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October 14, 2019
Word of the Week: Death
A week ago today, my beloved Boppy crossed to the other side of the rainbow. I am still grieving. My heart hurts, my body is covered in stress hives, and my eyes don’t have any tears left.
Even though he was 100 years old (!!) and lived a beautiful, full life, I don’t think we are ever ready to let go of someone we love. And that is okay. I am giving myself the time and space to process. To celebrate. To remember. To honor. To miss. To cry. To accept. To connect.
As a society, I think we do a bad job at grieving. We rush the process. We try to “move on” too quickly. We feel embarrassed for loving someone so much we physically cannot pick ourselves off the ground when they are gone.
Why do we have to make excuses like “It’s okay, he lived a long life” or “It’s okay, we knew she was sick”?
Why do we feel the need to comfort other people who call us to ask what happened?
Why do we have to race back to work and go on with business as usual?
Why do we put on a “brave” face instead of letting grief run through us?
Why do we shy away from expressing our true feelings to those who are dying?
Why do we wait until the last minute to tell someone how much they mean to us?
Why do we say someone has “given up” instead of honoring the completion of their soul contract?
Why do we pretend that we can control the natural cycle of life?
Why is talking about death so taboo?
Why do we believe we can only be in relationship with someone in the physical plane?
While I am in a state of deep reflection, I can only muster up a few words to describe my incredible grandpa to you:
My Boppy was a gentle man with a big, enormous heart. He was a jokester. We loved to play cards, work on wooden jigsaw puzzles, and bake together. He made the best corn pancakes. He was the King of Christmas and adored putting up a 13 foot Christmas tree every year. He married the love of his life and they were married for 75 years. He and my Nanny used to dance the night away at the Claremont Hotel. They traveled to 150 different countries together. He always had a camera by his side. He was most at home in the garden. And in the Redwoods. He had stories dating back to when he tried to run away with his girlfriend at age three. He was a master turkey carver. We laughed a lot.
Thank you for being such an amazing grandfather, Boppy. I miss you here in the physical world so much already. May this next leg of your journey be filled with love, peace, and adventure. You are safe. Never forgotten. I’ll always be with you. Thank you for the gift of being able to say goodbye. Your legacy will live on. We love you.
Ask Yourself: What are my beliefs about death? How comfortable am I with my own mortality? What would help me feel more at ease with the natural cycle of life?
Weekly Mantra: I am always supported by my ancestors.
When in Doubt, Jam It Out! Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard (Be sure to follow the Spotify playlist called “Jam it Out with Elizabeth” to stay up-to-date with the weekly jams )
Things I am Loving: Martín Prechtel’s beautiful work on grief and praise. Martín trained in the Maya shamanic tradition and is one of the most profound teachers on understanding the emotional experience of grief. His work has fundamentally shifted how I view death and has helped me understand my role in the village as a Wailer (i.e. I cry for others).
Bonus: Is there such a thing as too much self-care? Are you masking addictive behaviors as “self-care”? How do you know the difference between practicing healthy self-care and practicing self-care out of compulsion?
Check out my latest piece on Thrive Global: Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care? where I chat about all these questions and more! Read on for an example of my own struggles with using self-care as an escape mechanism and 4 signs your self-care might be doing more harm than good.
Take good care of yourself this week.
P.S. Don’t forget! I started a Dear Abby/Dear Sugar-style advice column (and/or podcast!) called Notes from Camp. Think of it like you are writing your BFF a note from camp. Tell me your deepest fears, biggest dreams, soul-whispers, and heartbreaks…and I will respond with as much honesty, compassion, and humanness as I would my BFF. I will be taking submissions on a rolling basis (prioritizing Monday Vibes community members) and compiling responses over the next few weeks…and we will go from there!! Send your note here.
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