After reading a blog post written by my dear sister, Kira Moore, I was moved to write this little piece about the importance of both mourning and celebrating that which has passed. I hope it doesn’t seem like rambling to get to the point.
What was brought to mind was a movie I viewed last summer when I was in recovery and rehabilitation for a full hip replacement. That movie was The Queen, starring Helen Mirren in the role of Queen Elizabeth II, which was centered around the time immediately following the tragic death of Princess Diana.
The Queen wanted to grieve privately and felt it was not the nation’s business to be a part of her grief, that is, until the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, could convince her that her grief was also the nation’s grief as well and that to keep it private and not share it with the nation to grieve and mourn the lost of a woman of grace and beauty, who had touched the life of so many in her brief but well spent life, was selfish and cruel.
As I am writing this, it is hard to hold back my tears and I think that what I must do it to place a small photograph of Princess Di on my altar, a place reserved for the most meaningful of symbols that speak to both my hopes and dreams, as well as to my grief and sorrow that sometimes is not given a proper time and place in which to be embraced.
While celebrating what has passed is important, whether it be a loved one or our own past life gone forever, so is grief and mourning. Without mourning, a traumatic loss can fester in our bodies and cause irreparable harm, often in the form of cancers or mental distress, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
I am speaking this not only for my readers, I am speaking this for myself, because until this past traumatic week, I have been going through my transition into my life as a woman without embracing the loss of the the life that once was, the life of a man of 62 years. I thought I was done with my past life, because, as I have already shared in this blog, that man died on November 27, 2011 and Deanna was born, fully alive and well.
I am thinking now what I might do to find closure on a life that was filled with plenty of joyful moments and moments of grief, a life that had been filled with triumphs but a life that seems to have been unfulfilled as well, that is until last November, when Deanna finally emerged to claim her rightful place in the world.
The trauma that happened last week was a small setback in my claiming my rightful place as a woman, when several others of my gender, still uncomfortable with my rightful place in a lady’s toilet and who felt their need to express their feeling of discomfort or displeasure, for I know not which it was, by remaining anonymous and using a man to do the dirty work. I still think it was selfish and cruel on their part to deliver their message without giving me the opportunity to respond, because, I believe they assumed that I was still a man and they were afraid to face my wrath, as a man.
I know that I will eventually be able to forgive them for their ignorance and apparent lack of consideration that I might respond quite differently, whether with anger or grief or both, something I must do so I can move on, just as the queen realized that the nation’s closure for the Lady Di was important to allow the nation to move on with its life. I have learned that in my own life, that I can no longer win unless everybody wins, which it seems I was to be denied in this instance.
That is the lesson I think I will eventually be able to share with those whose own grief of their past may still be festering inside, that often shows up in violence of which I felt a victim. As I said in my last post, we must embrace both the beauty and the ugliness, for one cannot exist without the other in this world of duality that we have been born into. This duality needs no longer to be seen as a curse, as many of spiritual pursuit seem to emphasize, but as a blessing we have been given for having the courage to choose this duality and then forgetting that we did.
Live Long and Prosper!*
*A footnote: While many of you are familiar with the Vulcan greeting “Live Long and Prosper” made popular in the TV series Star Trek as well as in the movies and spin-offs that followed, many more of non-Jewish heritage probably don’t the full greeting was first “Live Long and Prosper” and the response was “Peace and long life” and sometime even the other way around, as Vulcan father and son shared in one of the movies. Many now know that Leonard Nimoy was of Jewish heritage and that the hand sign he used as Vulcan was actually based on a priestly blessing in temple or synagogue to represent the Jewish letter ש, pronounced “shin”, and the greeting was based on the Jewish and Muslim greetings of “Shalom Aleichem” to be responded to with “Aleichem Shalom.”