Inspired by my Aunt Diane
In my last post, I excitedly shared my family with you. I talked about the amazing legacy I am blessed to live because of those who came before me. Days later, my Beloved Auntie, Pastor Diana Lindsey, who we spent Thanksgiving with passed away. Though I shared this on social media after privately processing with my family and friends, I wasn't sure what to say here. What do I say after celebrating time with my family only to experience grief days later?
I needed time to catch my breath. My intention to be consistent, committed, and creative in this space surrendered to the pause my mind, body, and soul needed after such a hurtful blow to my heart.
As we continue to collect ourselves from her heartbreaking transition, part of what holds me together is gratitude that we spent time with her on her birthday. In fact, we went to see Encanto, because she loved Disney movies, and because - why not! lol. It was a great way to conclude our time together, dancing in the movie theater and discussing the importance of generational healing...
But when a recording of her voice played at the funeral, my gratitude collided with grief and burst from the seams of my composure. Tears began to stream at the sound of her loving tone. Since I was a little girl, our connection provided me with a sense of home that I couldn't imagine living without.
And now she's gone.
Yet, every word she spoke to me influences the way I speak to you. Her love is nested in the fiber of my being, so I know she is still with me. I believe that as our family continues to breathe, heal, and remember the lessons she shared with us, we keep her mission and message alive.
After she passed, I listened to one of her bible lessons previously posted on Facebook, and I heard her say - "Live well until you leave." Her message emphasized the importance of taking care of ourselves as a demonstration of our faith. She taught about self care as a form of Godliness - eating well, resting, and keeping our minds healthy. Living well means doing what we can to BE well. For me, this includes processing grief, loss, and challenging transitions with self awareness, compassion, and care.
I am still learning what grief feels like in my body. Sometimes, it feels like ocean waves washing over me. I have sunken into the abyss of sorrow, unable to breath. Sometimes, grief feels like a weighted blanket twice my size set on top of me. My chest feels tense. My face tightens. My body curves and bends into itself. My breath, in a staccato cadence against the steady flow of tears, is shallow during these heavy moments. I am learning to let the storm pass like slow drifting charcoal colored clouds that drench the Earth beneath it. I am learning to -
Move at my own pace.
Listen to the body &
notice the sensations that come up.
Deepen the breath.
Acknowledge the emotions.
Honor the experience &
embrace the process.
I am telling myself to -
Trust that transitions are a part of this human experience and it passes through for a purpose.
Reach out for help to disprove the belief that no one else can understand the language of my grief.
Connect with the Divine knowledge that every living being is passing through this life, leaving pieces behind for those of us that remain. We can add those pieces to the mosaic of our daily choices as we create our lives with loving intention.
I didn't know exactly what I wanted to say about grief, though I've experienced it in many ways. But I wanted to return to this space as a friend, pulling up a chair beside you for a moment to connect, to confirm that being human can be very uncomfortable, and yes, painful at times.
And as hurtful as it is for someone we love to leave, there are miracles born through the mysterious traces of their treasured existence hidden in subtle moments throughout our lives. I am in awe that we can carry these gems with us along our own journeys everyday. If we'd only take time to pause, to breathe, to notice. Surely, catching a glimpse of God and our transitioned loved ones in the little things, like the kiss of a breeze or an unexpected smile from someone you don't know, can aide us in living well until we leave.
Inspired by a conversation Aunt Diane and I had about her sharing her testimony and tools for healing in a podcast, I started the "O for the Soul" podcast. Though I have a lot to learn about hosting a podcast, I wanted to offer a space for us to breathe together. I hope that as you tune in, you experience more ease as you take small moments to connect with yourself more deeply.
I dedicate this reflective post to my family. We have a great legacy of love, creativity, and service to maintain. May we walk in the wisdom our ancestors imparted. We know who and whose we are. May we live well until we leave. I love you all.