Do You See The Peripheral Pain?

The written blog contains some of the Video Blog;

I never went to my Father’s funeral. This was a decision my Mother apologized for many times to me. I am not annoyed at her in the least. I think she wanted to protect me in some way. I was the youngest of four and she was a new widow. He died in a plane crash and so this was the ultimate Kung Fu kick our family received. She opted for me to stay home with a younger cousin and an older cousin stayed and watched us.

By not going to the funeral, I saw everything from a different angle. My home wasn’t usually sad and I heard a lot of people hugging, crying and saying sorry. I had a very weird memory of a guy delivering all the wreaths and flowers after to our house. He had a hook for a hand and I had some nightmares about him. Nobody was there to explain that he had no hand. I just thought it was bizarre.

It was perfectly bizarre to have every countertop and floor space in our home occupied by flowers. I think people give donations now a lot more, but back then, it was flowers…hundreds of them…creepy really.

Not too long ago, one of my cousins recalled my brother crying by a tree out back while everyone was congregating inside. I didn’t know that until quite recently. It showed me a couple of things. This cousin’s heart was big enough to notice something outside the hub and it also showed me that quite often the apparent catastrophe is not necessarily the only crisis.

This has been happening to me this week. The obvious sadness is Gramma’s death. I have been feeling it from siblings and cousins and have received lots of condolences and emails…thank you! But while this is going on, I am seeing all these overshadowed pockets of sadness going on in my peripheral.

Without talking about family and friends too much (because as I have said, they have not opted into my more public world) there are some other things happening which are of great concern. There was a car accident, a suicide attempt and some other things outside of the whole funeral situation which has been catching my peripheral much like my cousin spotting my brother crying under the tree years ago.

Gramma lived a very long life. I am super happy to have had such a fantastic lady at the top of our family. It’s obviously sad but sometimes I feel like our energy needs to go to where the immediate needs are. Sometimes the big news can distract us from the pain going on somewhere else.

Spotting peripheral pain isn’t something everyone is capable of doing. I am definitely trying to keep an eye out for it. It’s kind of like spotting a homeless person during a parade. You are there with family having a grand ol’ time and then someone in the family spots them. I am glad there are people like my cousin who spotted my brother.

This is the finest part of compassion. My Dad would have wanted people to comfort his children. My Gramma would want us to be taking care of these peripheral problems.
I don’t feel the need to go fix everyone though. This is a burden that has been lifted from me for a while now. I used to be so controlling that I thought if I could just elbow my way in, I could fix everyone. It turns out it’s me who needs the fixing and it’s them who needs my love.

Being available to simply listen can make a world of difference to someone. So, lots of phone calls right now.

Maybe there is someone who has been on your mind today who could use a phone call. We shouldn’t be waiting for someone to try to kill themselves to be available to them as a friend. We shouldn’t wait until there is a funeral or accident to be there for them.

Listening is easy, it does take time…but we find time for movies, internet and TV, so I am sure we can find time to listen.

Feeling heavy but not overwhelmed,
Karen :)

“If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed.” ~Vaclav Havel

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