It’s been awhile.
I am sitting in Jeanne’s living room on Bowen Island and Terri is everywhere…
In the pictures. On the ferry ride. In the tears of pure joy that streamed down Grandpa’s face. In the living room, dancing right along with Auntie Cole, Mr. Ed, Miss M and I to Grandpa’s joyous guitar playing.
Terri loved this island. As did her mother. It’s hard to describe the mystical magic that surrounds this place. I remember Jeanne telling me it was once considered a sacred healing ground. I can see why. It is why I came here and why I brought Miss M with me. To heal. To grieve. To honor all that is Terri. All that is her mother.
I barely made it onto the porch before the tears started flowing. Auntie Cole and I wrapped our arms around each other as both the absence of, and Terri’s palpable presence, washed over us. Miss M ran from the couch to the chair, grabbing Nana Canada’s zen pillows, hugging them close, saying, “Mamãe, Mamãe”, her radiant face filled with the essence of her mother’s love.
It was beautiful. And painful. And so very important.
I am so grateful to Papai, Auntie Cole and Mr. Ed for this gift of time with Miss M. For this opportunity to accompany her on this journey. This journey of life and of death. Of making sense of the senseless and tragic leave-taking of our magnificent gracefulwomanwarrior. Of Miss M’s beloved Mamãe.
This morning at Auntie Cole’s, I read the daily reading from my new meditation book, Your Daily Rock; A Daybook of Touchstones For Busy Lives by Patti Digh, given to be by my BFF. It offers a morning and evening question and this morning’s was, What is the question?
Miss M went first.
“Why is heaven up so high in the sky?”
“That’s a really good question,” Auntie Cole said.
“Hmm,” I replied. “Why do you think, Miss M?”
“So we can’t see them.”
“Wow,” I said. “That’s true isn’t it? We can’t see Mamãe up there, can we? That’s the hard part about heaven. It makes me really sad. But I also think it’s up so high because it’s so beautiful up there in the sky. When you were sleeping last night on the plane, I took this picture of the sky. Look at it. Isn’t it beautiful? I think that’s why it is so high up. So Mamãe and Nana Canada can be together in such a beautiful place, watching over us.”
Auntie Cole went on to describe how it’s so beautiful up there because heaven holds the essence of the love that we have for each other. That it is always with us for ever and ever. Like Mamãe.
This was one of those powerfully pivotal moments. Those moments that occur when we take the time to be present. To join together to embrace the memory of our loved ones.
They are there for the taking. We just have to be open.
There were an abundance of them the day we gathered with Papai and Miss M to lovingly sift through Terri’s belongings. It was a painfully beautiful ritual that Miss M directed, each of us choosing one our favorite things to wear with love and cherish always.
We laughed. We cried. And we remembered. Just as we did today.
You are invited to do the same. To create yet another powerfully pivotal “Terri moment” when we gather together in NYC for her park bench dedication.
So please mark your calendars for Sunday, May 31st, at 12:00 p.m. in Astoria Park, Astoria, NY. Your “invitation ” will arrive soon. Right here on Terri’s blog.
Hope to see you there…
Love, Auntie L