The Mother and the Wise Woman

I am very aware these days of moving back and forth between two aspects of myself, two archetypes:  one is the Mother, the personal self, the one who grieves deeply, who is angry and sad, who misses my daughter Elizabeth, who truly cannot comprehend that she could be gone, that she died.  The other is the Wise Woman aspect, the one who is completely at peace, who knows that Elizabeth finished everything she came here to do, that she is at peace, that she was always aware on some level that she wouldn’t be alive very long and was prepared for death at 22; that she is communicating with us, teaching me, even more present and available to me now than she was in life.

I am so grateful for both of these selves.  When I am fully in one, there is a witness self who can remember that there is more than the perspective I hold in the moment.  I can see that if I didn’t have the ability to access, or simply remember, the Wise Woman, I could be in hell when the Mother is present, at least when she is deep in the grief process, but with the awareness that there is another one present, I know that whatever I’m in is not forever, and that makes all the difference. Even when the Wise Woman is fully present, I am grateful for the Mother aspect bearing witness, as she is the one who connects with Elizabeth as she was in body, who remembers her love, her attitude, her intelligence, and allows for the personal aspects to remain.

Sometimes I can move between the two in a matter of moments, as when I was working with a client the other day, and the Wise Woman self was present, working from a loving, heart-centered place, listening, and not involved in my own story.  When my client asked about Elizabeth though, having seen a photo, or read about her, I moved into the personal Mother aspect, talking about her, allowing the tears to come, and then shifting back to the transpersonal. Since Elizabeth’s birthday on January 12, I am more often in that place of the personal, with tears close to the surface much of the time. I just received a text from someone whose young brother in law is in coma, and she was offering her sympathies about Elizabeth, and that made me burst into tears…and then pause, center, shift, and I’m back in this place of peace and gratitude.

I am so grateful for the years of practice of heart-centering. I know that has made an immense difference. That from the heart center, I don’t get pulled back and forth, that the heart-center can hold all the aspects of myself, all the archetypes who are present.  I am blessed to have wise and wonderful friends who listen and guide me. I am grateful to have time and space to explore these places, to go deep into the Mother self, allowing the grief to move through, and to have access to the Wise Woman archetype/self, finding the gifts and the gems within this process, knowing that there is more to come, knowing from experience that  the heart-opening pain brings immense joy and gifts beyond our imagination.

Elizabeth Blue’s 23rd Birthday

is tomorrow. Saturday. January 12, 2013.

She left a lasting legacy of beauty.

And love. So much love.

I know her birthday will not always be so completely intertwined with sadness and longing, but I imagine it may always be bittersweet. Sweet with the gift of knowing her for 22 years, hearing her laugh, seeing her beauty, feeling her love. And yet missing her tangible, bodily presence.

I am gathering with my mother, sister, brother and close friend/godmother of Elizabeth for these days preceding and bringing us to Elizabeth’s birthday. I knew in my head and my heart that this would be, and is, one of these heart-breaking-open times, her first birthday without her here to celebrate in person. But we are finding ways to celebrate and honor her.

We’ve been planning our tattoos, my sister creating a heart, with 2 Es woven into it, just as she is woven into our hearts. Preparing a tattooing ritual in her honor, in sacred circle, with food, flowers, candles… We each celebrate and mourn in our unique ways, some quietly, some alone, some with beloved community, some unaware of what we do until much later – all potent and important, all seen and acknowledged by Elizabeth herself.  I know she is close by, I feel her presence today as I buy flowers for her, eat some of her favorite foods, walk in the Berkeley Hills with my mother, awed by the extraordinary beauty of this place, and taking Elizabeth with me, everywhere I go.

Happy birthday my beloved daughter. I trust that you are walking in beauty, surrounded by beauty, and feeling a radiance of love from all of us who knew you.

Elizabeth Blue and Lucia Maya

Elizabeth Blue and Lucia Maya, 2010