Far Away and Far From Okay: Mourning Loss and Loved Ones
Late last week...
Yesterday I found an ultimate balance of important roots and exciting adventures, but today I am reminded that all balances shift, and all things must change.
Only 24 hours ago, I basked in the glory of the Cleveland Indians baseball team headed to the World Series for the first time in almost twenty years, while enjoying happy hour with new friends in Denver, Colorado.
Then this morning brought news that my uncle back east has taken a turn for the worst, and soon it will be time to say goodbye. This has consumed my thoughts and nightmares for the past few days while I await updates here in the Rockies.
Unfortunately, the time for an in-person farewell has already passed. Despite the deep sadness I feel for myself and my family, I have to accept that it's time for him to be at peace.
So, do I rush a flight back east, or do I process here in spirit?
I know this is a deeply personal question that only I can answer. While allowing myself to start inching toward grief, I've made sure to take a few moments to witness my own healing begin...
My uncle passed away two days ago, and there will be a small service this afternoon. Here I am in Colorado, dealing with death from afar for the first time while my family and comforts reside back east.
Despite this loss and vomitous grief, I tell myself I am living as a true traveler in each of these moments. Being an aspiring travel writer not only means learning to navigate a foreign place, but learning to deal with hardships from home without rushing into easy decisions, and how to talk about them.
I listened to my gut reaction and decided to stay gone for at least a few more days, choosing to honor his life and mourn the loss of my kind uncle right where I am. I know I won't always have the option to fly back home without notice, and I want to listen to my heart while preparing for those less-flexible future travels. I'm taking this opportunity to grow in my spirituality, and grow a little thicker skin.
So of course I feel guilty as hell, as most do while they try to sort out a loss so big. I didn't take the opportunity to visit him while I could, and now I am choosing not to make the trip south for his burial. What kind of a selfish, spoiled niece am I?
I still struggle with my beliefs, or lack there of, in the afterlife. Whether we reincarnate into other sentient beings, or our energy slips into some other enigmatic form, I know that forcing the flight now would only be for me, and I have to believe that I have just as much chance connecting with his soul anywhere.
So at 1 p.m. Central, 12 p.m. Mountain time, I found a safe, comfortable spot to meditate in a local bookstore to honor the good man and loving family member that will live on through our memories. I pray, chant (silently), and send reiki for my grieving family, and for his soul to be finally fulfilled and at peace.
If you're a sharer of good juju, don't be shy the next few days. Holidays, birthdays, parties, family- there's a lot going on right now, life never stopping to give us time to process, and I could use a boost of good energy.
Warm vibes to you, and thank you all for being my extended family wherever I am.
If you've experienced the loss of a loved one from a distance, please feel free to share your experience or comments below.