned the dial from one, to two, three and so on. With each turn of the dial, I took a deep breath and filled my lungs, and mind, with more and more empowering peace. He then asked me to visualize James. In my mind, I saw him standing in front of mountains and a blue sky, the same photo l used in my blog post “Who Will Catch You When You Fall?” The therapist then asked me questions about whether I thought James wanted to leave me, what I would say to James, what James would say to me, etc. He then instructed me to replace the dial with James’ face and to see James as my peace… my empowerment. Indeed, he has been that for me since our hearts first became intertwined.
Since my appointment with the therapist, the word “peace” has been part of my lexicon in everything I see, read online, in my email messages, plus peace is a huge part of the lesson we’re working on in my Bible study group. I shared that in an email with one of you, dear readers, and you said this recurring theme was a “God Deal.” My friend, Barbra Swanson, calls it a “God Thing.” While it doesn’t reach miracle status, it’s more than a simple coincidence, and I agree. At this moment, I am more at peace than I have been, and I want peace for James, peace for me and for my stepson. Like the familiar comforting effect a mother’s heartbeat has on her newborn, I am bathed in peace. For how long? I don’t know. While a couple of the sharp edges of my pain are dulled, I can’t begin to fathom how anything will relieve my profound grief and sadness that James is no longer with me.
I can’t stop wondering, “How did this happen?” I know it’s true, but it’s still so difficult to process. Regarding James, I question everything I’ve ever thought, said or done. I wonder if God thought I didn’t appreciate this extraordinary man enough and so he took him from me? James was my heart. I told him this every day. Surely God knew that as well, how much I valued, appreciated and adored James. Everyone in my life before James was just marking time on my calendar until he arrived, and I fear from here on, everyone else will be marking time until I’m with James, again. It’s quite possible I will live longer without him than I did with him. How do I do that?
The other day I cleaned out James' truck. His son wants his truck, but in these first early weeks, I've not been emotionally ready to let it go. While I had no problem throwing away old receipts for alfalfa and deer food, other items touched me deeply like the small tine from the rack of a young buck, or pieces of flint, that had been worked, James found in the dirt. James' Comanche heritage gave him an appreciation for all things in nature, including an unfinished arrowhead, discarded by its maker because it wasn't perfect.
Like an unfinished arrowhead, we are not perfect. On many different levels I think many of us have surrendered to God, again and again, especially if we’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease like breast cancer. Since James died, I've told God that I'm as surrendered as a person can get; please show me the way, what you want me to do, how to help others and to please open the right doors and show me how to walk through them. I hope I'm not letting any of you down because I don't have all the answers, but I do know they all start with God.
Whenever I’m emotionally out on a limb, I will close my eyes and imagine the knob and turn it as far as it will go. I will see James’ face and know he is at peace. All is well with his soul. And while I don’t know if my peace will carry me over until tomorrow, I will turn the knob as far as it will go, hoping once more to feel His peace. I believe I will see James again. I will see God and His precious Son, and I will see the real Sian K’an—the place where the sky was born.
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