This amazing, beautiful post came to me today. It is so true that acts of kindness and gratitude are a soothing elixir. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did / do:
Today is Christmas Eve and I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. My brain just doesn’t seem to want to shut off and I know that, although this is the third Christmas without Noah and life has again achieved some level of normalcy, there will probably always be at least a tingle of some emotional pain around the holiday season.
So last night as I lay in bed trying to quiet my mind, a stubborn concept formed in my head and I could not sleep until I wrote it down. If you will excuse the cooking analogy, I would like to share it here.
We are like a flavorful herb: sage, thyme or a pinch of parsley in this stew of life. Complex flavors intermingling and complementing one another. Just because the actual ingredient may dissolve doesn’t mean that it ceases to exist. Just because you can’t pick out and recognize each herb once it’s been added to the stew doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It is the same for us.
Once we add our flavor to this physical manifestation here on earth, we become a part of the whole, larger organism that is life. This is why our souls incarnate. Because being a perfect spice, pure and unique in flavor but confined to the cupboard, does not allow any expression of potential. Life’s recipe calls us forth. Our flavor is needed, lest the soup be bland.
We do not cease to exist when we add our flavor. We create harmony with all other aspects of the recipe. We work together with other ingredients and our environment, flavoring our surroundings with ourselves, changing our world, our lives, the lives around us – even our very chemical composition – to create something rich and beautiful and forever different, had our flavor not been added.
We do not lose ourselves; that would be impossible. By adding our unique flavor, we work in harmony with others to bring about something beautiful, useful, nourishing. Something that may have been entirely different had we not been included in the recipe.
No one is ever really gone. If you keep your senses truly open, you will find that what you think you’ve lost is always and will always be – with you.
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…and I really can’t say why. it’s just been a roller coaster.
some days i am my normal self. some days not so much. but lately i have done a lot better than usual. i really have to thank Cuky Choquette-Harvey for the major steps in my recovery from this profound grief. Yes, my Buddhist faith has been a major source of strength. And, no doubt, I have been nothing short of DESPERATE for ANYTHING that might ease the pain or lessen the grief that has become a part of me. But nothing has come close to the relief that has been afforded me through the comfort of Lomi Lomi and through Cuky.
I know. It seems a bit strange: aligning chakras, hot stones, spiritual cleansing and what may seem like voodoo crazy new-age weirdness. But I have to say: it has been the most healing, profound experience of my life. And I have only had two sessions with Cuky. Cuky is not only a Lomi healer; she is an empath. Every visit with her is like a visit with not only my true spirit and self, but a visit with my mother and with my son. She knows things and unlocks things deep inside me that no one but me would know or realize.
So I have been a bit reticent about posting about it here, but that is the truth. I practice Nichiren Buddhism. I believe that my mother and my son are well taken care of in a spiritual realm that I can only dream of. And somehow, some way…this connects me with the absolute that are the loved ones that I so dearly miss. Noah dances in my peripheral vision, my sweet mother whispers in my ear as I go about my daily life. And I realize, yet have always known, their voices whispering in my ear. What they would say, do or think. Those of you who came to visit Noah in the hospital with me know what I mean. A mother knows what her child would say, do or think in any given situation. Just because his body is no longer something we can sense doesn’t mean that intuition is lost.
My cord and my ties to him transcend earthy, tangible metaphors. I live for him; through him. He, and all of those who have transcended their earthly bodies, do not cease to exist. Not really. They continue with us. Through us. And even if Noah was 6 and my mother wasn’t event 60, they continue with us and through us. Not just in our memories and hearts, but for real. Their love; their connection with us is real. Never doubt that. They are always at our sides: loving, laughing, growing with us. It is this that sustains me and keeps me alive in this incarnation at this time. It is this truth – not belief but actual truth and proof – that brings a real comfort to me.
Thank you notes, both written and unwritten, are threatening to overcome me. So I have decided to cheer up this dreary, depressing blog with some gratitude.
You may or may not still get an “official” thank you note from me. We are drowning in cards, letters, books, gifts…all of it and I am honored, humbled and strengthened by the outpouring of love, support, prayers, kindness and giving from those all around me. Zoe, Jason and I have been so very blessed by those who love us…love Noah…and even by those we’ve never met.
So, not unlike Santa Claus, I am making a list. This list will no doubt have to be tackled in several installments. The last month has been a blur, quite literally, and I probably will forget someone. But I have to try. Gratitude heals and I need to be reminded of the amazing souls who are still here and who love me, Noah, Zoe, Jason…everyone.
So. In no particular order, I give you my gratitude:
Isabella Zaniletti: You are amazing. You are a friend who would do anything for me and you’ve proven it to me over and over. You have dropped everything to become my loving and gentle caretaker. You were at the hospital moments after I called you from the ambulance and you stayed with me through it all. You have organized my support and thought of every little detail when my brain was just as broken as my heart (my brain, though not right to begin with most likely, is probably on the fritz 90% of the time anyway). You have been positive when I need it, reminded me who I am, and you’ve been my shoulder to cry on. You have been right by my side, literally and physically, as my supporter, my cheerleader, my voice of reason, my confidante and my partner in crime. You’ve held me up when I collapsed. You are my person, Isabella. I am so very blessed that you are in my life and I would do anything to help in whatever you may want or need, with a glad and grateful heart, should you ever need it for any reason.
Eryn Peddicord: You were the first face I saw when visiting hours were open Saturday morning. You put aside the family disputes and drama and followed your heart right on up to the PICU at Children’s Mercy Hospital. I will never be able to fully tell you what that meant to me. I have always loved your thoughtful, giving heart, Eryn, and it makes me so happy that you and Noah got a chance to really get to know each other. Noah was a unique and special soul and I’m glad it was shaped by knowing yours. I will always love you and count you among my family no matter what divisions take place around us.
Diane Davis: We aren’t as close as we once were, but I have never stopped loving you. I was so scared when you came to the hospital the night of Noah’s accident; so scared you would blame me. But of course you didn’t. You fell right back into the wonderful woman I called my “best friend” for the many years I was married to your son. I hope to continue to stay close with you. I think Noah would want that. He loved you so much. And I love you too. What I said about Eryn goes for you too: I will always love you and count you among my family no matter what.
Well I made it through three. Yes, I am positive that this gratitude list will have to be multiple installments. More to come. Much more.