Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On Death and Birth

Dear Readers of the Yoga Girl Blog,

Thank you so much for the kind words regarding this hard time that my family is going through with the passing of my grandmother a few weeks ago and now my grandfather on Sunday.  Many in the Yoga community have been so sweet and it feels as if I have a second family's support.

Having loved ones pass out of their body is such a reflective time.  I am reminded so often lately to not take any moment for granted. 

My grandfather's recent passing was a bittersweet goodbye.  He so badly wanted to end his suffering and did not want us to see him so frail.  He used to be a boxer and was very proud of his machismo, as well as his knuckle-crushing handshake.  So being under 100 pounds at the end was not how he wanted to be remembered.  So I am happy he is now pain-free and I hope with all my heart that he is reunited with his beloved wife who passed about six years ago now.  They knew each other as kids and married at eighteen.  It makes me feel so happy to imagine them together again.

I am glad that this ordeal is over, especially for my parents.  They have been running, shopping, making doctor's appointments and taking care of their parents on a daily basis for almost a year.  I have a new vivid compassion for caregivers now.  So hard they work, many times forgetting to take care of themselves. 

So I asked my mother how she feels now that her father has passed.  She didn't hesitate when she answered.  She told me that she isn't afraid of dying now and that it reminded her of when she gave birth.  She said that when she was giving birth to me she was very nervous about the pain and didn't know what to expect.  But, she thought, if her mother could give birth (who was not the most courageous person-- running away from even a discussion of pain) then she could do it.  Mom said that she used, "If mom can do it, I can do it" as her mantra.  And now watching her father's slow decline, she is no longer afraid of death either because she can see it is just like giving birth.  Giving birth is a violent pushing and contracting of a baby away from one world into another.  Mom said, "maybe death is just another messy birthing from one world into another."  What a profound notion, I thought.  So maybe some deaths are harder because they need more of the pushing and contracting to get them to their next adventure.

I like this thought.  And I like knowing that my mother isn't afraid of death now, for she has a mantra, "If my parents could do it, I can do it."  And so shall I use this mantra when my time comes. 

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Peace to all.
Love to all.
Light to all.
And rest in this peace Poppy Mel and Grandma Ethel.

1 comment:

  1. Sending love to you Karunaji~
    thank you for your sharing these beautiful insights.
    My heart has been with you for weeks now. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Om Shanti


This blog was born through the inspiration and teachings of Rev. Jaganath Carrera and The Yoga Life Society.