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Threshold Transformations

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The White Wicker Hamper

shattering May 07, 2024

The White Wicker Hamper

Most would not notice this small square container for dirty clothes. This one is a throwback to the early  seventies. Most would not take notice. For me, this little white wicker hamper contained not only his dirty  clothes, but so many last moment memories. 

I would be going about my day with work or ordinary household chores and then I would hear you, your  weak voice coming from the closet. My heart would stop, and then start racing uncontrollably. I would  lurch through the house to get to you. You, sitting in your closet on the white wicker hamper. Move slowly  I would tell myself, don’t add urgency to the possibility of death. He may not come back to me this time. 

I hear your weak cry for help again, just as I get to the closet and drop to my knees. I find you frightened,  unable to move, unable to breathe. Your body gasping for the oxygen it needs for you to stay here with  me. And I begin my prayer on my knees in front of you, half-dressed and telling me I did not sign up for  this. I smile and tell you I love you and reassure you that this is exactly what I signed up for – loving you,  being with you until the day the Lord finally calls you home.  

As the words leave my mouth, my hands are stroking your upper arms and shoulders, I finally feel you  stretching your torso into a sitting position, and I say, “in through your nose, out through your mouth”,  over and over and over again. Our eyes meet and you begin to relax, I hear a full breath come into your  lungs and feel the soft rush of air as it leaves your mouth and caresses my cheek. Stroking your back,  

stroking and stroking until your confidence returns. I can feel your strength re-enter your mind and body.  We kiss, and our eyes are locked, and I say, “I love you, not today”.

by Colleen Peterson
Holy Lament member

Grief isn't an illness or mistake, it is a natural and sacred response to life’s inevitable losses. It is also a crucible for transformation. 

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