Today marks the four year anniversary of my son Cameron’s death. Just a month ago, he would have turned 30. As each of these four anniversaries has passed, I’ve been struck by how different each has been. They’ve been different because I’ve been different.
On that first anniversary, I was still coming to terms with the new state of our relationship. I was still carrying a lot of sadness and guilt around the loss. I felt that I’d been getting messages from him—through music on the radio, through my journaling, and through signs in the natural world—but I wasn’t sure I could believe it was true. On May 3rd that year, I released a white balloon with a message to Cameron that I would try to let go of a little more pain and to reclaim a little more joy. Shortly after that anniversary, a powerful meeting with a psychic medium (jamieclark.net) convinced me that Cameron was, indeed, still around and still talking to me all the time.
By the second anniversary, I’d progressed from an empty longing to a certainty that Cameron and I were still bound by love and that we could still heal whatever needed healing between us. I’d done some powerful regression work in the past year and discovered that everything I saw as “broken” in him was really something that needed healing in me. I looked back on the past two years and saw that I’d come a long, long way.
After three years, I’d incorporated body work into my healing journey and released significant fear and trauma at the cellular level of my being. I’d cleared a lot of karma with Cameron and vowed that, should we be together again, it would be without all the baggage. I’d also made an amazing trip to Egypt during that year and rediscovered the truth of my being. It was an awakening in which I remembered that love is the only power. That experience allowed me to release my attachment to fear and worry.
During this past year, I have become a grandmother for the first time, and I’ve recognized once again the beauty and perfection of the cycles of life. I spent much of the past year writing The Deep Water Leaf Society, a chronicle of my healing journey. The writing of the book clarified for me the tremendous gift that the loss of Cameron carried within it. I know now that without having experienced this loss I would not be who I am today. I would very likely still be mired in drama and dysfunction, constantly worried about what might happen next.
Today, I am in the midst of self-publishing the book. Even though the release date is still a few months out, I feel like it is a kind of anniversary present to Cameron and to myself. So, in honor of Cameron and in honor of this anniversary, I’m releasing a small sneak peek from the preface and first chapter of the book here on the blog.
From the preface…
My purpose in sharing this story is to show you how grief can become the doorway to awakening. The breaking of your heart can, ultimately, lead you to greater wholeness. The Universe is constantly communicating with us and drawing us forward into better and truer expressions of ourselves. Sometimes it takes the shattering of our known way of being to open our eyes and ears to these messages of hope, healing and growth.
Imagine a leaf floating gracefully down to kiss the surface of a deep still pool, creating gentle ripples that radiate outward. The leaf may appear to be small and alone as it drifts along. But, in truth, it is supported by the vast body of water beneath it. Our lives are a little bit like that leaf. We skim the surface and are tossed about by life’s currents. We rarely take the time to look deeper. We begin to imagine the flat plain of that surface existence is all there is, when all the while we are resting upon a deep well of mystery, magic and eternity. As long as we’re living the life of a Surface Leaf, we may never tap into our deeper Truth unless something comes along and shatters the surface, pulling us down into a deeper reality. That is the initiation of the Deep Water Leaf.
And from the first chapter…
Since childhood, dreams have filled and shaped my life. Sometimes the dreamspace feels more real than waking life and often waking life feels like a dream. Or a nightmare. Where does dreaming leave off and waking begin? What does it mean to wake up, really? How often do we sleepwalk our way through life, missing the extraordinary meaning enfolded in each ordinary moment? It may be that we are more truly awake when we can sense, during our waking hours, the creative magic of the dreamspace all around us.
This is a story about dreaming and about waking up. It is a story about how thin the veil really is between waking and dreaming, between living and dying, between loving and everything else that only masquerades as love. It is a story about letting go and the fullness that comes from doing so.
This is the story of losing my son and finding myself. It begins with a dream. . .
My four-month-old baby has died. I am filled with grief, utterly devastated.
At the funeral, I come to a decision. I will create the “Deep Water Leaf Society” so that others won’t have to go through this same grief. For some reason, that comforts me.
Later, there is something to do with the number seven, and I wake wondering if numbers equal people in my dreams. Seven equals my sister because she was born in July.
At the time, I had little idea what the dream might be telling me. I only knew that it shook me to my core and left me profoundly sad and profoundly hopeful all at once.
The name, Deep Water Leaf Society, was quite clear in the dream. It puzzled me; it was such an odd phrase. What kind of a club would that be? How could creating it help me to feel better? Why had the number seven come up? And why had I assumed that numbers were people?
After recording the dream in my journal, I reread it and noted that if seven represented my sister, maybe the four-month-old baby represented my eldest son, Cameron (no longer a baby, but a young man of 19) since he was born in April. It gave me an uneasy feeling. Was I destined to lose him?
As it would turn out, the number seven was both the clue to the identity of the four-month-old and the timeframe in which the dream story would play out in my waking life.
As always, I welcome your comments, here on the blog or via email. Please visit my website, http://www.deepwaterleafsociety.com/ often and watch for news on the release of the book.
Wishing you peace on the journey…
4 thoughts on “Four Years Today”
What you said about tragedy taking us from what we know to allow us to learn resonated with me. If you’d asked me before my sweetie died where I stood spiritually, I would’ve told you I was a mystic atheist. I didn’t believe in god, didn’t believe in an afterlife, but as the years wore on, had had some experiences I could not account for, nor could I deny their reality, their truth. So I suppose I was a closet agnostic. When A died, and I sought answers to the big “WHY?” my sense of the spiritual took a staggering quantum leap. Not faith, but reason to believe. And I wondered if I could only see it now because everything else I thought I understood was gone. It was a high price to pay, and I’d just as soon not have done so. But the thought that has come back to me time and again is that perhaps I could not be filled until I was empty.
P.S. Hugs and love to you on this milestone. I hope to be as strong and at peace as you are when my 4th rolls around. I know Cameron is proud of you, and with you.
Beautifully said, tglb! “I could not be filled until I was empty.”
It seems to me that as long as we are completely comfortable with our “givens” there can be no room for radically new ideas.
I, too, have felt that the price of this awakening was too high. And yet I am so certain that Cameron is on to bigger and better things that I’ve come to peace with it. It has likely been an even greater awakening for him than it was for me! And, I know we’ll be together again…
I am so sorry for your loss.I know your pain.I too lost my beautiful Child.Come join us at http://www.mychildlossgrief.org and then join our loss forum.We are sister’s and brothers in grief.
Peace and light
May 16, 2008 9:38 AM