Sojourning With Grief-Setting Off on the Path

Portland International Airport. The journey begins. Photo courtesy of David Bardes. https://dbardes.zenfolio.com/

Portland International Airport. The journey begins. Photo courtesy of David Bardes. https://dbardes.zenfolio.com/

Setting of with Whimsy as a Companion

The sojourn has officially begun…sweetly and with whimsy. And with yet a reminder to let go and hold things loosely. When I did my 24 hour pre-check in, my flight no longer existed! Calls to Alaska Airline (I was using miles and going through one of their partners-Icelandic Air) had them searching for answers. I must say I had the BEST customer service, but no answers, and only an old confirmation number and phone numbers to call. All roads finally led to Delta Airlines, where my flight had been rerouted to Amsterdam. Pre-check-in was not available and I would be leaving two and a half hours earlier, but other than that, no major issues. I would just have to check in the old fashioned way: at the airport counter. I did think, “Hmm, I wonder about my seating. I guess I’ll be in the back, probably a middle seat. Well, maybe I’ll be helping a young mother with her kiddos.” Well, my guardians were way ahead of me. When I checked, I was in FIRST CLASS. Yup. I’m still smiling as I type this in the Delta Sky Lounge. A sweet start to my nine weeks away.

Ritual as a way to Honor Departure

Ritual is important to me. I have experienced others creating ritual in their life around important milestones. This sojourn is a milestone event in my life. Several weeks ago I felt called to invite a small circle of wise friends to bless me before my departure. We gathered at my home to nosh. Then each of them in their own unique way offered me a blessing for my journey. Though rarely at a loss for written words, I find it difficult to share what unfolded in the liminal time we spent together. I can say I was held and loved at a level I have not felt since I was in the womb or held by my parents. My sleep was deep and peaceful that night.

One final ritual I performed last night with my sweetheart was to “undo” my meditation area. I offered gratitude for each item that had been added to the table over time. Some items are coming with me. Others have been placed back around my home. To see my coffee table restored to a “coffee table” felt like a goodbye to a season. I wept.

Sojourning with Grief-The Next Season

And now I am stepping into a the next season of this sojourn. Practicing letting go of the longer, “perfected” blogs I usually write. My flight will board soon. Thank you for coming along on this “Sojourn with Grief.” May you be as curious about what will unfold as I am.


Blessing Written by a Friend for my Journey

May you let go of the map and wander

following the sunlight on your face 

the hospitality of strangers

May you trust your inner knowing

and let go of language…swimming out from the side of the pool

and into deep and delicious waters

trusting what you see in a face, what you feel from the land

Let your ancestors find you, talking to you in your sleep 

or meeting you

at bus stops, in new bodies

let their stories inhabit you without obliterating your own

beautiful one unfolding now

flower like and old

as stone

My Sojourn With Grief meditation table. It grew over time. This was close to the end of my time at home and close to leaving for Scotland, my first stop.

My Sojourn With Grief meditation table. It grew over time. This was close to the end of my time at home and close to leaving for Scotland, my first stop.