I've been thrust into a new practice...it's called grieving. It sucks.
My Dad passed away unexpectedly on Thursday September 21st. I had been fighting an awful stomach virus and had subbed out my early morning class that morning to rest (thank GOD). I had just awakened and felt led to go to my altar and meditate. The urge was so strong that I felt something big must be coming up for me. Shortly after I received the dreaded call that my father passed away in his sleep. He was 66, too young. My life suddenly completely changed. My body began to shake violently. I didn't know what to do. I'll never forget this feeling. I was in disbelief. How could my dad, who I had just texted and spoken to the day before, suddenly and forever be gone from my life?
Suddenly I was thrust onto the road of a real hard grief. I'm a beginner in the grief department. This practice is hard...it hurts..it stings...it's unpredictable. It demands 100% honesty and commitment. My dad had requested I sing at his funeral...something I knew one day I would have to do. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do...but was also the greatest honor. You see this new grief thing is full of this contrast. You do something and it feels great but at the same time it feels like gut wrenching. I catch myself days later immersed in a movie and feeling so happy to have my mind distracted-but then GUILTY for enjoying the movie and not thinking about my Dad. I'll enjoy one of my Dad's favorite meals and suddenly realize in the middle of nowhere that when I get to be the age he was when he passed away that I will have over THIRTY YEARS without my father. That is gut wrenching to me. At times it takes my breath away. And then there are moments of complete numbness where I'm not feeling anything and I worry that I'm too calm.
After almost a week I re-emerged into my physical asana practice today because my body needed the movement. I was craving to see where my mind, spirit, and body connection was. It was the most challenging time on my mat. Childs pose, fish pose, and down dog were my go to asana. Suddenly my tight hamstrings felt open, it was weird. I have reached a new phase in my life where things are looking completely different. Things feel different. New choices have to be made, and suddenly the "meaning" of my life is something I am constantly thinking about,
Life is different. I don't know what that means yet. I'm a beginner....riding this journey. I do know I'm grateful for my connection to my Dad, which now feels stronger and more eternal than ever. My relationship to my life and to my Dad are now forever changed.
My Dad was a wonderful, talented, and amazing man...he was not perfect...but his deep longing for intimacy with everything in his life is something I am holding myself accountable to achieving in my lifetime. The days ahead will be challenging in new ways...entering this new practice of living will be a life long journey-with my Dad as my guide.
Thank you to you all for your kind support....your words...your love...your prayers...thoughts....energy....food....consideration...it is remembered and appreciated more than you know!
I'll be returning home to NYC later this weekend and will be resuming teaching starting with my Sunday evening 6:30 PM Hot Vinyasa class. I hope to see you all on the mat.