Life as we know it can change in an instant. I remember talking to my Nana just after Thanksgiving as she thanked me for a gift I had
sent her and then went on to tell me about the exciting NCIS episode she was watching, likely a repeat she had already seen twice before. A few days later my Nana was admitted to the hospital. And now, after only a couple months, I have returned from her funeral.
To say my Nana is important to me would be an understatement. Her strength, compassion and interest in my aspirations, were constant reminders that I was lucky to have someone as special as her in my life. It has been a challenging week since I first learned of her passing; but, it comes after knowing she was very sick and that the quality of her life was deteriorating.
I taught a class the morning I first heard the news. It was hard. Yet, to be among friends and strangers alike, not knowing the hardships they might be facing but finding a common space to come together and gain peace within our practice, was very soothing. As I began the practice, I shared with everyone what I had learned just hours before. This was not to put a grim moment on the practice but to ideally give it new light; as I shared the concept of affirmations with them.
Affirmations are words of encouragement that are not only thought but also said aloud. I use them to help me work through arduous moments such as this. The idea being that through positive thought we can change the impact of stressful situations on our day. As you write your affirmation, as you say your affirmation, as you think your affirmation you will then find ways to incorporate and utilize it throughout your day.
Last Thursday I shared, “Today I will have strength and breath.” I said it during meditation, repeated it during our practice and used it during my closing. I found these seven words to be invaluable to me over the last week. They do not take away the pain or loss I am feeling but they do remind me to slow down and find my breath which in turn always makes me feel a little stronger.
I am still struggling to grasp that I can never hold my Nana’s hand again or hear her tell me she loves me; then again, I’ve come to the realization that she is no longer in any pain and her time had simply come. Moments of confusion and clarity surround me but I know this is all part of the process. I continue to take each day as it comes my way, learning strength in words and discovering breath when I didn’t know I needed it.
~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~
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Rachel very well said. You and sister always amaze me in how well you articulate your thoughts and feelings into words.
I also lost my grandmother this week. She was my last living grandparent and I have been doing a lot of thinking about the end of a generation….
I am so sorry to hear about your Nana, Rachel. This is a very touching and beautifully written piece, and the last part about discovering breath even though you didn’t know you needed it really resonated with me. Thinking about you and your family.
Thank you Kaki, this was quite difficult to write but became cathartic for me in many ways 🙂
Lovely post Rachel! I am sorry about your grandmother and sorry for you. You sound like you have so many memories to keep her spirit alive for you and your children!
I really do have so many memories 🙂