In January 2021 I was living with death; my father was weakening by the day and so was my beloved dog, Oliver. To say those days were excruciating in their pain is nothing to what I felt for months after they both died within 2 weeks of each other. I landed into February with the heavy bear of grief on my back. This is my analogy for the weight and pain of grief, it feels like a bear. It is an odd comfort to sit with and at once a wretched ache you can’t wait to be free from. I did myself a disservice by thinking I could push through and still work at full capacity. I did myself a disservice by not reaching out for help. The isolation of the pandemic coupled with the depression born of grief was so intense that asking for help was mute to me. I woke up in tears and went to bed in tears for months. Just as I found myself resurfacing, feeling fresh and clear in my heart and head again, just then, in November I got the news that my mother had cancer. It was like I had just found my footing to stand up and got knocked back down. This time, I caught myself before I hit the ground, before the bear could grab a hold of me. I found myself breathing into a different kind of grief. This time I am allowing myself to prepare for and to be nurtured through it in a healthier way.

To prepare for grief, I am clearing my schedule as much as I can. The Tuesday Yin class will now be on Zoom only, I am not hosting a Yoga Day Camp February 21st as planned. There will not be a CommUnity Yoga Preschool event for February. And there will not be a Teen Gathering on the 13th. I am creating space for myself to travel to Baltimore to see my mom as often as I can while also allowing needful time to rest, process, and take care of myself.

We never know how much time we have together. I have never felt closer to my family as I have in these dying times, the letting go of these giants that brought us here, raised us, and have been these pillars in our lives of mom and dad. Over the first weekend in January we all gathered at my Mom’s apartment and we played board games, wicked battles of pickle ball, had a sharing circle, and danced and sang to old songs with so much laughter, so much laughter, so much joy. What a celebration, what a way to celebrate the beginning of the New Year while so aware of the massive goodbye that is coming.

There are a thousand ways to say goodbye.

Love dearly, love like there is no tomorrow.

Love, love, love – it is all that we are asked to do.

Picture is of a recent visit with my mom and dear childhood friend Tracy.