September 8, 2004

// December 3rd, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I went in for another massage today. I expected to be as out-of-it as I was last time but this was better. The meditation seems to help me focus on my future, keep me moving forward.

We chatted as she worked on my back. When she found a particularly painful spot she said it was good that everything was so near the surface. With her finger she drew a short line between my right shoulder blade and spine saying, “This is the gateway to guilt and grief.” I was stunned by her accuracy.

I have been holding in so much guilt in the form of “should haves”. As I lay there trying to let go of the guilty feelings I couldn’t. I asked why and she told me “It’s like being afraid of success. Afraid of the unknown. If you let it go, what will be there in its place?”
This has helped and I’ve changed my mantra ~ “With courage and grace I step boldly into my future for I am a woman of strength. I release the need to hold on to pain and grief for I know your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord.”

I know that neither Steve nor God want this for me, to carry such a burden of sorrow. I can serve God better without this load.

I know now, too, why I’ve been having so many physical symptoms lately (panic attacks, back pain, food cravings). My body is trying to find its new balance, asking me- ~ are you sure you want to let this go? Yes, body…I’m sure. But we’ll take as much time as we need. We won’t move too fast. We’ll be fine.

And it’s OK to let go of the guilt. There was nothing I could do to keep Steve here, even though my heart tells me I was his mom. I was supposed to make everything all better. But I couldn’t make this better. I couldn’t kiss this away.

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