Allowing the Process

I’m grateful for a good cleansing cry…

I’ve come to realize that losing your health is a real loss, and it’s normal and okay that we will go through a grieving process with this loss, just as we would with any other loss.  We will go through the steps of denial, anger and sorrow before we can come to a point of acceptance and eventually be able to move forward with our lives in a new way.  Everyone is going to go through these steps at different rates, and we may even go in and out of them for a while.  So I think it’s important to recognize that and allow ourselves to go through the process, knowing that some day we will come to accept and move forward.

The other day as I was watching my kids swim, a butterfly came to visit me. It flew around me for a while before it went on its way. I love butterflies! They are so graceful and beautiful, and I welcomed my new friend being so near me. It is said that when a butterfly is flying near you, there is a deep symbolic meaning of a change about to take place in your life. This is a personal transformation that you are about to undergo, emerging into a new life of awareness and improvement. When I saw the butterfly the other day, I was feeling very sad. I have been experiencing a little set back in my health recently, and my emotions were coming to the surface. But as usual, I was holding them back.

For years I didn’t cry at all. I think that somewhere inside of me I believed that in order to push through the fatigue and pain that I always experienced, I had to be tough, which meant no crying. Not a healthy thing! It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally realized what I had been doing, and I started to give myself permission to cry. Even after that, it took quite a while before I was able to start letting my emotions come to the surface. I’ve been working on this and have been allowing the tears to flow more easily. However, this has still been in a controlled environment; removing myself to solitude where I can cry openly on my own. Improvement. Progress. Still, not enough. I continue to suppress and keep too much inside.

Until last night. The flood gates came open as I opened my heart to my husband about some deep emotional feelings I was having, and the waters started flowing. This was a good, hard cry, with sobs and shaking that lasted until they stopped on their own. In the 21 years that we’ve been married, my husband has never seen me cry like this.  In fact, I’ve hardly even cried like that at all, even alone. And it felt so good! It was very cleansing. And after the gates were closed and I realized how much better I felt, I also realized that I have some more emotional healing to do. Chronic illness takes its toll on you emotionally as well as physically. I thought that I had gone through the grieving process with this and that I was at the point past acceptance and moving forward. But I’ve come to understand better now, that this process happens at different levels, over and over again, taking us to new plains along the way. My butterfly friend was trying to remind me of this. I’ve made a lot of progress on my healing journey, but there’s a new level of change waiting for me. And now I get to spread my wings and start to learn how to fly!


“Metamorphosis: In this extraordinary photographic montage, Christina White traces the evolution of the Monarch butterfly from eggs to caterpillar to chysalis to the lovely, winged creature that graces our gardens. She painstakingly recorded this transition over several months and stitched the individual images together to form this picture. Christina is the Bermuda Sun’s Creative Director. *Photo by Christina White.”