“How hurtful it can be to deny one’s true self and live a life of lies just to appease others.” ―June Ahern
May the New Year be sweet, healthy, happy, and prosperous!
If I tallied up all the funerals I have been to, it would be a percentage of over 99%. How many weddings have I been to? Three. Please don’t invite me to anything you don’t truly want me to attend.
Let me clarify that my own family has chosen to exclude me from every wedding, even my first cousins managed to exclude me. If ever I choose to get married, I can do so with less than ten people in attendance. My list currently stands at under ninety people, most of whom are friends of five years or longer; the kind you feel will happily stand up for you and those you will hopefully have for the remainder of your life. The person who stands by your side is ultimately far more important than the numbers, believe me.
Last Monday was a somber affair. I’d never attended a Catholic funeral before. I found is colder and unfeeling, but I suspect part of my newfound emotional detachment had a lot to do with how I viewed it. It’s not about religion, so much as it is about the state of a funeral while we are still actively dealing with Covid.
I know a Jewish funeral backward and forward. I can probably recite it by rote. If you have a good Rabbi, there is a very emotional, spiritual feeling in the air. Even my non-religious/spiritual friends have told me they feel like Jewish funerals are more involved/in touch. In essence, it makes sense I’d feel more connected there.
I remember my father’s funeral very clearly because I gave the eulogy. We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing Rabbi who deeply cares for our family, so even now, over a decade later, speaking to him is heartwarming. He will always leave you with a piece of wisdom, and I never forget his sparks or good deeds. He’s an innately good person. Prior to meeting him, I had never been able to connect with any man/woman of G-d. I found all of them so clinical and uncaring. He is the exception, not the rule.
Funerals are something I’m used to. I shouldn’t be, but I am. I get invited to more of them than any other thing in this world. While that is a strange thing to be invited to, I don’t feel like paying your respects is something you get invited to, or not. It’s something you do. Hopefully for the right reasons.
As the funeral was winding down, the “host” gave me a hug and told me I was a good person. I was taken aback by that statement. I wish more people said positive things through their pain, as opposed to those who shut everyone out. Yet, I did not feel the need to thank anyone who came to my father’s funeral or my mother’s. For me, showing up (if you are able) is a sign of respect. It is not your good deed.
Perhaps I am alone in these thoughts. Perhaps not. But unlike many, I try to show up and be present. I actually try harder than most. Even if it means being the only person who speaks and is fully present.
copyright ©2021 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“Never worry alone. When anxiety grabs my mind, it is self-perpetuating. Worrisome thoughts reproduce faster than rabbits, so one of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend… The simple act of reassurance from another human being becomes a tool of the Spirit to cast out fear — because peace and fear are both contagious.” ―John Ortberg
“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.” ―Susan Pease Banitt
“There is point in your life when you come face-to-face with the reality that you cannot take another step on your own. For me, I had never experienced that point, but depression brought me there. I have slowly, painfully, and continually been confronted by my brokenness. Coming to terms with the fact that I am broken has been at the center of my accepting my being loved.
For me, now, there exists a sense of desperate need for what God brings to my spiritual and mental self.
It has been this desperation that has opened a crevice in which I am seeing Him for the first time. He is why my soul can find some peace even when my mind is dark and numb. It is this love that continually has brought me back from the edge of the impostor to the honesty of my broken, inner self.” ―David Hulon Hood
I woke up this morning hearing my name being called. At 4:00 a.m. I woke up screaming, mostly because I’m tired, in pain, and did not want to be disturbed. I truly wanted to wake up refreshed, even if it meant I had to take something for pain later on, I just wanted the goddamn rest!
But when I sat up and took inventory, the only noise was from the central air, lightly blowing heat into the room (It was freezing last night, which is a far cry from how warm it has gotten since then.). I decided to investigate this further. For starters, I was pissed and two, I had just scared the hell out of cat and kitten, who had been sound asleep with me; one wrapped around me like ivy, the other off to the side staring at me like I’d just grown three additional heads.
In fairness, I checked EVERYTHING. Lights off? Check. TV off? Check. Cell phone off? Check. Anything else that could or would make noise was either unplugged or nowhere near me to actually be saying my name repeatedly. So, that took care of logic. But the simple fact is, in my life, where intuition rules and logic does not, why was I bothering to go with logic at all when I already knew that I’d turned every single thing off the night before?
It’s not like it was “noise”. It was a man’s voice repeatedly calling out for me. If that’s weird to you, I have to say that it’s par for the course in my life. Unfortunately, the voice was not distinctive, so I can’t say for sure who it was that needed me to wake up and pay attention.
When things of this nature happen, the first thing I do is check the time. That’s probably odd to the everyday, average person, but to someone who has studied numerology and has her life path number tattooed on her, it’s not odd at all. Spirits will often communicate to people in symbols, and numbers and time are two things that are easy enough to catch when they are repetitive. The time-frame was off, so I can only say that I’ve been thinking about a male relative for the last few days. Earlier, when I was cleaning out my closet, I found something of his and put it in the “Keep” pile immediately, pausing briefly because I have NO idea how it got in my closet, or when.
This relative passed away almost four years ago. I’m shocked that so much time has passed because it still hurts me as if it just happened.
Soon after his very sudden passing, I had a dream where he let me know he was okay. Again, this is not uncommon in my life. Lately, I’ve found myself avoiding photos, video, and anything pertaining to him because I often think “If he were here, he’d fix this.” or “If he were here, everything would be better.” He was more than just my family, he was the person that automatically had your back no matter what. He was the person who did things for you that he did not have to do, and he did it completely out of love, not because he wanted anyone to be indebted to him, be it figuratively or other. He worked hard, loved hard, cared hard, and he never made me feel like I was anything short of ridiculously special.
Some people’s lives are cut short by things they didn’t know they had, like a bad heart or cancer that gave the person no indication whatsoever that something was wrong. I’ll never forget getting the news, because my brother had to be the one to tell me. He knew in advance that this was NOT going to go well. I saw him visibly cringe before he spoke. I was halfway down my stairs when he spit the words out. I nearly fell those last few steps. I remember sinking to the floor at the bottom of the stairs in absolute disbelief. I actually said “You’re lying.”
He wasn’t. I spent months obsessing over every single detail that led to his death. It still haunts me.
I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, but I always said that if I lost my mother and him, I’d have to be buried with them. I lost my mother three years before I lost him. Their dates of death are just days apart. I lost her to damn near the exact same thing. Both too young to die. Both stolen from me. Both let me know they were okay within three days of passing away.
A lot of people think their mind is playing tricks on them; that they want to see their loved one so badly that they’re seeing “what they want to see”. I feel bad for you if you do not understand what a gift it is to get that moment where your loved one cares enough to say “I’m okay, and you will be too.”
If you’re a spiritual person and you believe in the afterlife, I strongly recommend reading “One Last Time” by John Edward. You can walk away from it the way I did 15 years ago, as a completely different person, or you can put it down and never pick it up again, the choice is entirely up to you.
Sometimes we are defined by the things that happen to use and how we cope in the aftermath, and other times we are defined by small moments, like reading a book, and walking away with a completely changed life. It’s the difference between being plugged in to life and plugged in to life and all its many nuances, things you never would have noticed without a tiny push in the right direction.
Being spiritual and believing in the afterlife is different from being religious. You can religious, and not be spiritual, and vice versa. So, if what I’ve said makes you uncomfortable, I simply challenge you to find a copy of this book and read it. After all, what have you got to lose?
Fierce loves knows no boundaries, not even death.
copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.