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– John Bradshaw

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Death and Recovery

This is the birthday of someone I love very much. She died 10 years ago. She was the matron of honor in my wedding, my daughter's godmother and at one time, my mentor and employer.  She loved me too. 

We also had conflict and power struggles. The closeness of our connection scared both of us and we had wounds from our relationships with our mothers that seemed to surface in our friendship. At times it was more painful than joyful. I'm grateful we both had awareness and a commitment to personal growth. We talked about our difficulties often and we were able to grow together.

She died rather suddenly. At the time of her death, we hadn't had much contact. I believe that she became addicted to pain killers and was unwilling to keep herself in recovery, doing the grief and trauma transformation work that keeps us healthful and dis-ease free. While I grieved her death, I knew that there was nothing I could have done to help her. At that stage of her dis-ease, she was choosing the addiction and not willing to ask for help. I recognized the symptoms of addiction and stopped allowing her to drive with my daughter in the car since her behavior had become sporadic and unpredictable, just like the dis-ease of addiction does. 

Today I honor her for who she was and who she wasn't. The gifts of her mentoring and mirroring of me has been invaluable. We both did the best that we could and accepted the consequences of those choices, even when they are inevitable...death. I certainly wish she had chosen to keep herself in 12 step recovery, doing the family of origin grief work that probably would have kept her alive, not having to medicate her pain. But she chose as she did.  And today, I can love and accept her as she was. Her spirit of generosity is with me and in many ways our relationships has deepened and continued.

The seasons of birth and death are part of life. I am grateful to have recovery and community that keeps me both grounded and spiritually connected. 

Blessings and love, 



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