Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Power To Comfort

We are passing the six month marker of Lindsey’s passing. The grief of losing a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a friend is affecting each of us in different ways. It has truly been a blessing to have friends and family offer their thoughts and share their feelings about Lindsey through tender phone calls, texts, notes and gifts. It makes me happy that people make the effort to communicate these messages to me and that they remember Lindsey and are aware of her and our family.
I know Jessica found it especially painful this past weekend and so did Savanah. We talk about our sadness and we cry with each other. We try to soothe each other’s pain in our little family. I know that each of us have felt buoyed up and supported by all of our friends in amazing ways. We truly can feel of your love and empathy.
Todd and I went to the temple in honor of this six month marker, celebrating Lindsey’s passing from this world and recognizing that she is not suffering anymore. Of course, I went thinking that I would be fine. I had been feeling okay for most of the week. But, getting to the temple and sitting in such a beautiful safe, quiet setting, I immediately started to cry at the beginning of the session and I could not stop.
I quietly cried through the whole session. As we neared the end of the session, the sister on my left, sitting two chairs over, leaned towards me and whispered “I love you”. I am sure she could hear me sniffling, and could hear my efforts in trying to muffle my tears. Then the sister next to me, on my left, reached over and put her arm around me. At this point I was really embarrassed as I realized that everyone around me knew that I was crying.
And then the sister on my right leaned over and handed me a crumpled up, already used handkerchief. I needed it terribly by then. I had not brought any tissues with me. It felt like I was going to start sobbing out loud, even though I was trying to manage some kind of dignity during a complete melt down.
I whispered to the sister on my right, who was humbly offering all that she had in the form of a used handkerchief, as I told her that my daughter had recently passed away from a brain tumor.
Our eyes met and she reached out and took my hand in hers. She turned her head back to the front of the room and I saw that she was crying. I knew that she was a mother and that she could feel my pain. I could not keep the pain to myself, it was so overwhelming. This kind of grief makes you feel like you are going crazy and you feel like you going to lose all control.
This woman, who was sitting to my right, started crying with me. I could feel that she was offering up a desire to help bear my burden through her tears. She truly was an angel as she sat next to me holding my hand. I started to finally get a handle on my “out of control” state. I just kept clinging to her hand in my lap. She didn’t pull away and it didn’t feel uncomfortable.
She let me hold her hand until the session came to an end. I literally felt so loved and comforted. It reminded me of how I would hold Lindsey’s hand by the side of her bed. It seemed to help us feel close and connected. I loved holding Lindsey’s hand. During all the surgeries, radiation treatments, fatigue and during severe pain and times of sickness she would always reach for my hand, and I for hers.
Lindsey had so many MRI’s I lost count after the third surgery. I don’t even know how many she had during the last 14 months that she was extremely ill. However during every MRI, she would always ask for me to come in and hold her hand when they had to give her the contrast in the form of a shot in her arm. She hated shots. She had such small veins and sometimes it would take several pokes to get it right. Lindsey was so tender and soft-hearted -- it was so hard to see such suffering and such harshness being inflicted on her thin, frail body. To tell you the truth it was more than any mother could bare.
So sitting there in the temple it felt like I got to hold Lindsey’s hand, even if it was for a short time. It seemed like Lindsey was offering her hand to comfort me this time through this beautiful sister sitting next to me.
I know that women have such capacity to feel each other’s burdens, and I have truly seen my dearest friends and family members, mothers themselves, offer such heartfelt compassion -- not only to me, but also to others in so many amazing ways. I have witnessed women gathering around me during Lindsey’s illness and in her passing and offering comfort in ways that I did not know was possible. I know that I have not been alone to bear my grieving.
What I experienced that day and at other sacred times during this experience with Lindsey is that there is a certain “power to comfort” given to women and mothers that resembles the same power offered by angels themselves. This “power to comfort” is not from this world, but is heaven sent and divine. It is this “power to comfort” that women possess, which makes it possible for any one of us, as mothers, to not die when we bury a child. It is the women who have gathered around me and given me the courage to continue to move forward. They have literally lifted my hands that hang low and encouraged me to keep going. I have had angels, in the form of sisters, gather around me in the very moments that I thought I could not go on and literally carry me to the other side of the abyss of death.
May we as women understand this power and not be so hesitant to share it with each other, but have courage to offer what we have to offer, even if it is a used handkerchief. It may be someone else’s saving grace. May we offer, without hesitation, this “power to comfort” and may we also offer this same gift of angelic love to our husbands and our children. Let us not be tempted to misdirect, or squander this power by focusing on the things of this world.
Thank you, sisters, for bearing my burdens and making them lighter and mourning with me as I mourn. Thank you for responding, and thoughtfully holding the space for my personal grief. I thank God that he sent his love not only through his son, but also in the form of women acting as angels on this earth. I pray that I might develop this art, even the ability to love to this degree, that I might someday offer comfort to a mother who has lost a child or is struggling in other ways.
Ministering to each other in such profound ways is an honor. May we truly embrace our gifts as women in nurturing and offering emotional support to each other. May we have a desire to be instruments in God’s hands. May we teach our daughters and our granddaughters that they too have “power to comfort”. It is an innate part of being a woman. It is a gift. It is a sacred responsibility. The “power to comfort” has the ability to heal the giver and the receiver at the same time.

A Special Request to My Readers:
So, at the end of this entry, I would like to extend an invitation to any of you that have experienced something like what I have described here about the “power to comfort”. I am interested in true stories of women serving each other. I would love to hear from you so write about your experience either giving or receiving this kind of comfort and send it to my email I want to compile stories of women comforting other women. I think it would bring strength to me and offer strength to many others. I would love to hear from you. . . love always pam.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Witnessing a great power in Arizona

I just returned from visiting our satellite school in Phoenix, Arizona. What a wonderful experience. The students and graduates had arranged for two previews and a children’s clinic at a beautiful healing center. They made it possible for me to reach approximately 75- 80 people during my time there. I was able to process an amazing five year old girl for the demo at the Thursday night preview. Kayla was the daughter of one of the students in the school. She was absolutely darling.

Our children’s clinic had fourteen children participate. We learned about heavy feelings and light feelings and what to do when our anger alarm goes off. We did the hokey pokey and made pet rocks. We had good support from students and graduates as they coached the children during the class.

It was approximately four years ago that one woman living in Gilbert, Arizona approached me about coming to Arizona to do a training there. Penny Hansen shared with me over the telephone that she was committed to do whatever it took to bring the Institute of Healing Arts and the year long program to Arizona. She even volunteered her home for one year so the class would have somewhere to meet.

Right around that time one of our graduates moved from Utah to Arizona and was willing to participate as a trainer. Her name was Diana Hainsworth. Diana, along with Penny Hansen, sent out fliers and talked to everyone they knew. They coordinated the previews and we eventually had our first training in Arizona. Today we are experiencing the fruits of their vision to bring the process to this area.

We now have our current trainer Barbara Porter, who graduated from that original class. She is doing an amazing work in teaching and supporting our current students. The class started last October, and the transformation that we witnessed this past weekend was so powerful. These students gather every Tuesday night to address issues and learn the technique of processing. They are a wonderful support to each other. Some of the original graduates, including Penny Hansen, are attending as well for round two as they strengthen their skills and offer support as coaches to this new class.

Everyone welcomed me with such open arms; I felt so loved by the group. My heart was touched as I became aware of some of the sacrifices that students and families are making for the school to even be in Arizona. I honor those students and graduates in Arizona who are making this all possible. We truly witnessed the power of the process in Arizona this past weekend.

I love Arizona.