Today makes it two years that my dad left his physical body and fully entered the spirit world. Tomorrow will be two years that I received the dreadful call and quickly began to see my entire world, as I knew it then, deconstruct in front of my very own eyes for the rest of 2013. I prefer to celebrate this day, the last day my dad walked this Earth, rather then the day I made the fateful realization that I would never be able to see my him again, never hug him again, never receive an "app a lootly" text from him again, or never hear his laugh again.
Last year on this day, January 8th, I found myself in Costa Rica. I was fortunate enough to begin my day surfing Playa Hermosa at sunrise. I don't claim to be a surfer by any means at all but that day was absolutely magical, I was in the flow. When I was a little girl, my dad would swim me out past the waves, holding me the entire time, to teach me how not to be fearful of anything. It wasn't an accident that I ended up that day of all days, paddling out past the set of waves on my own, sitting on my board in the calm waters waiting patiently for the next wave to ride me in effortlessly and with grace. I had nothing to fear.
Later at lunch, I found myself in a field surrounded by iguanas. Within a month after my dad passed, my dear friend saw my dad's spirit standing near me in my yoga class holding an iguana. Neither of us understood it at the time when she told me but I believe that was a sign that this day, the day of being in a field of iguanas, was coming. All good was coming again.
There was no doubt that day was a gift from my dad.
It's now been two years of gifts from him on the other side. I believe even the deconstruction that I went through was a gift from him. Perhaps he saw that wasn't the life I was supposed to live and he knew I was strong enough and fearless enough to survive it. As a result of all that I lost in 2013, I was able to receive the gifts of self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-care, compassion, love, honesty with others and myself, forgiveness, openness, and much more.
These days, the events of gifts are less frequent as I am sure he knows I am ok and I can fend for myself as I know this to be true too. I still miss him though. As the cliche says, time really does heal all wounds. As much as I didn't believe it two years ago, it is the truth. My heart aches a little less now and sometimes I feel guilty about that.
It is difficult for me at times to think that all of this is real; this journey I have been on is real, where I am now and where I am headed is real, when it all feels just so surreal.
I had a student who dealt with a family death recently and she told me at times she feels like the one who has died. In a sense, we did die with that person who made us. But in another sense they have passed on their life to us. There are moments I can't quite understand the feelings and visions I have or can't completely grasp the enormity of a situation I am in and it takes my breath away.
When I recently read about someone's near death experience I realized I had that same experience without actually seeing the bright tunnel of light. When you come back, they say, you can see the bigger picture of the universe and because of that you can't live the life the way you did before you knew it to be. I could never go back to my life before January 8, 2012, ever. Every cell of my being has changed since then and I no longer know that person.
Last year, as I hit the year anniversary benchmarks it was a celebration of surviving. This year, as I hit the second anniversary benchmarks, I trust it will be in celebration of thriving. App a lootly it will.