where love is stronger than grief

eaglesatcypressmountainEagles at Cypress Mountain

I haven’t slept well the last few nights. Grief and worry both have been keeping me from restful sleep. But when I wake, my first thoughts are prayers. Prayers for peace. Prayers that those who are struggling are protected by the wings of the dove of peace.

As this year comes to  a close there are many moments for which I have deep gratitude. I have an amazing husband. We have healthy, wonderful children. Our home is warm and comfortable and we have a basket overflowing with beautiful friends from so many different walks of life. The tapestry of our lives is richly colored and well-woven.

But also, I come to terms with knowing that I have grieved the passing of four amazing men this year. All warriors, in their own ways. All offering inspiration. All gone too soon. I am not the only one who has experienced this grief, and my sense of loss, compared to that of their families and close friends, was pale.

Heartbreak leads to soul searching. What do I really want in this coming year? Beyond the age-old tradition of making resolutions and setting intentions, what meaning can be extricated from such a challenging year? What might be transformed into another piece of well-woven, rich tapestry? Funny thing about grief, when there is love, strength is not far away. So, at the risk of sounding preachy, or holier-than-thou, here are some thoughts about 2016:

More than anything, I wish to have a renewed passion for life; to choose optimism over cynicism. I wish to see the beauty in the small things and to be open to the presence of miracles. I wish to be more receptive to the love and care that comes my way, and to be more open to giving love and care to others. It is one thing to say such things, it is another thing to act upon them. I hope my wishes becomes action.

I hope we learn to take care with each other. I hope we learn to cherish our relationships in meaningful ways. We are all here for such a short amount of time. I hope to be more forgiving and understanding….towards others and towards myself. I hope to remember that love is really all there is.

I hope to remember, if I must correct someone, to give that criticism in a way that promotes growth. I hope to have the strength to fight for what I believe, and to inspire others to fight for each other. I hope to remember that each fight does not require a “fight to the death mentality”. Very few fights require the extinguishing of relationship. If a relationship must be ended, I will try to do so with as much grace and forgiveness as possible. I will give no quarter to resentment and bitterness. Instead, I hope to learn to let them pass, quickly.

I think I can say with confidence that my grief has been tempered by the realization that it is rooted in deep love. This has been a very powerful lesson for me, and a comfort. This is the mindset with which I greet the Year of the Monkey, the Year of the Humanitarian.

I will continue to hold those who have crossed over in my heart and to act in their honor.

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Twylia (the 'i' is silent)

~ I am Anishinaabe-kwe with Scottish heritage and Sami DNA. I speak on the behalf of no one but myself. My ancestors inform and guide me. My voice is but one of many who are calling for change. We have much work to do to create a good space for the real human beings who are waiting to be born.

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