So much grief and loss in this world- it is always present and yet lately the collective grief is intense, along with all of the planetary/astrological happenings. Seems everyone I speak to or meet is in some kind of grief and loss. At the end of July, my family experienced an unexpected loss, one that was sudden and quick, and happened at a time of summer abundance and joy. Just over 5 weeks later, my family experienced a more “expected” loss. It has been 8 weeks now, and the varied emotions and experiences have been, well, part of life and the cycle of life, and I have been riding the waves of it all, with wonderful support and much needed extra self-compassion and patience for the process as life shows up. Thank you for reading this brief update!
Farewell to Two of the Kindest Humans I’ve Known-
the Most Loving Grandfather and Great-Grandmother….
My beloved father in law, Carl, fell in his driveway, while doing what he loved- tending to his roses. His fragile 90 year old body fell and hit his vulnerable head, which suffered a bad fall playing tennis about 5 years earlier. He fell on a Friday when my daughter and I were out of cell phone range backpacking in the mountains. My husband received the news Saturday and was able to fly to Virginia Sunday night, leaving for the airport as my daughter and I drove down from the mountains. We didn’t even get to give him a hug before he traveled. Arriving early Monday morning at his parent’s house in Charlottesville, he was able to spend the day with his father, who was peacefully sleeping in hospice, with a clear DNR. Steve spent the day with his father, with some good stretches of time alone, to cry and say goodbye. My daughter and I said goodbye on a video call with my husband and his father. We were able to talk to Carl, telling him how much we love and appreciate him, and to say goodbye. Carl let go of his physical body that night, the early morning of July 26th. He was 90 years old. Steve was able to stay with his family for the rest of the week. We are traveling this Thursday for his memorial service this weekend.
Just four weeks later, my daughter and I had a trip planned to Tucson to “say goodbye” to my grandmother, Mary Jane. In June, we thought she was declining fast and was not sure if she would even be alive in August. I scheduled the flights in June, hoping we would be able to see her and say goodbye. We arrived late Monday night, and visited her with my sister and her 2 girls. G’ma was so happy to see us, she knew who we were, and though she was in and out of this reality, she was cognizant of the times she would drift away, remarking that “G’ma’s mind is crazier than ever”. We had conversations about her letting go of this body, and to be with G’pa again. She spoke of seeing him with excitement and readiness, and we were able to let her know that this visit was to say goodbye. That night, she fell out of her bed, hitting her head. My sister and I, my daughter and oldest niece, went to G’ma’s room where they were patching up her leg. We helped her take deep breaths and we again spoke of her letting her body rest so she could let go of this body and be with G’pa. I mentioned that she will not miss anything, and that she will be our guardian angel. She loved that and giggled at that idea (she giggled a lot up until her last day awake).The four of us stood at her bedside as she drifted off to sleep, holding space with so much love and Reiki, wondering how long she would stay in this body. Wednesday she slept a lot and Thursday when we visited, she could no longer form a sentence, yet was still talking away. My daughter and I said goodbye for the last time before we left for the airport. That day she started hospice care. Sunday she ate her last meal of a fudgesicle my sister fed her, after she was asking for ice cream all day. Monday she slept, and she slept peacefully until early Thursday morning, one week after we said goodbye, when she finally let go of her physical body to once again dance with G’pa, the love of her life. She was 94 years old.
Carl and Mary Jane both had the kindest souls and loved their families so much- they always had a smile of pride and awe for their kids, grandkids, and (my grandmother’s great-grandkids). They were both powerful elders in our families, both of them always expressing deep gratitude for the people around them, and were both loved deeply by all. It is strange to think of life without them, holidays without them, and the grief waves will continue to ebb and flow throughout the rest of our lifetimes. I am grateful to have had a very close relationship with my grandmother, sharing Reiki and deep conversations with her regularly for the last 4 years of her life. I am grateful to have had Carl as a father in law and to have the times we did with him. They are both amazing humans and so full of love, I know they are supporting us spiritually; Carl reunited with all his beloved dogs & family, and G’ma reunited with G’pa, her sister and friends.
How the Grief Has Been Showing Up…
You really don’t know how grief is going to show up. For me, there has been a lot of scattered thinking and a hard time focusing. This summer I was planning to launch a lot of new things for my business, including an online community coming soon, Rooted Community. My “plan” was to get all this finished and launched right around July 25 and into mid-August. Needless to say, I have had to postpone my own deadlines as I have been creating at a lower capacity than usual, while also reorganizing my packages, and oh yes, moving offices at the end of September! It’s amazing how much brain space losing someone can take, even with so much of my daily practices staying strong, and with a strong community. It really makes me wonder how so many people function with extreme loss and grief, and helps me understand why this collective grief of the world can make everything feel so much harder! I get it. I have found so much support from friends, my own Reiki practice, and continuing to share Reiki with my clients. It definitely seems to be the analytical/thinking mind that has been affected the most, and the intuitive space where I go when I hold space with Reiki is still an easy space to access (actually easier at times, as I do feel like I have some extra support from my guides and angels!)