When I head off to that big ol’ yoga mat in the sky….

29 09 2010

I freely admit that I love the very thing that I am about to complain about. The Internet.

Here goes. When (I was about to type IF, and I realized that was a bit of a stretch even for me, even if I plan to hit at least 106 before saying sayanora…) I die, I DO NOT WANT A MEMORIAL ON FACEBOOK.

I know that there are many of us who have joined memorials online. I know I have. For many people it is a way to communally mourn, to reminisce, and to share fond memories. To make a mark publicly that you knew the person, cared for that person and so forth. There is a validity to this, and a way of connecting to the others who have suffered a loss. And I am not at all saying that memorials shouldn’t be posted on facebook or any other sites. I believe that, for some, they have huge worth and value, and healing qualities.

It teeters on an invasion of privacy for me though. The young girl that was brutally murdered last week in Delta had a memorial facebook page dedicated to her within hours of her horrific death. It seemed like it was a race of “Me First’s” to join, to comment, to condemn the person who did it.

I’m not sure if anyone considered the torment and emotions of her parents, her brothers and sisters or the girl who found her were having to trudge through. It was as if the RIP sentiments were much more important to post online than to quietly grieve with the ones who loved her. It was like a strange sort of popularity contest, a race to mourn…

And then the trolls came out of the woodwork and started to post derogatory, rude and insulting comments on the page. (I didn’t see any of that, I heard about it on the news.)

I just felt so sickened… sickened by her terrible loss of life and nauseated at the, pardon my french, fucking assholes who prey on social networking sites to post the rudest and sickest things they can possibly post. For what reason, I cannot even fathom.

So. If I happen to leave this earthly space any time soon, I would much rather a physical gathering of friends and family, who can raise a glass of Riesling to me, who can mourn with each other face-to-face, and embrace each others bodies in solace. To grieve without public eyes peering in, witnessing such intimate emotions.

To grieve the way we’re supposed to grieve. And heal the way we are meant to heal.


25 09 2010

What is your personal measurement of contentment? What makes you sit back, feel joy bubble up from the depths of your soul, realize that this moment of your life, right now, is painted in the bright splashy colours of true happiness, that right now, you are so very fortunate in the midst of such pure joy and satisfaction in your life? That your existence, although marred, is perfect in every way in this snapshot of time?

I often marvel at these moments of gratitude. They sneak up behind me and tap my shoulder in a quiet and unassuming way. These instances are sometimes brief, but they can linger too. It’s never a flashy and showy moment. It’s never a time that would take someone else’s breath away. Rather, it seems to me that they reveal a shiny bit of your own soul that can reflect back outwards to your loved ones. It spreads that delicious energy of LIFE so that others may catch a bit of sweet bliss, and perhaps savour it in their own way, like a delicious caramel, full of sweet, ooey goodness, melting on the tongue and lingering for a while after it is gone.

It is more refined, more subtle, more personal. It can be that moment you wake and finally see blue sky out your window instead of gray clouds and rain. It might be a smile on your child’s face, that expression that is truly a reflection of all the joy ever known in your own heart. Maybe it is undefinable, a wave of joyous emotion that you cannot even find words to express, only that you allow it to wash over you, baptizing you with simple beautiful peace.

Or it might just be sitting down to a hearty dinner of homemade chicken soup and biscuits, and sharing laughs with your family, all the while your daughter, in her excitement of the upcoming ski season, wears her brand new ski helmet, goggles and ski boots to the dinner table.

It’s been awhile….

11 09 2010

We’ve been busy, getting ready to ship my first born off to middle school, which is 1/2 hour drive into town from where I live. Oh, the nerves we all felt. By mid-August, the first day of school hung over this house like a doomsday cloud, making me startle awake at 2 am to fret, wondering how he’ll do, how he’ll fit in, how can I accept the very bittersweet fact that my son is growing up. The what-ifs, the worries, the butterflies, not so much for me, but for him and this new adventure he was heading out on, without me.

And so, that first day came, and when Nicholas trudged up the hill and opened the door, I anxiously and excitedly asked him how his day went.

He nodded at me with a grin on his face and said, all cool and relaxed, “It went good Mom.”

Phew…. the release of nerves was tangible, and we all had such a great sleep that night.

I see already, after the first week, a new boy in my home. One who has a separate identity from me. One who will have friends I don’t know anything about. One who has a new confidence about his place in this world, and all that he has to offer. And, sadly, one who will not share every detail about his life with anymore.

I am okay with that. But it’s so weird, you know, going from knowing every nuance of your child’s life to not being able able to visualize what they are doing during the day. I was always able to tell when they would go poop for God’s sake, and now… now, he whispers to his buddies about stuff and tells me it’s not any of my business.

Bittersweet, but OH, what a privilege. What a gift to witness the maturation of another human being. To be able to remember this growing boy in front of me, with the inklings of the man he will become haunting his features, and still recall the pudgy, joyous baby he once was. That baby who’s eyes lit up with laughter echo the eyes of the young pre-teen standing before me now.

Years ago, a friend who journeyed down the Motherhood Road before me once said, “Motherhood is all about letting go.”

It’s true. We have to learn to let go. Let go of that delicious newborn, so tiny and fragile. To release that baby, roly-poly with fat and giggles into a walking, trouble-seeking toddler. To admire that very being morphing into a child, learning about the world and testing our limits of what is acceptable. To marvel through the years of the growth, the loss of chubby cheeks and sweet milky kisses, to long limbs and B.O. and attitude and their realization of their own persona, challenges, issues and angst. To watch as they struggle internally about their true selves and try so hard to help that transition to be a bit smoother and easier.

To let it all go, because that is my job.

I think that I am fortunate enough to have learned the true meaning of my life.

It’s not about making millions of dollars nor traveling the world. It isn’t about discovering a cure for cancer or creating new technology.

It is, quite simply, to stand witness to my children’s lives. So that they may grow into something great.

And that, my friends, is worth more than all the money in the world.