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Oct. 12th, 2017 | 09:38 am

Our beloved elder-kitty passed away early Sunday morning. She had suffered a stroke at the end of August and we devoted ourselves to her care as she made a partial recovery before becoming burdened with other medical issues.

I went to Rosen yesterday and this provided an opportunity to process some of my feelings around this. I found that this loss--combined with the fact of my having attended calling hours at a funeral home to support the family of a colleague whose teenage son had recently committed suicide--brought me back to feelings I had experienced after my mother's death, when I began to the support I was able to receive within the Amma group to be inadequate, and when I experienced my closest friendship within that group to be faltering even more than it had begun to do the previous summer (when my mother began to enter the final stages of her illness). It was about a month after my mother's death that i began to participate in Rosen sessions.

Perhaps the most important moment in the Rosen session yesterday came when I acknolwedged my anger over my disillusionment with the Amma group, and with my close friendship within it in particular. At that point I lost awareness of pressure that I had been feeling in my shoulders and something relaxed within me, as if I were better able to physically and psychologically embody my anger rather than feel a need to bottle it up or express it cathartically. It was at that time that I began to examine the nature of the ideology within the Amma satsang and I began to regard with a greater degree of critical distance (rather than to continue to try to immerse myself within it as uncritically as I had done in the past).

I shared some thoughts with the Rosen worker regarding what I have begun to refer to as "the morning after the morning after" when it comes to dealing with loss. In the initial stages following a loss ("the morning after") one typically receives expressions of sympathy and this constitutes a form of direct attention from others. Following that process ("the morning after the morning after") one continues to experience and work through grief over the loss, and this is when some people may become impatient or unsympathetic, or may demand that the grieving person take care of their feelings (by refraining from talking further about the loss, by making efforts to appear happy and "over it" rather than appearing sad or depressed, of demonstrably more faithful to the guru, etc.). This is a critical stage at which I have often felt a sense of rage and betrayal, and this has sometimes led my severing ties with the people who no longer appeared sympathetic and who, in retrospect, may not actually have been as supportive as they would like to have believed.

As I mentioned to the Rosen worker, it seems to me that the pain of grief can act as an agent of truth, and it can cast a harsh light on some relationships as it exposes their flaws. While it may have been easier to work around the limitations of certain relationships in the past, when things weren't quite so difficult emotionally, it can become impossible in the presence of grief. The "gift" of these emerging truths regarding the limitations of certain established relationships may be difficult to accept, but if it isn't accepted one's growth may become limited.

There is more to write about this, but I think now is a good time to take a break and get on with other aspects of my day.


Peace,

KH

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