Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grief lessons from my barefoot walkabout

The first, intentional step into pain takes a lot of courage.

I can avoid those things that would add unnecessary suffering to my suffering.

The others who came before, those protected from the Earth, won't be able to know the experience in this way.

Things (I) will get broken.

I can miss the stickers if I pay attention.

Even when I cannot see it, the sun exists. It's vanishing is an illusion.

Rocks hurt when they get between my toes.

It's not all uphill.

There is more than just one way.

Sometimes I have to get on all fours to make it up the crags.

I've been to the edge and not fallen off.

Sometimes I need to pause on a cool, smooth rock or a mound of soft dirt,
and breathe through the pain.

I need to shed a few things, perhaps-once-helpful-but-now-a-hindrance -things, along the way to make it through the journey.

Beauty exists there, right next to the pain.

I can't always see around the corner, but I trust and continue.

There are no real short cuts.

If I am open to it, I can find love along the way.

Others have come too.

The destination matters.

Sometimes, I can lean on the unexpected.

I am grateful for the easy steps.

I cannot always identify things on my path.

Sometimes I must look back at where I've been for the strength to endure.

I cannot shade myself. Only another can provide shade for me and me for another.

From pain and sacrifice, I am able to become more fully human.


Ashley said...

I have read this so many times and this next walkabout has been on my mind as the day draws near. I am ready to experience this journey again and open up my senses to nature and feel Mckenna all around me. Thank you for sharing your walkabout experiences with all of us and for sharing our "summer" walkabout with me. A walkabout I will never forget OWWBFM_BUG<3

sleepy* said...

I just lost my son Brandon on Sept. 5th 2010. I have been drawn to this walkabout for some reason. I will be there, but I must admit I am scared. I also know nothing can be as painful as what I have already endured. Kris O.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

I am so sorry Kris...

my boyfriend joined the peace corps said...

after 12 years I am ready to request my son's death certificate, I am not sure if I am about to step on a thorn or take it out.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...


Holding you in my thoughts... I'm glad you're coming Saturday. We will walk for him...

janis said...

I LOVE this, thank you for sharing.
This walkabout is about LIFE, about courage, about knowing oneself and the big wide world beyond us.
We step on earth, but it supports us.

gemini said...

I love what you are doing, am a Dr. Victor Frankl fan since my college days and have reread his books just two weeks ago.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Thank you gemini! Me too!

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Thank you Janis! <3

Mary said...

This is incredibly meaningful and amazing mindfulness practice. Thank you for sharing it. I have likened my journey to walking a labyrinth with it switchbacks and feeling of going nowhere fast but suddenly you arrive somewhere. I like your post because it includes so many symbols for the things we meet along the way...through grief.


The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul

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