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I woke up with an arrhythmia this morning.  Went to bed with it last night, but now it has disappeared I think.

Too much loss in my life yesterday.  I saw two mothers who had lost their children last year in a row:  neither had seen me before.  One spent the first half of our time yelling at me. She had her reasons:  her son was killed in Iraq.  And she deals with the maimed and broken returning warriors every day in her work.  I usually see her teenage daughter, but she was afraid I was missing some important aspect in how I am treating her daughter…so she let me know what was on her mind…and we talked a long time about her son while the daughter listened and did not move a muscle.

The other mother’s daughter died of an arrhythmia in her sleep.  The daughter was pre-med and her only daughter.  They spent their weekends together frequently at the daughter’s campus townhome.

Like me, she has not been able to remove her daughter’s belongings from where they have been in her home.  The is the first time she has spoken about her grief with a counselor…such an unspeakable reality–knowing that you’ll never see your child, talk with her, ever, ever again.

Then I saw a woman who lost her father and grandmother quite recently:  funny, brave, grieving with every breath and having her first professional pedicure tomorrow!  Then she heads off to the Bahamas for the weekend with her handsome husband–her first break since her beloved father’s death.  She helps caretake her mother and is a full-time vocational rehabilitation worker!  Tough, professional, and looking forward to a getaway.

I ended the evening with a couple who are dealing with the stress of the husband’s potentially lethal neurological disorder and who were struggling with issues of planning for their future in case of his death.  He had to walk out of the session for a while and come back and the last thing he said as we were leaving the office at the end of the night was “I’m sorry I had to get up and leave!”  Now you know and I know he didn’t need to apologize, but he still felt that way–not wanting to show or let his conflicted emotions get in the way of the precious time we have in our session.  It is those emotions and conflicts that are at the heart of our purpose.  But he still, knowing that, apologized because that, too, was how he felt.

I am so blessed to do my work, and it does touch me deeply and now tonight my own heart rhythm is altered in the process.  I will be fine.  I probably got so caught up in the process that I didn’t drink enough fluid.  Who knows?  I had it all fully checked out a year ago by the best specialists in the area.

It’s just one of those things – and it’s just one of those nights…

Look, now the dawn is breaking!

And I am looking forward to this evening with a friend.

luisa brehm: love

Every night in my dreams
I see you. I feel you.
That is how I know you go on.

Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on.

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we’re one

Love was when I loved you
One true time I hold to
In my life we’ll always go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

You’re here, there’s nothing I fear,
And I know that my heart will go on
We’ll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory