Sunday, July 09, 2023

Run and tell all of the angels this could take all night

Early in the morning on the very last day of June, I headed to Dulles airport. 

Two flights and 25 hours later, I landed in a new day, and a new month, on a whole nother continent.

I've been in Bali for just over a week now.

I'd been planning to attend an intensive yoga teacher training in Costa Rica at the end of the year. A very solid three week training.

I chose the path of immersion because I could, and because it resonated more with me than a course divided into 20 hours over 10 weekends. I figured I'd be anxiously preparing my family leading up to each weekend, and then exhaustedly recovering and preparing myself and family for the next 20-hour weekend.

When I say that having these options at all is a tremendous privilege, I mean this absolutely. I had amazing options in the first place.

With my original plan, my mom, Nick, and my kids had all agreed that they could stay alive and well for those three weeks without me.

I figured if there were a crisis, I could get back in a reasonable amount of time. And the director had assured me that if something happened last minute with my mom, I could postpone for a later course without losing my deposit.

My kids and my mom could take care of each other and Wanda during the day. Nick would be home at night and on weekends. One of the weeks was Thanksgiving, so really, it was 2.5 weeks I'd be away during work and school. 

I'd return with a certification to teach yoga.

And then, as you know, my mom left us suddenly.

After she died, I spent a lot of time on the floor. I'd start crying and just sit down wherever I was, hugging myself in as tightly as I could. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. I wailed deep, primal pain sounds I'd never before heard.

This happened over and over and over.

I'd open the cupboard to make tea and reach past a mug my mom preferred.

And there I'd be, slowly curling in on myself, lowering to the floor, wedged in the corner of the cabinets, sobbing.

Nothing has ever hurt as much as losing my mama. I thought losing my dad was brutal, and certainly it was. And as traumatic and painful as that was, nothing, nothing has been as profoundly gut-wrenching as this.

So a few weeks ago, I found myself home alone. The kids were at school. Nick was at work. 

And I was alone. 

With Wanda, but to be honest, she's scant company.

I looked at the wall calendar, and erased my mom's upcoming biweekly appointments.

I thought about my July, which originally was going to be all about Betty.

The kids were going to camp, and I'd told her I'd take her somewhere, anywhere she might like to go. I'd make it easy for her.

We could drive, we could fly. We'd bring the wheelchair for walking distances.

Anywhere, anything.

Then suddenly, in my mom's place was this enormous jaggedy chasm in my heart, my kitchen, my life.

The person who had loved me quietly and steadily and fiercely and gently since before I was born was gone. 

This tiny, kind, loving woman who sat in the red chair with my children, who plastered their artwork on her walls and told them how wonderful they were, who laughed at all my jokes, who thought I was the best writer and the fittest person she knew, who giggled when I swore at other drivers, left, and left me bereft.

Bereft. Be reft. I am being so reft.

And so, in a moment of profound sorrow, I messaged the director of the yoga training company and asked if there were any spots left in her July training. Which was in Bali (!!!).

Yes, she said, there were. 

Nick said he could care for Wanda. I bought a ticket. Packed my suitcase. Bought chocolate. Wound myself up super anxious. Got on the first flight.

And, 25 hours later, arrived in Bali to begin a three week, 200-hour, rest of my life journey.


  1. Good for you. I hope it allows you all the feelings, and all the grounding (for lack of a better word), you want. To be able to dive into something so completely at this time sounds great to me. I just floundered on with life and obligations. It eventually sorted out, but…ah well. Peace to you. Olivia from the PNW.

    1. Olivia, I know the brutality of floundering on with life and obligations after a huge loss...and it made me extra grateful that I could take such a huge journey, both across the world and into myself. It was incredibly painful (more so than I expected) but also kind of a fast-forward for healing. Not that I'm healed, but at some point things lightened. Hugs and love to you.

  2. My heart breaks every time I think of your loss but soars with this update. I hope it is everything you need now.

    1. Thank you so much, Dana. I'm so grateful for my time in Bali, the loving community I was in, and the loving community I've returned to.

  3. Wonderful to know you are continuing your life journey in Bali at this time. It is truly a special, magical place! Enjoy the training course and celebrate yourself!

    1. This is Bob C ....

    2. Thank you so much, Coach!

    3. Thank you so much, Coach. Hugs and love.

  4. You’re an amazing writer! Sending you lots of love

  5. The journey of self … it’s time for you … for reflection .. healing .. for silence and growth. Immerse in it.
    Peace beautiful Lisa πŸŒΊπŸ’• sending you cool winds from Zambia

    1. Thank you so much for these beautiful, evocative words. Hugs and love.


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