Tag Archives: Loss

Melancholy Lessons on Love & Life

Today I held a weeping child at recess. He said he lost his best friend, his grandmother, a year ago. I seldom let a child hug me like family. This kid needed it, so I allowed him be loved and cry. He held on tight and I held on tighter. Maybe I needed the hug too. When I let go, I asked him if he wanted to talk to our school counselor. He said, “No, that was all I needed.”

Our classroom family talked about loss today. A different child suffered the kind of loss that stabs for a lifetime. He was not at school, so we talked about how to treat him when he returns. The counselor prepped me on what to say, but I was not prepared for the torrent of grief unleashed by so many other memories of sadness. Little boys, so tough, puddles of tears. So much loss for so few years.

One child raised her hand and offered some advice. She said, “This reminds us to go home and love our families because we don’t know how long they’ll be here.” She said it with conviction and without tears. The others nodded. Our day went on, the tears dried, recess lightened the mood. At the end of the afternoon, we signed a card for our missing student.

As I read the words after school, I was touched. So much empathy and encouragement. Talk of a classroom family, here for him upon his return, ready to listen, “to be his brother.” There is no changing the grief life brings, but there is our ability to be there for one another, to feel gratitude for each day, and for each other. A melancholy post, perhaps, but it makes me grateful for the lessons my children bring and for the overwhelming goodness inside each of them.

Thank goodness for love and family, blood and otherwise.

So much gratitude for love and family, blood and otherwise.

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Changing

Glimpses of a different future.

A me I never thought existed.

I resisted. Until now.

Visiting my mom, driving alone, loss, yoga, healing, an urban shaman.

I made my first altar today. I don’t know why it took me so long.

Sand flat salt, old photos, candles, my wedding ring, a necklace, dried rose petals four years old.

I can’t find the words to explain. I don’t want to ruin it. I’m not sure you’ll understand. I’m not sure I understand. Yet.

Change is hard. Change is worthwhile. Change takes courage.

We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit. Give that voice a chance. Follow it.

I always thought altars were reserved for the highly religious. Today I made one for my yoga practice. It brought me great peace and focus.

In the middle of my practice, I was drawn outside by the moving clouds. Alone I walked through the most glorious fall evening I have ever witnessed. It’s not even Thursday and I’m grateful for life, grateful for change.

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Here is Your Life…

The night before last I had a dream that I showed up at my dad’s house and found a party in my honor in the backyard.  Attending this party were all of the people in my life that have ever mattered to me, even if only for brief periods or in small but significant ways.  If you are reading this, you were probably there, too.  It was a little like my wedding but bigger in scope because of the wide range of people there.  It was one of those dreams that remains visually haunting throughout your day, almost as though you’re still dreaming it hours later.

The funny thing is that I spent the whole day thinking back to the “Here is Your Life” segment of Sesame Street where all of the old friends and family magically appear to surprise the contestant, (in this case a carton of eggs!):

Okay, I know that was corny, (pun and reference to the clip intended), but it is interesting to me that “Here is Your Life” was the most memorable segment of Sesame Street for me growing up.  I’ve often thought back to it over the years, even if my memory of it was a little different than the reality of watching it for the first time in decades just now.  But, I often find that dreams are like those segments as people from your past mysteriously reappear from the depths of your subconscious.  This most recent dream was like “Here is Your Life” on steroids with a combination of both long-lost and present friends and family all together in one space in my brain.  It left me thinking about how many people have touched my life in various ways and how the routine of life limits how much time I have for everyone, even those that are closest to me.

This is an important reminder because I deeply believe that it is the connections that we share with the people in our lives that make life matter.  I feel like the universe has been shouting this at me between the events in my family this week and this dream that still will not leave my head.  On both sides of my family there will be gatherings in the next two weeks that mark the importance of coming together.

These pictures of then and now-ish of my dad’s family gatherings are a tribute to my Uncle Mike, who was good at bringing us together, and to my big family, who I hope will come together more often in the coming years.

So, here is my life, and I am happy that you are ALL part of it!

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