Coming up with words to describe the scene is difficult. What began as resistance and uncertainty in my children ended in a softening and opening that I will keep in my heart forever.
The Taize service. A time to release loss. We certainly had our share this year; the house, the marriage, the familiar family unit, the dog, the friends. Although my life each day is unfolding to peace and joy, there is something wonderful about a ritual that allows the ‘in-your-face’ grief and letting go.
I asked my kids to go in support of me with the hope that the silence and the ceremony would allow them to look back and reflect. My youngest went in with the best understanding of what was available for him to choose at the Taize—he could write on a card his losses to be released. After he and I wrote what needed to be written, we found a place to sit. From the body language of my oldest I sensed resistance as he sat next to me.
The quiet song. The hundreds of candles. The sacredness of the sanctuary and those in it. The words. The loss. The gong. The silence.
When my losses were read, I wept. When my youngest sons losses were read, we both wept. The courage that my young boy showed and the softening that swept over my oldest in that moment was magical. He placed his arms around me and then his younger brother.
When it was time to light a candle, my oldest stood up. He lit a candle and gently placed it into the tray. More silence. More thought.
When we got home, I stood in the kitchen with my oldest. He then asked me a question. The dialog was this:
HIM: when you lit the candle, did you let go of things you wrote on the card?
ME: no, I just said to my self, “it is over now, I am done’.
HIM: oh…………..I let go of the need to have a father in my life.
He was serious. I reminded myself to breathe as that statement took my breath away. I looked at him and told him how much I loved him.
Letting go. Moving through it. Releasing. Softening.
The following days he seems more grounded. More connected to himself, me and the family. He is grateful. He is thoughtful and loving. He is filled with laughter and lightness. He is softer.
He is connected to himself and his own inner wisdom. I am certain that he will revisit this loss in the years to come but for now, I am proud that he listened, he saw the truth in his heart, he observed the beauty in releasing and he allowed himself to soften….