The Yogis say die to yourself everyday, this way when it comes time to die it won’t be so difficult because you will have been practicing bit by bit, day by day. Although it may sound potentially morbid, it can be actually quite liberating.
Our stories give measure to our lives. They make us who we are but when we start stripping away the story, what’s left? Who are we without our story?
Over the years I have said goodbye to so many things, people and ideas of who I thought I was and where I thought my life was going. And I thought I had grieved. I really did. I work in the field so it would be automatic that I would be on top of my grieving. It turns out, I’m not.
When my Mother died, my beloved cat Fiona died, my Dad died soon after and another sweet cat Eli transitioned shortly afterwards. Our family home was sold and my sisters retreated further away from me for reasons only family can decipher. Regardless, I trudged on.
The person I was with my Mother died. The person I was with my Father died. The girl who lived in that house died. Pieces of me all over the world and no way to paste it all back together – so I fell apart and I’m still falling. I’ll never get that girl back. She’s gone and what’s left is someone I am still trying to get to know. She’s gentle and kind, complex and deeply flawed, creative and introverted, wise and childlike, capable and trustworthy. She’s a friend to a small few but it’s tight. She loves animals more than people at times, which is fine with her. She remembers her life through words and stories and poems. She feels to a depth few dare to go, yet the beasts travel there with her and they stay.
I help people along their grieving journey. I hold space with them as they express their deepest sorrow and pain and I love them as though they were me, which in truth – they are. Most people are going through loss of one kind of another and it’s always more severe than they let on. Trust me.
My Mum was the only one who understood me. She loved the tornado that I was, even though we went through many storms together. My Dad loved me in a different way that cemented me to the earth. My aunts held me in their hearts every day of their life. It all made me the person I was. I saw myself through them. Their vision of me gave me life and that vision died when they left this earth.
We don’t realize how critical it is to be seen. I’m a writer and I can tell you there is one thing more important to me than writing, and it’s being read.