woman and man in chair

As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me throughout the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For February 2024 my quote was: “Listen closely to the silence. It’s the sound of everything working out.”  

February was complex. It was the first month after my father’s death. I was on the phone a lot saying, “I’m calling on behalf of my father who died.” His birthday was this month. It was the first month mom did not have her Valentine in 59 years of marriage. It was heart health month and mom is a 5-bypass survivor. Every emotion was present. I worked to compartmentalize them so I could work, address our “to do list,” and play as life goes on – but alas they were there. Lurking. Pouncing. At times immediate and at others, a rising tide or shadow. Throughout the month here are the quotes, lyrics, and phrases that that caught my attention:

  • The joy of living is still available to us
  • Rest is a sense of “possibilitivity”
  • You have to continue to show up
  • Let me keep company always with those who say “look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads
  • While we are trying to make sense of things, many we learn to make peace with things
  • We share this human experience of love and loss
  • You are not your worries
  • We cannot shame ourselves into change – we can only love ourselves into evolution
  • Grieve peacefully
  • See what shimmers amid the darkness, what endures within their dust
  • I hope I see you in my dreams tonight; Healthy, happy – and content in your new world
  • That will scorch us with its joy
  • Be with the mind as it is, and practice anyway
  • Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
  • Sometimes, I see the moon in the middle of the day and know I am held by something so much larger than myself
  • The sacred work of grieving
  • I am
  • Sit here while I pray
  • The whispers were coming
  • To live these moments only you will live, and say thank you that you are the one they were offered to

This month was reflective, prayer-filled, and joyful… and along the way, I realized:

… grief is proportionate to love, and I am grateful for the massive love my father gave me my entire life.

… you cannot comprehend grief until you have it, and those who share their knowledge or simply sit with you in the emotional overload and unknown are superheroes

… life is about community, and I – and my family – have an incredible one with life-long friends, college roommates, church members, volunteer buddies, neighbors, and angels placed on our path for a point in time

… “doing” is a wonderful, needed distraction, and “being” fully present, still, feeling, and reflecting is essential.

… laughter that builds from a giggle to tears is a magic elixir for anything

… grief is not about stopping but rather starting—an opportunity to seek, try, learn, and discover “next”

… pain is crushing alone, especially in the darkness of night, and 1am texts from a beloved night owl lights a path out of the loneliness

… there is no heavier weight to carry than your loved ones’ remains; it’s overpowering

… the mention of death really freaks a lot of people out – you can feel the awkwardness – and yet it is such a connectional experience we will all have

… art offers an emotional haven where the mind is still

… to never underestimate the comfort of a homemade casserole or soup, a strong bourbon, or a scoop of ice cream

… music in an on/off switch for emotions, especially church hymns

… nature knows and we need to visit it regularly

… prayer, ahhh prayer

Finally, I realized that the glimmer in my dad’s eye that so many commented on after his passing; his big smile and quick laugh; and his totally presence with all he encountered were due to his connection to death as a pastor. He knew our life is a God-given gift. A precious one filled with so many amazing people, sites, and experiences. He soaked up, celebrated, and praised them all. And this is what guides my grief and I carry forward.

February 2024 Quote: Listen Closely to the Silence

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One thought on “February 2024 Quote: Listen Closely to the Silence

  1. Beautiful reminders to soak up all we’re given. I pray for you and your family. I pray for your peace and that others learn from your journey. I love you ❤️

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