The Hardest Part
I dreamed he was dying.
I had a nightmare last night that he was leaving Us.
My beautiful boy. He was trapped underneath a car, neck pinned between the axle or strut,..or something. The woman in the drivers seat flung her door open and was reaching down, between her legs,..prying the strut to separate, ....and I was stricken. Standing there, crying as I watched my dear boy's life leaving him. He was wincing.
My heart was exploding.
He was leaving, and I was powerless, strengthless to save him.
I awoke from the dream heartbroken.
...but there, my sweet boy .. sleeping next to me. Our divine. Alive.
I couldn't shake the dream. I pattered around with coffee. Seeking relief from the slideshow of images, I sat outdoors on my grandmother's iron chaise & watched the morning light lighting the day in its own, special, soft, surreal way.
Only morning light can color this way. Irreplaceable moments of dawn.
I couldn't help but feel my dream run parallel to having felt helpless before, ....helpless to help my loved ones.
The greater meaning from my dream was about this helplessness we all feel at one point or another in our lives.
...I saw myself as a girl, unable to help Mom through her sorrow, & fear,
& anger - a vinyl record on replay every summer,... dependable tracks about the preparation for, & visitiation with Dad,... looming.
I saw myself unable to help Dad, ...sick with his self perpetuated cycle of failure, destruction & addiction. Unable to help him,
....unable to love him ENOUGH & OUT OF, his self fulfilling prophecy.
I saw myself sitting with my beloved aunt, ... an indomitable force of brains and beauty, & wit. I saw myself unable to love her enough, and laugh with her enough to free her from her own chain of addiction and self perpetuated prison of marriage.
..... I saw myself unable to help myself,.. even. Back then..
These visitations,.... brought me both great Sorrow & Gratitude.
For some time, about 8 years or so ago, I came to understand we are wholly UNABLE to help another free themselves from themselves. It is not our job.
It IS our obligation,... and of our highest purpose to assist,... but in the end, it is not our work to do. Love alone, .., is rarely enough.
The most important part, ... THE ....HARDEST... PART ...is letting go.
The not being able to take a-hold of another's pain.
We can strive to understand it, ... but we MUST let go of it.
Our individual sorrows are our own to work through. This is true.
We are,.. each,.. on our own path .... some to redemption, some to destruction.
Being rendered unable to be a part of it ...rendered unable to help someone we love, or even someone we hardly know, being unable to TAKE their struggle FROM them, ...is paralyzing. The worst pain imaginable.
With cancer, or illness, or homelessness we CAN lend support, & love, we can take food, provide shelter. We can tangibly help.
Not so easily done with depression, addiction, .... loneliness.
We can help, but we can NOT take it from them, ...or out of them.
My heart breaks over and again with each re-awakening to this fact.
My heart also breaks from time to time for my own mother, and sister, & stepfather.
I know they wish I didn't have to wrestle with some of the choices I've made. I know it hurts them somewhere deep, deep down inside. I fear my choices have marked them in some way. Has made them feel as though they could have done something different, or have been more aware, or have helped me differently in some way. I know ... they would have reached into my life and would have plucked me clear out of my own way if they could have. But they couldn't.
It was my own journey of discovery. My own path.
Their love wasn't enough to keep me from repeating choices at the sake of myself for the betterment of another. Their love couldn't free me from seeking the same pattern over and over again, despite having moved away from it time and again. Their love couldn't keep my joy, or pain, or anger from me. It was mine.
We all pretend to some degree. ... Don't we?
From my first memories, I was the sunny child, ... always had a smile on, boisterous laughter spilling from my mouth,... head thrown back. I was joyous. ...and happy. I was silly. Always ready for fun and adventure. I still am. But I was also so INTENSE.
As I've said, ...feeling everything to the millionbilliontrillionth power.
Even my joy. And somehow, I was uncomfortable with that. So I buffered myself for many a year. With music, with drinks,...anything that could keep me from feeling the deepest pieces of me and working through them authentically.
My dream this morning was simply a dream. I've never felt as much horror, .. & then as much joy in one moment like within my waking moment today. Ronan wasn't dying. My inability to help was only a DREAM.
I come away with knowledge that it may be my own children, nieces or nephews,..or friends I am unable to help ...this nearly breaks me. Makes me want to crumple up and die. ... but I know I can not, and I know that my light and love & joy & strength & experience are ALL I've got in my arsenal to help others. That and the tangibles.
I vow to do any and all I can for anyone who needs me. I pray they will ask.
I pray I may hear their silent calls.
if you find yourself in a situation with someone,...needing, wanting to help, unable. Please look into AlAnon - for the loved ones of addicts (food,sex,alcohol,narcotics, depression, narcisicm)), but ultimately helps any and all struggling with the inability to help another living soul. It is a wonderful, empowering group, is free & compassionate and life-changing. Allow it to be. We are not alone.