Last month, my Dad’s 18-month journey with brain cancer ended peacefully.
We are a big close family and we had known this was coming for some time and we have all be grieving in our own way.
In some ways, knowing how precious our time was made it easier for me. I watched as my Dad faced cancer with dignity and courage. He inspired me to be braver, to enjoy my people now, to say what needs to be said, and to make meaning whenever possible. I know that being present to all of this is an important part of my own life journey.
In the weeks leading up to his death, the juggle of my life and business was hard, and it helped me stay present to what really mattered to me each day. Prioritizing my self-care in the midst of a crisis was a challenge, but the effort was worth it. Needing love and support from so many wonderful family members and friends was vulnerable and sometimes uncomfortable, but it helped reinforce the bonds of love with so many people I care about. Writing his obituary and speaking at his funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I know that spoke from a place of deep love.
This quote from an unknown source really speaks to me: “grief is the last act of love we can give to those we have loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.” I take comfort in the fact that loving will continue.
Many of the people closest to me have shared about their love and loss. From my own journey and from you, I’m learning that grief changes over time. And that we carry the love and loss with us as we go on with life. And carrying grief means that we need to make room, make space. There is no getting around grief.
I’ve learned so much in the last 18 months, and I hope to share what I’ve learned someday. For now, showing up to the people I love — my family, my clients, my community, my passions — is enough.
As my sister and I sometimes say to each other, “that’s a lot.” (Profound, right? 😉 Allowing myself to recognize that what I have been through — and am still going through — is a lot, helps me to make space for things to BE. I’m working on trusting that what needs my love and attention will be taken care of when I’m ready. And that, too, is enough.
Knowing that many of you are also traveling your own journey of life, love and maybe even loss, I have a question: What can you let be, just for now, to allow yourself to heal, recover, create?