As I drove to my favorite writing spot, I was wondering what I would be writing about today. I had a few ideas but as I searched a little deeper into what I was truly feeling I came upon something that had walked across my heart earlier this week. I have no idea where it came from as there was no apparent trigger. I pondered my healing journey, not so much in terms of experiences, but in the expense of it all. I am truly grateful to have had the means and resources to access the wonderful people and experiences that have helped me heal. But like a train roaring through my back yard the question came, almost screaming...."people in poverty lose children too!" I have been taken to scenarios of hurricanes, earthquakes and war-torn places- all resulting in the death of children and many of them in impoverished cultures. This only led me to a personal question, "Can healing be bought?" What if I wouldn't have had the means to buy all the resources that were so helpful to me? I think I may have died. But people don't die. They continue to exist.
I walked into my quiet, serene coffee shop and set my laptop down on the small wooden table pushed up against the wall and went to order my latte. There is a soft buzz of conversation today although only about three other people are nearby. Simon and Garfunkel begin singing The Sound of Silence and I am suddenly moved to tears. Pictures play through my head of women without their children and no means of support. No luxurious yoga retreat or interacting with the beauty of a horse. No money for books or therapists. I am suddenly grieving with and for them.
And then my train takes a different direction. What if money isn't the only resource for healing? Could there actually be a different, or even, better way? I acknowledge that, for some, turning toward God and one's own faith is a place where healing is found and I have had my own experience with the Divine. But what could I learn from the grieving customs of different cultures?
Some years ago my husband was working in Uganda. He came in contact with some women who had faced significant and multiple losses. He asked them how they cope. One woman said, "we dance." Another person recently told me a story of how, when there is a death, a song begins. It is sung from village to village and also to the person who has experienced the loss. How rich and beautiful is that? Grieving is a more natural part of life in some cultures. It is not quickly hidden away as is often the case in our American culture. Could that be the reason we need to spend more money to find healers-because we don't have rituals in place to carry us through the journey?
I will continue to participate in any event or experience that brings me healing- even if it comes at a price. And yet, I am now more ready to open myself up to learn from the people of my world. Those who can also teach me another way. Poverty may have been the hidden gift to these people as they draw closer together forming more powerful healing circles.