Always Leave Heartprints

Before my mother met my father, she had every intention of becoming a nun. And then, this dark-haired fly-boy rode in on a southbound train and swept her off her feet.

Years later, when she was a couple of years older than I am now, I asked her if she had any regrets. “I regret leaving my mother and father in India,” she said. “I promised to always take care of them and I didn’t.”

She didn’t regret not taking her vows. Her life, while often difficult after leaving India, was full of her family. Though, after returning to Canada in the late 70s, she wished she still lived closer to her brothers and sisters, most of whom were in France.

But she was deeply devoted to her son and granddaughters and never wanted to be far from them. When my brother left this world in 1997, a year and a half after my father, she was shattered.

It is the one thing she struggled with for the rest of her life; to understand the tragedy of his death and the loss of all contact with her two eldest granddaughters which followed.

Yet, no matter how devastated she was by her losses, her faith never faltered and she never questioned God’s will.

I often admired my mother’s deep faith. It gave her such certitude and grace. There was no doubt in her mind that God would take care of her and in that certainty, she sometimes wondered about ‘the why’, she never questioned God’s Grand Design. She never felt alone because God was always with her.

On Friday, I attended the funeral of my friend Bev, Tamara’s mother.

It is in such heart-breaking moments that I wonder if I had faith such as my mother’s would my heart ache so much. Yet, I know it would because loss is not about faith. It’s about sorrow. And the only thing to ease sorrow, is Love.

Because of Covid, there were only 10 of us at the service. Tamara, her aunt, cousin and seven friends. We were seated far apart from each other, masks on, no opportunity to hug, to support one another, to share our love, stories and strength with her beautiful daughter.

I am so deeply grateful for the gift of being able to be there for Tamara and to wish Bev a safe passage in this, her final adventure. But, the restrictions of Covid felt so heavy and binding and so very uncomfortable.

What struck me most was the realization of how important ‘gathering’ is when someone’s physical body leaves this world. How being there to say one last good-bye is vital. As is being able to walk alongside their loved ones in close community, to support them and to love on them.

With Covid there, it made the loving on them more distant and remote.

When my cousin Linda succumbed to Covid April 30th of 2020, my cousins in France could not gather. I was saddened by how difficult those days were for them, but didn’t fully comprehend just how tragic it would have felt until Friday, when I left the gathering, got in my car and drove towards home.

It was a beautiful, warm spring day. The leaves were budding. People were out and about. The sky was crystal blue clear.

My eyes were cloudy. My heart heavy.

Not just for Tamara’s loss and pain. But also because, as we sat in the sanctuary and bid Bev good-bye, Covid was present in our midst simply because of its restrictions and we were unable to give the one thing I know we all seven friends wanted to give Tamara and her family. A hug.

And so, this morning, I know in my heart, I must chose to seek the value in all things. To find the beauty amidst the aches that cloud my heartfelt view of the world on this beautiful spring morning.

This ache is a reminder to savour the moment and to treasure those I love and let them know how very, very deeply I love them and their beautiful gift in my life.

To live life with passion, purpose and presence.

To give. Love. Laughter. Compassion. Hope. Kindness.

Freely. Completely. Always.

And… to have faith… In Love. Always.

I do not share my mother’s deep faith in a God I never came to love as she did. It is not my way.

My way is to Love. Always. Completely. Freely.

And so I shall.

Love all things. Including this ache that reminds me that life is a precious gift to be savoured, tended to and cherished in every moment. Just the way it is. Just the way I am. And to be shared, freely and completely, with those I love.

I love you all and am grateful for your presence here, and in my life.



15 thoughts on “Always Leave Heartprints

  1. In my opinion, there is one positive aspect to Covid. Writ large it has enhanced communications and personal relationships insofar as people realizing that the human touch, such as a hug, a comforting touch are so very real in how they affect us. The ability to relate face-en-face speaks a 1000 words for we do speak with our eyes, our expressions whether they be physical or facial. I feel the hurt in your words that you could not reach out to comfort those around you at the funeral, or in turn they comfort you. Yet, you were truly lucky to be part of the service, to bid adieu in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart aches with yours and yet, I feel priviledged to be able to have and live faith. when my youngest sister died end of March, we were sad – of course we were – but also happy that her suffering had come to an end and mostly, we were convinced that she was at all times with us all and shared her new Most Inner Wholeness with us. Her funeral was without any doubt the most beautiful, perfect and even partly joyful one I went to in my whole life (and I have been to too many funerals). Her husband, my bros-in-law woke up the next morning with a big sigh and the formost thought: I experienced a wonderful day yesterday.
    Also, we didn’t care about not hugging – we had to. We wore our maasks, of course, some were already even vaccinated, but how can you not hug your own child, your wonderful niece, your surviving mum, the dead ‘grandmother’s favourite nieces’ – they too lost one of their most important adults of their still young lives….
    We were allowed to be 50 ppl in the church for the service, at the cemetary we were strictly the closest family of my sister (my mum, husband and their two children with their partner, one of them took their own 2 girls along, the other one’s 2 kids were too young, us other 3 siblings with husbands, 2 musicians who played at the grave (and later in church), 2 vicars of our church (both dear friends of the family) – the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and we all had such a wonderful togetherness.
    I wish for you and for your friends that this kind of peace will be given to you too. We feel blessed and cherished and we are eternally thankful for all the many signs of love, friendship, appreciation, the letters, cards, calls and messages we received. May Tamara, her family and beloved ones, and you too feel this ‘lived love’ daily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Kiki! Wow. What a beautiful comment and experience. Thank you for sharing it.
      I think it is perhaps part of what struck me so deeply. When my mother passed away February 25, last year, we were able to hold a similar ‘farewell’ as you describe for her because Covid had not yet become an all encompassing reality. It was beautiful and loving and full of tears and laughter. Plus, at 97, we were ready for her passing.
      It is the suddenness and then the restrictions that made it so very difficult.
      Your words bring great comfort. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, and for Tamara. I’m glad you were able to be there for her; I know she felt it. I admire people with deep faith, like your mom, and it’s always been not “my way,” either, but I’m hoping to find some faith along the way. My precious grandmother died in July 2020; she lived across country. She was 99. I was not able to be there but we did FaceTime towards the end. I also did shamanic work journeying for my grandmother, so I feel we are “at rest” together. I wish you peace during this time of your grieving. Thank you for sharing so much in your life 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a gift it must have been to do that work with your grandmother Ka Malana.
      And thank you for walking this path with me. I think faith comes in many faces, many voices, many places — for me, it comes through meditation, art-making, time in nature, writing, and most of all Love.
      I am so very grateful for your sharing and your presence. Much love. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “And so I shall.

    Love all things. Including this ache that reminds me that life is a precious gift to be savoured, tended to and cherished in every moment. Just the way it is. Just the way I am. And to be shared, freely and completely, with those I love.”

    I am standing with you, walking beside you, and following love.
    Take good care of your heart,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry you’ve lost a friend.
    As kind of a loner I didn’t realize until a group of vaccinated friends had a potluck Sunday, how much we all had been isolated. How glad we all were to hug again.
    Glad you could attend her funeral. I lost 2 friends in recent months and covid prevented most of us from going so I can imagine how nice it was that you could be there.


Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.