It’s been so long since I’ve written, and I have much to share, but I’ll start with now, with today. The first email I opened today was from Jade Beall, saying her new book Bodies of Mothers, was being shipped, and had this photo of it fresh off the press.
Although I knew these gorgeous photos of Elizabeth (and me) would be in the book, it was a bit overwhelming still to see the reality. My emotions ranged from delight to deep sadness, for she’s in a book about mother’s bodies, but she didn’t get to be a mother herself, and I wish she were here in her body, dammit, instead of memorialized in this way. I had to laugh too, as I’m sure Elizabeth had something to do with this page being opened!
The next email was this blog post, from Tric, about the shocking and sudden death of the 24 year old son of her friend. More tears, and another reminder that “this day is the most precious thing possible”, as Elizabeth wrote while in high school. It is so easy to become complacent, to take it for granted that we can breathe, that our heart beats, that we can walk and see the ocean and mountains – which I’m fully enjoying every day, by the way, now that I’m living on Maui, which is a whole other day’s story…
So I do my best to stay present. This is one of the greatest gifts I received in being with Elizabeth during her last two months of life. Noticing every time I started to play out a story in my mind, of what the future might look like without her, or what could have been different in the past, that I wasn’t being present with Elizabeth, in what I knew to be her last days here. There’s nothing like truly knowing that this moment is unique and finite, to bring us present in each moment.
Of course I struggle with this too, preferring at times to distract myself in various ways, from movies to Facebook or reading – being present in other people’s worlds, but not my own. When I do though, I usually notice, and do it consciously, giving myself permission to take a break. And then I come back, doing a quick meditation or really loving my dog, Tilly, and feeling her love for me, or going for a walk and appreciating the beauty around me with all my senses.
Next, I saw that the movie “Heaven Is For Real” was showing, so headed out to see it. I’d wanted to see it since seeing a preview months ago, as it’s about a 4 year old boy who has an experience of being in Heaven, and comes back with stories of people who died whom he’d never met or heard of. It was quite moving at times, and reinforced many stories I’ve read of people who’ve had near death experiences (though this boy doesn’t actually die, but somehow had a similar experience). It wasn’t great as a movie, but it’s worth seeing for the story of this little boy.
It helps me a great deal to learn of these experiences, such as Dr Eben Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven”, his story of spending a week in a deep coma, and coming back with clear memories of a wondrous, beautiful afterlife. He had previously not been spiritual, nor a believer in life after death, as he was a scientist who didn’t believe what he couldn’t see or touch. This experience completely changed his life, and many who’ve read his book. I’ve always believed there is life after death, and it’s comforting to have some validation, helping me to trust more deeply that Elizabeth is at peace, is doing a great deal of work on the other side, and is present with me, and with many who love her, bringing gifts and blessings to each of us.
Elizabeth has been so present with me these last couple of days, and I’ve been feeling this new wave of disbelief. As time goes by, it is easier to feel her spirit everywhere, it’s also harder to remember her in her body. I look at photos of her and still can’t comprehend that she was even here, and that now she’s not. It’s such a mystery, a profound mystery.
I was reminded again of her poem “Seeping Back” written at age 15, which speaks of this mystery and the eternal, beyond my comprehension, a good place to end for today:
“Devotion, my mysterious master
I saw the crossroads, one forever movement of light
Seeping back to the river of eternal life…
…I am waiting for our hearts to be conjoined in the endless breath
Why can we not meet at the simple movement, place of undying peace and satisfaction?
Whisper of eternity that says I love you
For if we were to meet in that place there would be nothing left to live for.”
~ Elizabeth Blue, ©2005
17 thoughts on “Moments”
Thank you so much for the mention! I’m delighted to know you are back writing and your move to Maui has worked out well for you.
Elizabeths writing is extraordinary, especially as she was so young with limited life experience.
You have been a great source of strength for me personally and support. Thanks Lucia, looking forward to reading more of your writing.
Thanks Tric, I always enjoy your posts, though I don’t always write…I may email you as I’m coming to visit my daughter in London and we’re going to visit Ireland for a couple of days! Likely just Dublin but interested if you have any suggestions for us. You’re the only person I know in Ireland!
Oh do please email and I’ll do my best to give you some pointers if you are coming over to Ireland. How fabulous.
Your experiences and your articulation of them are so profound and magical. There is a book in you! There is also space for you to do much in the way of, I hate to say it this way but, grief work.
