When you know there is something lingering in your mind…in your heart…do you listen more closely? Even if it isn’t clear yet, will you start jotting down notes? Will you email others you know are being called into this project (of sorts!) that doesn’t even have a name? Do I trust what may be called intuition and I call Spirit? My son Scott in Spirit to be specific. I listen. He is insistent. I must listen. This was important. His words flowed with the steps needed to move forward.
This beloved project began over a year ago. There were ups and downs, changes, and shifts. Through many conversations with those needing to be part of it, we knew we wanted others to join us with a bigger conversation. It would be monthly gatherings on Zoom.
Participants and guests would share life experiences, fears, anger, solutions, insights, and yes, the beautiful and unlikely growth, healing, and gifts gained through life changing trauma. It might be through the deaths of our loved ones, accidents, diagnoses, or any of the countless ways we are literally broken open.
And then, we could never have imagined a pandemic or isolating ourselves from family, friends, and others. Life just shifted us…again! What evolves through all this?
Now we are living within a world none of us have ever experienced. We have less control, perhaps more fear, feelings that may bring back or heighten the grief we are or have already experienced. But then…as individuals and as a collective can we allow ourselves self compassion and love, knowing we can and must do this together?
Most of us have felt very lonely in our grief, until we found others out of need or desperation, who like us, were suffering. Have you benefitted by the sharing, been comforted by those who have gone through incredible challenges as well, needing inspiration, support, hindsight, spiritual connections, and more?
Please join us for Shifts Happen ~ Lighting the Way. Together we will see, hear and feel determination and tiny glimmers of hope grow into deeper awareness, letting go, light bulb moments, transformation…
Sara Ruble and Diane Laflamme Romagnoli
Who am I now? Who was I…and how did I get here?
Our stories bring us together, even though they are different. I’ve learned there are enough similarities to show us we needed to come together…to see more, to grow, to shift.
I am Scott’s mom. This one child fills my life with joy and depth. He is my only child and my heart has always been immersed in the deepest love for him. A love that to this day can span time and unlimited miles into the beyond.
As can happen, without any warning, Scott suddenly left his human body on May 20, 1994. He was gone. Or so I thought…until the day after his funeral when I found a poem in a most unexpected place that read, “…it won’t be long until that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that bound you together and soar as it was meant to soar ~ Free and Alone” .
I knew nothing about “signs”, but I knew these words were from Scott! No doubt. None. They took my breath away. It was a lifeline to wherever he was. From that moment until now, Scott and I have nurtured a beautiful new relationship. I could not have been prepared for the trauma of “death”. The pain and agony, the unknowns, the confusion, the unexpected coupled with immense love…as I struggled for balance. I battled the force of grief not knowing what I was creating. It was exhausting not being able to grasp the depth of such a life changing experience.
I made the choice to surrender to the reality of Scott’s death. Why? Because I was seeing depth and meaning in this human experience beyond anything I could have dreamed of. There was a tremendous shift in my thinking and my life. Clearly, I was not giving up!
Life and Death…the beginning and the ending I thought…have changed dramatically in my new knowing. New words, greater awareness, courage, bigger picture, soul plans, trusting the journey, and the many, many shifts that have occurred with or without my permission. I have gratefully and openly accepted that my then nineteen year old child has taken me on a spiritual journey with him…to create the powerful movement of my life from that day in May, 1994 to today and beyond. Together we collaborated to create our blogs “Death Teaches” and “Spirit Teaches”, both filled with inspiration, hope and the power of love.
We cannot always see the path ahead. We cannot plan for it…but I have learned it IS there, bringing incredible shifts as we work toward understanding, healing, letting go, facing the ups and downs, by embracing our story rather than fighting it. I know there is no linear path within this journey. But we do move forward…as we intentionally Live Forward.
We are courageous souls as we carry hope in our back pocket, as we trust this journey, as we show up, sharing our stories, and know this life has incredible meaning. I know for certain life will not let us stand still. Shifts Happen. It’s growth. Look for it. Expand. Release. It is freeing ~ Mind, Body, Heart, Spirit, Soul. xoxo
"Who are you now?”, a question Sara posed in March of this year when I was muddling in a state of confusion about body, mind soul, spirit at the beginning of my fourth year of missing Matty. The mourning and grieving had left me feeling rather confused and scrambled yet aware and holding the pieces of the “who I am” of old, unsure of and not ready to release the “who I am now”. Until I unscrambled and found a way to integrate the pieces back into my life, I would be unable to fully answer the question.
Now, five years after the passing of my youngest son in January 2015, I can truthfully say that I am a work-in-progress. Sounds unfinished yet it represents living forward—leaving room for growth through life’s challenges. I’m OK with that. I have recently discovered the bookends to my journey, two major factors needing emotional and spiritual work in understanding and processing—needed for the continuation of healing. I had not dealt with the aftereffects of a traumatic loss and how they affected my mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. The soul journey was my other missing piece. I am now stepping onto this path.
To the beginning . . . three weeks after Matty’s physical passing, as I tried to relieve the physical pain held in my heart, I began writing letters to him, giving my love for my son another form of expression. I was surprised when a notification filled my screen asking if I would like to save the letter as a blog. “No”, was my response. I didn’t have a clue about blogs and had never seen this question raised prior. Apparently this was not the answer spirit was looking for and in turn, this was the beginning of a set of synchronicities leading to the creation of a blog called “Voice of Grief”, chronicling my journey. Matty sent inspired words via thoughts and keyboard, teaching and guiding me through the heaviest of grief. He imprinted a knowing onto my heart that it simply would not be enough to write my story, his story, our story; Grief also has a story to tell. We began our soul-planned mission to shine a light on the other side of grief. Grief speaks in a language that is more than words. Understanding grief is to find a way to deliver thoughts to an open heart where experience is felt creating a shift, a spark illuminating healing. When we give grief our all, she gives it all back to us—in integration, wholeness and a reentry into life living forward.
Who am I, where am I now? The answer begins to unfurl in Matty’s guidance and Teilhard de Chardin’s words:
“Your soul wants you to be the very best human you can possibly be”, advises my son.
I am spirit having a human experience—humanspirit. I am human experiencing spirit. Soul remembering, spirit awakening. Source and soul/spirit reunited—Spirithuman. I am an Experiencer of contrasts, learning through constriction and expansion as awareness touches consciousness. I am transforming through a soul journey, opening to Oneing, Divine Love, Eternal Connection. I am an alchemist discovering the gifts in loss, on a quest to turn doubt into trust, fear into Love and illuminate darkness with peace and wisdom— “trusting the journey” and “loving the not-yet”.
There is an invisible thread that tethers one heart to another. When hands can no longer be held, when hugs remain a memory, that invisible thread attaches soul to spirit and an eternal bond is created. I am a Mother, living in the present, in a continued relationship with my child in spirit, guided by self-awareness, awakening of consciousness, contemplation, introspection, hindsight and sharing. The guide-map flows naturally through openness of heart and trust. It delivers me to paths of questioning, experiencing, knowing, belief, integration, Wholeness, Wisdom, Love and Peace.
This has been my guide . . . how will you discover yours?