Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Saying Goodbye from a Distance

After my uncle died on July 10th, I couldn’t be home in time for the wake and the service. I could have rearranged things, but not without giving up on an opportunity for work which may or may not eventually play out. So I made a call.

The services we have are for the living, though they are how we honor and pay our respects to who they were for and to us. I don’t regret my choice but I still missed being there. I missed being able to show up and pay homage to a man I loved and greatly admired.

I made a choice and I own my choices. And here is something I learned… It’s hard to grieve on an island. No one where I lived knew my uncle. No one in my physical space shared my grief.

Nothing changed in my day to day, but there was heaviness in my heart. I didn’t know how my family was. I couldn’t support my father through the immediate difficult time.

I couldn’t be sure my aunt and my cousins understood that, even though I wasn’t there, I was holding space with them from my city, and holding love for all of them. And laughing, because my Uncle Dave would have liked that. So I reminisced through my myriad of memories of him. And I lit candles when it hurt, to remember that light comes after the darkness, letting the flame remember for me while I grieved.

I am writing this from my childhood bedroom, home with my family, sharing stories with my parents, and hugging on my dad. Because he’s here. Because they’re here, and because I love them, and time is fleeting. I am memorizing each of these minutes and moments into my muscle tissue, and cherishing them.

Having to say goodbye reminds me to love, to be present, and to live, for loving and living are the best way we could honor the ones we lose.

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