Hello! I want to share with you a very personal journey I've been going through these past few months plus some great learnings that have helped me tremendously. I haven't been ready to share, it's been far too raw for me, but today on my 42nd birthday and seeing more grey weaving through my hair, I'm ready.
In early March after the crazy weird snow storms, my Dad sprouted his wings earlier than he wanted by what seemed like a feral form of cancer. He died just a few weeks before his 69th birthday with a Bucket List still full and so many more things to say. He died mute as his cancer grew from his kidney and bones to his throat and mouth. I had the great honor of being with him for twelve days in hospice; some of the most beautiful moments I've ever shared with him, with anyone (!) - in total quiet. Our relationship until then was only tumultuous at best with 18 years of estrangement. In the end, unexpected beauty and grace, and now, radiant LOVE.
And further: my Poh Poh (Chinese word for maternal Grandmother) died just yesterday morning. An amazing 90 years of great life, she immigrated from mainland China fleeing communism with my Mother, then 2 years old tied to her back. She lead a beautiful and full life; on her death bed tucked in peacefully by her four devoted children. Her childhood dream was to become a teacher, but the War banished that and she spent her life working in the family laundry business with her husband. She was a quiet, fierce woman, strong, determined, highly self-motivated (Tai Chi every morning until just last week!), and majestically graceful. We've known of her illness since January and watched her walk toward her death ever so gracefully. As she lay still just a few days ago, I've never seen a more strikingly beautiful woman. She died in a way I aspire to when my time comes. For me, she was a great teacher, even as she crossed back over welcomed greatly by her husband.
I've been walking Grief for the past few months and I'd love to share my Top 4 Tips that have been immensely helpful along my journey. I'm intentionally using the number Four here because in Chinese, it's a VERY unlucky number, as it means death is near. I'm never supposed to use that number. Well!! Death has come and gone so let's roll with FOUR!! Perhaps some of these ideas may help you along your path, or give you inspiration, if you've lost someone very dear to you.
So, there is all is. My journey + FOUR tips on Voyaging Grief. I hope some of these ideas help you if you find yourself navigating the big waters of Grief. I'd love to hear what's worked for you; feel free to leave a comment or send a note. I read everything.
It's already been a big year and am so grateful for the opportunity to be here, learn, grow, heal, laugh and share with you. Grief is great love, and while it's been hard, painful and searing at times, it's also been a wild and awesome ride.
In great love with so many tissues,