Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Happy Friday to you, lovely human!
This past week has been a hell of a ride.
I’m about to get really vulnerable, so hold onto your hats.
When I was about sixteen, my grandfather died of Leukemia. He wasn’t sick for very long before the disease claimed him. At the time, I was living in Canada for several years already and hadn’t seen him for a long while. I flew to Israel to see him for what I knew would be the last time.
Skin and bones, he was. I didn’t recognize him.
I remember my mother telling me to go hug him, like I needed to be told. In retrospect, it was my first encounter with death, and I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what was allowed, or what was appropriate. I didn’t know if it would hurt him and I was ashamed to ask such a question. The whole experience felt strange and unfamiliar. I wanted to talk to him like I used to, but my whole family was in tears all around and I just didn’t know how to be.
That night, I stayed at home, watching over my baby cousins. I got a call from my mother with the news that he had passed. I remember going to a room to cry so as to not scare the children. I didn’t want to be the one to tell them the news.
I will never forget a moment the following day. I was alone in a room, mourning in my own way. My uncle, who had just lost his father, came in and saw me in my tears. He told me “You’re crying? You’re crying? What am I supposed to do if you’re crying?” In other words, he was upset that I was upset. In his mind, between the two of us, he had the right to be more upset than me because he lost his father. Somehow, he felt I should know my place in the mourning spectrum.
I was sixteen.
I tell you this not to get sympathy or be in a victim mentality.
I tell you this to express how grief presents itself to people.
People mourn in many different ways.
The following few days were a blur. The funeral was also a blur, except for a few moments that still haunt me. My aunt’s hysterical crying, my grandfather being put into the earth, my mother reading a poem she had written. And before I knew it, I was on the next flight home, flying alone, mourning the loss of my grandfather.
It was, and apparently still is, a sensitive time for me. Like I imagine all losses are.
That was my first encounter with death.
In my very lucky experience, I had not encountered it again this closely for years to come.
And although it hasn’t quite come today, its presence was recently made known and will stick around until it claims another loved one. Hopefully not too soon.
The thing about death is… we will all face it.
And although we all know this to be a fact, we still look away. We hide from its ever-lingering veil. I myself have fear towards death. There is no shame there. But it also doesn't serve anyone.
We all know this day will come, and yet, we say things like “don’t talk about it”, “God forbid” or my favourite “don’t bring death into this house”... As if talking about it will invite it in.
There are many who believe this. And although I respect their individual belief choices, the reality is, death doesn’t care. It doesn’t care if you say its name or if you refuse to. It doesn’t care if you are afraid of it or welcome it. We all have an expiration date. It sounds gruesome, but it doesn't have to be. Especially considering it’s the ultimate truth.
We all cope with death differently. There is no right or wrong way to cope with death’s presence.
There are, however, healthier, lighter, and more mature ways to cope with it.
This is what I am exploring now.
My spontaneous tears will come. I am an emotional person. I am also an empath. As such, I feel what others feel. In situations where I, myself, am feeling the same emotion, it usually amplifies.
(If any lightworker reading this has any advice to help me strengthen my shields, I welcome and invite you into my life with open arms.)
The beauty about death, however, is that it is the Yin to the Yang that is Life, figuratively speaking. One goes hand in hand with the other. To know death is to know life. To fear death is to fear life. Those who do not fear death, are also not afraid to live life to the fullest. They are not afraid because the absolute worst thing that can happen is, well, death. And they are alright with that.
I’m not saying you should go jump out of a plane tomorrow… or maybe I am saying that? It has been on my bucket list for a while; Perhaps it's time to cross it off…
Dear lovely human, have you ever quit a job, or left a relationship, or just left a situation, period? You know that moment right before you make that choice that you’re leaving? That dance of “should I stay or should I go”, until you finally decide “yep, that’s it, I’m done!” I know I do. And suddenly, the thing you’re leaving doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, it’s sort of great now. It’s almost sad to leave it now. Knowing it won’t last much longer makes it that much more beautiful.
BUT, here is something that just occurred to me while typing this: The only reason it looks good now is because you know its days are numbered. Before which, you just lived it. And it’s important to live things truly and authentically. If you’re angry, be angry. If you’re afraid, be afraid. If you’re happy, oh hell yeah, be happy! Just BE. Life is up, and down and sideways. Life is chaotic and miraculous. Life is everything and more. It’s important to live it as it is.
Imagine staying in a relationship that doesn’t serve you because everytime you think you’re leaving and start seeing the beauty in it, you decide to stay again. No, it was ugly and you chose to leave. All the while you can enjoy the beauty in the process of letting go.
Yes, death is around the corner. However, it can, if you decide to make it as such, create a platform on which gratitude is the primary perspective. The lens through which you see life. It doesn’t mean things won’t bother you. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel life’s craziness or feel overwhelmed at times. But at the start and end of each day, you can choose to feel grateful for everything that happened in between (that also includes the dreams! God, I love dreams).
The reason I write all this is not only to share my past week with you all, but also to once again bring consciousness and awareness to things we often take for granted.
Tell your loved ones that you love them.
Take that walk in the park when you feel like it.
Don’t procrastinate, unless what you’re doing instead is equally enjoyable.
Lastly, and this is the one I seem to still struggle with despite applying my own words to my life: Do the things you want to do!
I saw a quote the other day by Mark Twain that read ““Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Having said that, I will leave you, as always, with love and kindness,
Photo Credit: source: blogspot