Stopping by the cemetery on New Year’s Eve

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I had some time this morning and thought I’d swing by and get the wreath that we place on Tony’s grave each year.    I’m not the type of person who feels closer to my loved ones at their gravesides.  I know others feel a great sense of peace, but it’s not really where I feel connected to him or my Dad.  As I pulled in, I noticed an open grave and workers preparing to lower a crypt into the ground.   Holidays are difficult for those who grieve.  This holiday, I’ve shed tears for two families I don’t really know from Tennessee who lost their noble sons to senseless violence.  My heart breaks for a former colleague who recently lost a beloved three year old nephew.  Life on Earth is an emotional battle.

To combat the never ending pain of loss, the kids and I keep Tony very much alive in our lives and speak of what he would think or say frequently.    It was cold today so it was a good thing my conversation with Tony had already started. I’m not going to share much, but it involved our conversation ten years ago as we talked about the next decade ahead.  I remember he mostly talked about his plans and dreams of musical success as he had just received a song writing award in late November and felt he had to strike while the iron was hot.   Changes were coming.

I spent a great deal of time living very intentionally in this last decade.   I’m a big do-er.   If there is a problem, I figure out how to deal with it.  When someone needs to be addressed and a truth needs to be spoken, I cut to the heart of the matter.   Better to say what needs to be said then to hold a grudge.   This is how I had to operate as I spent most of the decade as a single parent guiding my children through high school, college, decisions,  broken hearts, moves and successes.   I credit my yoga practice with much of my balance and helping to get me out of my head and into a flow.  Funny, yesterday I did a warm power class, jumping back, twisting and popping into arm balances that reminded me of my power and vitality.   But today, after leaving the cemetery, I took a yin class where my teacher gently reminded me that “change can happen in stillness, too.”  By not trying to force anything, I allowed my body to settle.   No sweating.  Not trying to wow anyone.  I just stayed in the pose.  “Now.  Here.  This.” (Credit to Sister in law Jen).  It was a powerful experience.

A new decade approaches us tomorrow.  It’s a chance for new perspectives and new hopes and dreams.  Some dreams will come true and some won’t.  There will be laughter and heartache.  There will be times when you need to be alone and sit in stillness.   There will be times when you need get up and make things happen.   Balance it all and embrace the change.