Saying Goodbye: A lesson in laughs and love.

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Does anyone remember those Cat's Cradles gift sets that were popular in the early '90s? It was an infinite rainbow-colored shoe-string, wrapped around a book that taught you how to make different shapes, like "Cup and Saucer," or if you were a real pro, "Jacob's Ladder."

It was the poor man, CandyCrush. Just mindless, yet sometimes challenging entertainment on a budget. Ahh, the things you remember when your childhood triggers you.

These past few weeks have been riddled with beginnings and endings, much like the cat's cradle string. It's been yet another reminder on the "Timing is Never Ours" Tour that has been holding residency in my brain.

In the last thirty days, I have started a business, raised three beautiful kids, loved a good man, felt supported by friends, healed with family, healed myself, laughed, connected dots, and said goodbye to one of the greatest women I have ever known.

Last week I went back to the place I have been unknowingly avoiding to bury the matriarch of my family. It was a reminder-after-reminder of all the cracks that needed to be healed in my and my family's foundation. Yet, this was the first time I felt equipped to handle what has always been a weighty and anxious time for me. I can't say it was one thing that got me to that point, but for whatever reason, it was the first time I truly felt like I could be in this situation and feel confident with who Calla was.

My grandma and I had a special bond. A lot of people, I learned, felt that from her in their lives as well. It made me proud to know that she was the source of humor, food, and a welcome conversation in other people's lives than just mine. There wasn't a single discussion this week without someone mentioning one of those things about her. I loved that. It brought me comfort in knowing that so many of my family members have those same traits, and she will live on through all of us in that way. Unfortunately, we also all got her stubbornness as well.

My Grams, as we call her, held on until the very end. And when I say, "Very end," I mean it... The woman died over six times and kept coming back. It got to the point where all you could do was roll your eyes and laugh, precisely the way she would have, finding humor in the tragedy. It was such a "Grams" thing to do.

You can imagine the kind of family drama that transpired from having the loss of such a significant role in our family. Where are the TED Talks on that? Because NO ONE can prepare you for the drama of a funeral - at least not in my family.

I know if the loss of my Grams caused me to feel this much emotion that it had to be just as big of a loss for the ones that lost her too. I saw how we all handle loss, stress, and grief differently. I saw how resentment and anger take over when our lives seem out of control. I also saw how a hug, a joke, and some love (for no other reason than being family) could heal and make us better if we allow it.

There are going to people, in your family or otherwise that challenge you. Their way of doing things is going to be totally different than the way you would. They are going to process things in their time, at their pace, not yours. All you can do is, love yourself enough to let that love overflow and extend over into your love for them. Not the "them" you want them to be, but the "them" they can give to you, at that moment.

So please, hug someone, make them laugh or at least find the humor, and operate from a place of love. That's where the healing and wholeness take place. Who knows, if you get off your "witches broom" and uncurl your "Cats Wiskers"you might make it up to "Jacobs Ladder" and come full circle in your healing.


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Calla is a writer, mother of three, and host of Have The Conversation Podcast.  Her blog, art, and conversations are here for you as living proof that mistakes and the lessons they provide are all part of a bigger picture   Reach out! - She'd love to get to know you.

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