This has been a profound week for me. A beautiful, brave, honest teacher of mine is dead- quite suddenly and, I'm assuming, dramatically. In his too short life, Michael Stone touched many hearts and ignited the fires of service, love and compassion for so many across this world. His words and teachings gave me the courage to cozy up to my sacred wound and anchor myself daily on my mat to mindfully watch my breath. Not because it might lead to enlightenment or make me blissfully better or happier, but because it was my duty as a human to remember to wake up to each moment and be present to the people around me.
Michael Stone's death has hit me hard, not just for what I selfishly lost with him as a teacher but because it has once again opened up my sacred wound of giving birth to a dead baby. Where life met death in my own body. Although I am grateful to snuggle my 3 living children, Teeny Tiny's birth and death forever changed me and the path of my life. There is a distinct sensation of before TT and after TT in my life.
One of the most helpful metaphors that my counselor shared with me is that "grief is like Velcro, everything sticks to it" (imagine a piece of clothing with Velcro in it that you accidentally let go through the dryer and all sorts of other material gets stuck in those plastic teeth). I share this with the recently not pregnant people that I work with as a way giving them permission to explore why their pain might be bringing up so much in their life at the moment. Someone experiencing pregnancy loss might find themselves remembering awful things that happened to them years before, or they might be consumed with the grief of their dead mother as their body is still bleeding from the loss of life. It can feel that life enjoys kicking us when we are down.
I choose to see it as grief being in the body and our cells having memory. I also see grief as our body's way of reminding us that we are still here, and as much as life can be beautiful and abundant-there is but one guarantee for the living. And that is that some day we, and each person around us, will take one last breath, and it is a really vulnerable, human experience that we do not know when, where and how it will happen. So instead of feeling overwhelmed by this truth, I am learning to walk awake in this world with my heart open to loving and learning more deeply until it releases its last beat.
(***please, please, please go visit michaelstoneteaching.com to purchase his offerings as a way of supporting bereaved young family.)