I met Joanne Cacciatore when she had just started MISS Foundation before her PHD. She was so committed to changing the way hospitals dealt with patients who experienced the loss of a pregnancy that she basically changed everything, Instead of sweeping loss under the carpet and the ol, there will be others or you already have 2 lovely children and the like she validated that soul and its place in a woman’s/ families life. She helped create memories to help with the void of never physically knowing that child/soul.
I see you coming forward in a similar way. I see this path for you. I see the comfort and joy you can elicit in those who have experience similar profound loss. I wonder at how the families of the children trapped recently in the burning bus or the tipped ferry. How so many lives have forever changed. What lessons are we being given in these times?
I just had to put in my two cents. I love reading anything you write. My friend Jeannie whose son died in March the same year as Elizabeth has edited a video she did of her year in the arctic circle when her son was around 5 I think. It has been slowly release by PBS in different cities. She is also writing and journaling much like you and is so very articulate, just like you. The movie is Arctic Son. She wrote a book a series of books, first Arctic Daughter then Arctic Son and another more recent one. She wrote them yeas ago and they had all the video from that time as when he died he was 25. It is as if there is/was a reason for all of it.
My heart aches for you in so many ways and yet there is such grace and yes joy there that it heartens me. Bless you! Thank you!
Love and hugs, Linda LK
thank you so much for your words, you’ve moved me to tears, as this is my great hope and desire. Joanne Cacciatore is an inspiration and I admire her so much – if I could help others in a similar way I’d be so honored and grateful! I do feel my path involves working more with those dealing with grief and loss – and always transformation! It is the focus of our August Hawaii Retreat, as Zelie and I have both had several profound losses in our lives and have done each done much of our personal healing around the loss of a child and of a parent.
Aside from knowing I need to write more and share our experiences, I’m not sure what else lies ahead, but can feel there is change in the works… I’m open and very willing to serve in whatever capacity will help the most. Let me know if you have specific direction(s) for me! I feel Elizabeth supporting me and encouraging me, and believe that it’s one way I can continue to bring meaning to her death and to my life.
Thank you for reading!
much love, Lucia
Wow, once again you–and Elizabeth’s poem, have left me speechless. I’m so grateful for all the life lessons you’ve shared but still so sad that you’ve had to go through all of this.
I’ve been off facebook for a while and have recently learned you moved to Maui. Tell me more and what’s going on. Love, C
so good to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words. It makes a real difference to hear that you’ve read this and it affected you.
Yes, I’ve moved to Maui! I’ll write more about it here, but just quickly, it’s wonderful, feeling more at home every day, meeting people who feel familiar and welcoming, and having time and space for another layer of grief to emerge as well. My work continues, slowly for now – I’m offering healing/counseling sessions to individuals, getting ready to teach some Reiki classes, and our annual Hawaii Spiritual Retreat is in August on Molokai! Hope to be in the Bay Area before too long, but no plans right now…
Wow, so many changes. Sounds wonderful in so many ways. Let me know when you’ll be in Bay Area–would really love to get together. Love, C
I definitely will! I’d love to see you. And let me know if you have plans to be on Maui too!
Just AMAZING!!! Such insight for a young person!! Thank You so very much for continuing to share. I suppose it’s not really so surprising what a gifted young person she was, considering where she came from.
Thank you! So sweet of you, and lovely to hear. And right back at you…
We each have our own soul’s path, and she came in with special gifts (and not all of them were easy to live with!) that I simply supported, and she taught me a huge amount about grace, and about spirit, and continues to do so.
Thank you Lucia for sharing your path. Elizabeth has such a magical blend of fiery disregard and gentle guidance. She seems delighted when those stuck in old stuff shift out of it and onward. When you express your levels of connection to her, it seems she and you both become deeper and richer.
Thank you Sue, for writing and sharing your insights – so accurate! You are so right about her personality, and you express it exactly as I feel it. It’s such a strange mix to miss her so much and feel her so present at the same time. The mind cannot make sense of it…but keeps trying! Mostly I can let the emotions flow without needing to understand them. Thank you, I’m so grateful for your words. love, Lucia
Very enriching post…I will read your words several times. In my last essay, I used the lyrics from Richard Thompson’s King of Bohemia…I think you would find the song reverberates through your mind (as it does for me)…”and there is no peace/no true release/no secret place to crawl/and there is no rest/for the ones God blessed/and he blessed you best of all…” There is a wonderful version on Linda Ronstadt’s last album Adieu False Heart with Ann Savoy…much love to you, Hallie
Thank you Hallie. I love those lyrics – I’ll look for Linda Ronstadt’s version, I love her voice! love and blessings, Lucia