Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Callanish Healing Retreat......

I have just finished a week at the Callanish Retreat and am completely blown away.  I had no idea what to expect when I came here, I just knew that I had a lot of pain, grief, anger, disappointment and fear residing within me and wanted to find a way through that.

Being here has allowed me to explore everything in a safe and loving environment.  It has helped me come to terms with the loss of my mother and my brother and the possibility that I may not live as long a life as I may have wished.  I have shed more tears here than I ever thought possible, but as I did, the layers of pain and disappointment fell away.  Sometimes, they fell away only to reveal a deeper hidden fear that I was not aware of, and sometimes they fell away leaving me feeling stronger and more optimistic.

I miss my mother and brother terribly, but I'm starting to accept that they have moved on to another realm.  I spent a lot of time trying to be with my brother at his moment of death because I feel so sorry that I could not help him then and that he was so alone.  I wanted to go back as a little angel and be with him and tell him that everything was going to be okay, and to stop his pain, his sadness, his sorrow and his fear.  I wanted to tell him that I loved him and that I was sorry that I was so nasty to him when I was a little girl.  I wanted to hold his heart and his little hand and guide him to the other side with love and caring.  I think working with everyone here helped me to do that and to accept that he has gone but that he is still with me in my heart.

Working through mummy's death was very hard for me.  I still struggle with her being gone and keep wanting to share my days with her.  I am so sad that she could not live a longer life with us and laugh and love some more.  I thought a lot about the nights I would spend with her when I was working on the coast, about sitting up until 10:00 PM watching HGTV and then waking her up at 6:00 by tickling her foot under her quilt.  I understand that it was her time and am glad that she went in peace and I'm slowly coming to feel a sense of peace and acceptance around it myself.  I may not be able to speak with her directly again, but I am beginning to have daily conversations with her like I did when she was alive and that helps me feel connected to her.

Facing the fact that I have cancer and may die sooner than I would like was relatively easy until I thought about my children.  Then this incredible anger surfaced.  I cannot possible abandon these two lovely beings who I brought into this world, I absolutely refuse to do that, not until they are ready to be on their own in life.  I have faced my own death and am okay with that, but I'm NOT okay with that happening anytime in the next ten years.  So I have my work cut out for me.  I will fight this disease every step of the way and with everything I have to get rid of it and to stop it from coming back.  I will raise my children into loving, happy, responsible adults no matter what it takes.  When my time comes, I'm ready for it, I am no longer afraid of what lies on the other side, I have just put my foot down and will not allow it to come to me while my children still need me.

So, although I was only on retreat for a week, I feel I have come a very long way.  I spent a week being cared for by a group of Angels who devote their lives to bringing peace, understanding and acceptance to those who are suffering from cancer.   They fed my heart with love, fed my mind with ideas and information around living for all that is possible, and they fed my body with the most delicious food I have ever tasted.

The biggest blessing I have come away with is to have bonded with a loving community of individuals who are walking a similar path and for whom I now feel such love and compassion.  We are all here for each other and understand without judgement how profoundly a diagnosis of cancer affects our lives.  These are the people who I can turn to during those dark days and I also know that I will be here for them to help pick them up when life becomes too much.  We each have our families and support people outside of this group, and without them we would be lost, however there is nothing quite like connecting with someone who is experiencing or has experienced the same pain, anxiety and fear.

Life is insanely unfair and unpredictable, however in all of that unpredictability it somehow manages to bring us joy, love and fulfillment.  My time at the Callanish Retreat brought me all of that and more and I am truly grateful for the experience.

My wish to you is that today will bring you joy.

with love,


Patricia Stoop said...

Michelle suggested I may add something. I will say her post is beautifully written and i really resonate with it despite our different stories. My thoughts have come a bit poem-like Michelle. Here goes....

We arrived
We moved slowly
We spoke honestly
We waited oh so patiently for the stories to complete themselves
We left judgement and criticism behind to hitchhike back down the highway
We rode the tsunamis like skilled surfers
We dove deep under the stormy, undulating ocean
We entered the underworld
We became intimate with our three headed dragon – death, fear and loss
We stayed there holding hands tightly
We mourned completely
We were soothed by the angels
We sent our intentions, swirling and playing together, to our higher power
We crawled back up to the world and placed out feet solidly on the ground
We connected with the pure and perfect natural world
We created in words and art and music and movement
We laughed
We sang
We sat in silence often
We ate
Boy did we eat
Until our tummies were almost bursting full of love.
Then we returned to the world more trusting, more accepting, more loving
We survived
We thrived

xo much love, Patricia

Michelle Pammenter Young said...

Thank you Patricia. I like how you expressed the entire week that way :-). Hope you are well.

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