Thursday, November 5, 2009

Closing the Fear Chapter With my Father

Today, was my first day attending the 'Providing End-of-Life Care' workshop, at Zen Hospice. The focus was on our personal experience of death and grief. Lots of powerful exercises to help us access our subterranean emotions. As I remembered my father out loud in the group, I became once more aware, of grief as a river that never stops flowing. It does not take much for the raw feelings to come back, in this case a mixed bag of love, and sadness, and compassion.

Calling upon my father's memory also helped me patch some of the holes in my story, particularly around fear, and anger, and my relationship to conflict. These are some of the words that I shared, and that made me realize why it is sometimes good to revisit old wounds: I recognize the limits of our love, of your love, of my love. And I understand. I carry you in my heart, every day, whether I want it or not. The bad and the good. My father was angry a lot of the times, and I was raised in a permanent fear of his next outburst. Still am. Only this time, it is the fear of conflict with other people in my life.

As I read the words, I felt something shift inside. The closing of the fear chapter with my father. At least for now.


  1. Wonderful blog and teets....My father has dementia and has been/is angry much of the time. I practice Soto Zen and it helps me endure. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thank you! I am glad you have your practice to support you. I know, we Buddhists, are supposed to see the difficult people in our lives, as teachers. Still, that can only go so far in lessening the emotional hardship. My heart goes out to you. Deep bow.

    PS- I assume you meant tweets . . . :)