Part of me wishes I could say Kayla and I have been off roaming South Africa or Alaska, but that’s not the case. We’ve been taking on all life has to offer, trying to squeeze the good out of the not so good. It’s always something, you know? Health, jobs, money, relationship issues… Waiting for all of those things to be perfect could result in a serious waste of time. With that said, it’s not about just accepting “life is tough” it’s about the way we’re LIVING and what’s holding our sense of importance.
Last week I sat hand in hand with my mother, uncle, and cousin circled around my grandmother as she took her last breath. She was in her own bed with plenty of morphine and at peace. After she passed my mom turned to me and said, “that’s exactly how I want to go”. When the rest of our family arrived, we hiked up her favorite mountain to set her free. Her memorial was a party on a boat. The woman liked herself some parties and wasn’t really into sorrow as a whole so she demanded a celebration of her life and bought everyone their first round, a tradition my mother and I will definitely carry on.
It was the first dead body I’ve ever really seen, definitely the first one I’ve ever handled. Technically, the first dead body I ever saw was in India. A parade of people were walking the street with the body above their heads probably on the way to cremation. I was immediately present to cultural traditions and reactions to death. Our ideas of what we think comes after, how we should feel about it all, and the way we’re living in the meantime, all get shaken up when we’re faced with it, especially if we’ve never seen it before.
5 days after my grandmother passed I was at a birthday party toasting with three friends to the number of years we’d been in each other’s lives. It felt good because we were in a completely different city surrounded with completely different people, and still managed to cross paths. As soon as the sweet moment of gratitude passed one of them got a text message saying that someone we all knew had died suddenly from a heart attack. Felipe was a light, he was an insta-friend. He was just telling me a few weeks ago how amazing it felt to be the father of a 1 year old.
Today I found this….
I love what the mom says about how cancer can brought them out of denial so they could live a richer life. We can have fear and still feel closure. We can make plans and know that they can change at any moment. Zach says death is only scary because of the unknown, we’re in the dark, and we can sit in the dark fearful or we can sit in the dark content. After my jaunts with the opposite of health (see post) I made a pact to live differently and while I’ve been trying, I’ve also let fear take over. I feel a little fear every time I get a pain in my body, I feel it when I’m in the passenger seat of a car, I feel it in my work and relationship, I feel it surfing. Fears will come and go, some will stay awhile. They make us human and they’re a total pain in the ass. Even though this moment is full of tears, I feel the fear I had living inside of me moving. I’m sure my grandmother, my friend Felipe, and Zach (someone I’ve never even met) would all be happy to hear their lives have helped me live a little bigger.
Live Like You’re On Vacation isn’t really about travel, it’s about LIVING
One things for sure, Zach and Felipe are jamming together