This post is a little more of a personal one…as over the last two weeks I’ve lost two family members that I loved dearly. I haven’t been practicing yoga as much as I’d like or even writing posts for this blog, but I think some recovery time is perfectly acceptable in a situation such as this one and even beneficial. I’m writing this reflection down to get it out, as it’s been pent up inside for a little bit. Read on if you’d like, or if you’re not in a reflecting kind of mood, please check out one of our other posts in the sidebar.
These last couple of weeks have been rough. After a necessary trip to Seattle, I came home to a struggling Socrates (my 18 year old cat). His eyes were cloudy, his heart was racing, and his breathing was tired. It was only six hours later that he took his last breathe and made his way up to kitty heaven. He went fast, which I suppose is better that a long, drawn out period of suffering.
While I only got to spend a short 3 years with him, he was such a sweet and gentle cat that he turned me into a cat person (although I will still always have a special place in my heart for dogs). I’ll miss him dearly. The house feels empty without him around.
On a hike three days later that I was hoping to use as a way to get my mind off everything and just enjoy nature, I get a call from my mom letting me know that my grandfather had passed and that I’ll need to come home (NJ) that week.
Even though my grandfather was 96 and in failing health, it still sucks when it actually happens – no matter how much you were expecting it. So off to Jersey I went for the wake and funeral.
The first few moments of the wake where my immediate family, aunt, uncles, and grandma walked in to the room were heavy. For some background, my grandma and grandpa had been married for 68 years, so that realization that after 68 years together, death finally did do them part, was full of sorrow, grief, and many tears.
There were more sad moments after that one, but the overall vibe of the wake and funeral was different from what I had expected – as I haven’t really been to one of someone I really cared for in ten or so years. There were smiles, hugs, and laughter, plus many entertaining stories about childhoods and memories of my grandpa. Man, that guy could’ve died a hundred different ways before he did actually go, whether it would have been from being killed by german soldiers during WWII to falling out of 90 foot trees that he climbed to put birdhouses in when he was 80.
Being surrounded by death is a strange thing. It makes you really want to live. Like the L-I-V-E, scream at the top of my lungs, #YOLO kind of living.
I’ll admit, during this time writing posts for this blog wasn’t on the top of my priorities list. I needed time to recuperate and get my head back together before I could put some solid thoughts and words on paper (or the computer screen). I did do some yoga while at home but felt so physically and mentally exhausted that sleep was the best remedy for me at that point. I fell off of the mat, figuratively.
Now, I’m so ready to be back. I’ve cried the majority of my tears and can now only look to the future and the possibilities it holds. The possibilities of deep stretching down dogs, a new little furball that makes my heart smile when it paws at me, a renewed outlook on life and just how little time we have on this planet, and a deep thankfulness for family and friends that support me when times get rough.
Life is beautiful, good times and bad.