My new acquaintance is Death. She had visited me previously with the passing of all four of my grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and a dear friend’s younger brother when I was in high school, but I was not ready to open the door to her yet. No doubt she knocked at that time – curious as to my doings and eager to sit with me for a spell. But I locked my door tightly. I bolted it. I shut her out with all of my might.
And she gracefully walked away. She knew I wasn’t ready for her yet.
And now – now I am ready for her. I have experienced how she has the power to crack me open raw to the world around me. And I have experienced how she has the power to solder my cracks with golden salve of love. I have experienced how she waltzes with me when I receive her. I have experienced how she will stand solid and steady and refusing of a fight when I take a rigid battle stance against her. She will let me be hard and sticky and rough as long as I need to be. She will not back down but she will not come after me either.
She waits. Patiently. Lovingly. Knowing that in the end I cannot turn away from her whether it be by choice or by circumstance.
The dance of Grief with Gratitude is dynamic. She is one in the same as she constantly shape shifts and reveals more of her richness. Her teachings are unlimited.
We each dance our waltz between Grief and Gratitude in our own unique way. Yet in our aloneness of the dance comes a togetherness that is like no other. It is the togetherness of mourning for what has passed. It is the togetherness that can begin to allow for what is future. It is the togetherness that can honor the past in remembrance and the future for possibility. It is the togetherness that gives us the courage to imagine – and to experience over and over – that although the recipe of our world is forever different now, it is no less magical in its potential.
The holidays can bring a unique period of celebration juxtaposed with lost idealism of childhood. We tend to grieve either a little – or a lot – deeper during this time of lights and sparkle. We tend to shove down the visit of Grief and to think we are wrong to step into it. We think that it will ruin the season.
Perhaps we think that we will ruin the season.
But She doesn’t go away. Grief sits in camouflage patiently waiting for our gentle attention. She tucks into corners and cozies into the quiet between the holiday loud. She whispers to us. And in our resistance of her, the whispers can turn into screams.
Yet, what if stepping into the grief when we feel safe to do so could also allow us access to bone warming gratitude? What if the two sit by the fire together when we do not lock either out?
“It’s horrible having to tell people… and it is so much better when they know.”
My incredible 16 year old niece said these words in the April weeks after my nephew – her brother – took his own life. This year has involved great sorrow, great learning, and great wonderment for me. This year has rocked my foundation. And this year has begun to build it anew.
Remembering: From Grief to Gratitude
This 90 minute therapeutic yoga practice will include my signature small movement explorations with a focus on the very individual dance of Grief with Gratitude. The practice of expansion and contraction will be appropriate for all levels and can be explored using a chair if supportive. Included in the practice will be an extended savasana (reclining rest) or seated meditation. Following a short break after the class, the entire group will have a chance to gather over some homemade nourishment to share a story of their loved one or of days gone by. We shall honor our stories – and our loved ones’ shining existence – in our togetherness.
The suggested donation range (cash or check only) of this 3 hour exploration including 90 minute class, 15 minute break, and 75 minutes of together time is $30 – $50. Again, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the local hospice organization (Transitions LifeCare hospice of Raleigh and Rockbridge Area Hospice in Lexington). If you wish to donate to either organization as part of our collection but cannot attend the class, please email me at Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com.
Remembering Class & Gathering #1
Location: Long Life Wellness Center in Cary, NC
Date & time: Saturday, December 15th, 4:00-7:00pm
Signup by emailing Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com to reserve your spot. Space is very limited for this special event and registration will be in order of requests received.
Remembering Class & Gathering #2
Location: Center of Gravity in Lexington, VA
Date & time: Saturday, December 22nd, 1:30-4:30pm
Signup coming soon on the Center of Gravity website at https://www.
May we find the courage to together explore the stumbling, gliding, ever dynamic dance of Grief and Gratitude. And may we be in wonder of what could emerge.
With love on this Thanksgiving Eve,