Monday, May 15, 2017

An emotional stew: Love and Loss, Anger and Acceptance (Tarot Mucha)

In honour of my cousin, Michele, all the cards in this post are from the Tarot Mucha.
Michele didn't know about my interest in tarot, and probably had never heard of tarot cards, but I chose a deck that I feel she would have liked for its flowery artwork (she loved roses, especially pink ones), pretty costumes, and gentle unscary look.


On Friday, April 28, 2017, I was in New York city at my sixth Readers Studio. It was a day FULL of blessings of all kinds.
  • Hugging friends from past Readers Studios, and greeting acquaintances that might be on the way to becoming friends.
  • Meeting a new kindred spirit.
  • Imbibing 1) the wisdom of the tarot-wise all around me and 2) wine, later, at the bar.
  • Checking out the decor in this year's Readers Lounge and Meditation Room.
  • Cruising the vendors' tables: hugs from many, introductions to others.
  • Absorbing the joyful babble bubbling all 'round as participants chattered, exclaimed, greeted, embraced, shrieked. How I love that first morning's excitement and anticipation!


Also on Friday, April 28, 2017, my sweet cousin was dying, alone, and I didn't know and wasn't with her. It was 6 days before her 66th birthday. 


Michele and her family were at odds for her whole life. First she wasn't smart enough, then she was too fat, and always she was a bit different. When evidence of her schizophrenia began making itself known in her early twenties, the rejection escalated. Back then, nearly 50 years ago, we knew absolutely NOTHING about mental illness except that it was a mysterious shameful thing. Certainly not something to acknowledge existing within your own family.

Somewhere along the way, my family became Michele's allies - her defenders.

And this has caused some hard feelings, harsh judgements, and friction between us. We still function well as aunts, uncles, and cousins, but it is difficult at times. And there has been anger and frustration over the years, with each side stubbornly holding its own ground.


This is what I know.
I cannot change anything about my cousin's life, nor alter the attitudes of her family toward her. I cannot fix the manner of her death, nor turn back the clock to do or undo things I wish I'd done or not done. I can only honour her life in my own way.
By reflecting on and appreciating her kind and generous nature.    

By keeping her memory alive with my kids and grandkids. Having a tea party this summer at her gravesite, where she's resting near her beloved Mimi and Pipi. Perhaps we'll plant a rosebush - a pink one!


And so, dear Cousin, I just know that you are out there somewhere, no longer struggling with feeling outside or unwanted or unbeautiful, looking at all of us here with forgiveness and grace and, I hope, love.