After Barry died, there was nothing that torqued me off more than the kind of question that made me work harder than the person who wanted to help me. Some people were demanding. Tell me what you need. I want to help! This was no help. I'd wrack my brain. Do my laundry? Clean up the dog poop in my back yard? Sure, I was more hostile than your average widow, but I vowed I'd never ask the question of someone drowning in a tsunami of grief and so far I've kept my promise. I was surprised when Murray's widow, Sheryl, took me up on an offer to teach her to meditate. We were having lunch in the aptly named town of Chagrin Falls and afterwards took a walk. She'd been suffering from a headache all day and popped a couple of Advils. Nothing seemed to help.
We walked past the little shops and along the trail that winds between the River and the playground. We sat at a quiet picnic table and Sheryl said she'd like to take me up on my offer to show her how to meditate. It's something she'd tried before. The few minutes in shavasana at the end of a yoga class were excruciating for her, but nevertheless, she was willing to give it a try.
I promised we wouldn't go over 5 minutes of silence. I showed her the diaphragmatic breathing and talked us through a head to toe total body relaxation. I explained the concept (just like my teacher, Lee, did for me) of how to be kind to yourself, to encourage yourself as you would a small child. That's okay. You're going to get it. Try again. I explained that a mantra was a tool to coax your thoughts from your head to your heart, to help bring the light from your third eye to the cavern we imagined in our chest.
We sat in our quiet surrounded by the whisper and the rush of the Chagrin River. I was careful not to go over 5 minutes. Sheryl's headache was gone.