Lenten Pilgrimage | Mary on GRIEVING + healing
The PINK ROSE serves to heal. It offers gentleness, patience and companionship. While grief & loss are natural aspects to life, the pink rose represents hope that you can return to the path of healing whether it's internal or external.
-Mary Magdalene, from The Way of the Rose.
Today, in my morning meditation I walk out to the small courtyard that connects our main house with the garage. It is a private area that I look onto each evening when I take a bath.
Today is Good Friday. I know that Mary Magdalene will be there and I join her amidst pink flowers of every type.
How do you feel?
I know that Mary is actually asking me, "How do you feel this Good Friday with everything happening in your world?" I don't know how to answer her.
I feel numb. I watch some of the news on TV each morning and each night. I think it's important to remain appraised of what's happening. I suppose it is my way of bearing witness. When I see the shots of the crowded emergency wards, the doctors and nurses in various types of coverings, I just get so disgusted. They are on the front lines and they are getting infected. It's a giant, collective trauma...like watching a train wreck that doesn't have an end point.
I'm staring down into space. My eyes are glazed as Mary tenderly slides her hand over my hair and shoulders.
I understand. I remember being at the foot of the cross. I was numb and I didn't have the strength to look at the other women who were crying. I had my hands out-on the cross. When I picked them up and turned them over, they were full of blood. I didn't understand. How could the Rabbi's blood be on me?! I kept hearing screaming and it was then that I realized that I was the one who was screaming!
I slowly turned my head towards her and her eyes were foggy, tears streaming down. She wasn't blinking. She wasn't here.
Some of the pink roses began to nod and I walked around the courtyard collecting them. They parted from the branch on their own and I gathered them to present to Mary. When I offered the bouquet, Mary took my hands in hers and with just a slight pressure, she squeezed my grip, forcing some thorn tips to puncture my skin. I could feel the blood drip down my fingertips but I didn't feel pain-until I looked into her eyes. The leaves and leaf stems began to grow before my eyes and wrap around my hands. I felt some warmth, and Mary opened my hands to reveal unblemished skin!
There was dried blood on the back of my hands and Mary led me across the lawn to the bird bath. She poured some water from a handmade cup with a red heart on it, and then gently massaged my hands. She never took her eyes from the task.
Healing is a choice. The pink rose reminds us that there is support everywhere. You only need to ask for it. You must be aware of the need for healing and then take action.
Mary is drying my hands now. When she finishes, she takes my hands in hers:
Grieving is a powerful form of healing. In order to heal, you must first face and feel into the grief. Only then can it begin to change you. Let it release you so you can let it go.
You've understood that grieving allows you to open a channel to your deeper wisdom. Makes you more aware to what is truth in the present moment. If you are stuck in the past, you cannot fully see or hear. You are always on your path but not all paths lead to what your soul desires.
The pink rose is no different than the others. It longs to open.
We walk together back to the courtyard. I am tired. Mary is calm, composed. When we walk inside, the bouquet is gone and the roses are back on their branches, good as new. Mary talks about the hope in healing. I notice that time is not moving in a regular fashion. The flowers are blooming faster and instead of their petals floating down to the ground, they ascend upwards. I look up to a bright light. There is a lightness in the air. Mary is whispering to me now. I don't remember what she said as I close eyes to drift off on my meditation mat. I sense that some of the petals have fallen onto my face. I think of the numbers of people that have died from COVID. I wonder if they too drifted upwards.
What is affecting you most during this pandemic? Are you able to face into it and feel your feelings?
Can you think of a time when it was too difficult to grieve? Would your time now in isolation give you the safety and space to revisit the memory and choose healing?