As we pack up our house on Lancey Street in preparation for our move to Moosehead Lake, I am finding all kinds of things in boxes as we sift and sort. I came across this Mother’s Day card from my Riley a couple weeks ago. Joy and Grief immediately began to battle it out. JOY whispering compassionately that there was such tenderness in Riley’s heart and that I need to remember his sweetness. GRIEF flauntingly reminding me that I will never again receive a Mother’s Day card from Ry, or a card of any kind, let alone a hug or see his smile beyond those which reside in memory and in pictures. GRIEF – the coward – rarely travels alone, often brings REMORSE as his preferred companion. The message in this card particularly poignant, and foreshadowing as much of his life was.
Everything is still very raw. I keep telling myself it hasn’t even been two years. I hope that someday when I find treasures like this, that my mind gently embraces the gift. There was such tenderness in his heart. I miss him every day.
Our son Riley would be 23 years old today. There are no words to describe the emotions we collectively, and individually, feel from moment to moment, let alone on milestone days like today. Immense gratitude to our Aunt for creating this video montage for Riley’s birthday. We love and miss you so much Riley. You are forever loved. Always remembered. Riley Dai Callin 1997-2019
This excerpt video of Twinkle’s Anam Ċara & the Divine Echo sermon was delivered at Starr King UU Fellowship last year on October 6th, 2019 just two weeks after Twinkle’s son died tragically. The sentiment of this sermon is timeless and relevant to this moment when so many are experiencing deep grief.
“For some believe it is the hard times that make us stronger….I don’t believe that so much… I believe it is the good we are wrapped up in while facing hard times that help us carry our broken pieces: The love of our family, our friends, our community, these are what make us stronger, keep us whole when our hearts are shattered, keep us moving forward. This good is the beloved community we all seek to belong to.“
They sat with me for hours in this spot. Sometimes talking. Much of the time just being still, gazing at Autumn’s tranquil beauty and listening to the sounds of the Lake.
For some this may look like healing.
I know with experienced certainty it is not.
This, this is the perpetual triage of raw grief.
Keep the body still.
Regulate the breath.
Quiet the mind.
Assess the wound.
Allow tears, laughter or lethargy to come.
Keep in check the anger.
When there is energy, do something useful, purposeful.
Ardently cradle the sorrow when it assails.
We are each processing Riley’s death in ways we can. Thank you to everyone who has brought us meals, and sent us cards, and held me in your arms or with your spirit. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. You are a blessing to us, to me. Thank you.
Our schedule for 2020 has been updated and will continue to include additions for Twinkle’s Pulpit Supply and local retreats. Twinkle will be hosting a retreat in New Smyrna Beach Autumn 2020 in addition to her Moosehead Lake Retreats in Maine. While Twinkle is in a time of needed self-care and deep contemplation after the loss of her son, she is making herself available to our community in ways she feels best to serve. Grief is a tender process. She has only just begun. Yet it is a process that takes place within the ever-flowing rhythms of life and living. As Twinkle says, “May we continue to be blessings to each other.”
UPDATE AUTUMN 2020:
Due to the tragic death in our family, many of our 2019 Autumn-time events have been cancelled or postponed, including retreats in Pittsfield and on Moosehead Lake. If you were registered for an event, please see your inbox for details or message us. The monthly women’s book group at Twinkle’s Place will resume in December. Weekly silent meditations and Hygge teas will begin in November.
Events and speaking engagements that will remain as scheduled include:
Pulpit supply of previously scheduled Sunday mornings (see calendar for dates and times);
Maine Municipal Association presentation on October 3rd;
Orion’s Hallowe’en Party, Día de los Muertos crafts and storytelling, and our annual Samhain Ritual.