And then in an instant, remembering all the falls and all the teams and all the little feet running and diving and trying to connect foot to ball.
It’s been four years since my mother-in-law passed away. That’s what got me thinking about time today.
My sense of her is still so fresh, as if she might walk up behind me at any moment and comment on the beautiful, not-quite-fall weather. I can see her in my mind’s eye, shielding her eyes from the sun to look out at the boys on the field. I hear her voice: “I swear he’s grown two inches this summer. How did that happen?”
How did that happen? And how did it happen that she couldn’t be here to see this boy grow up from a goofy eight year old to a focused and driven sports enthusiast? How did it happen that she couldn’t be here to watch her granddaughter driving herself and her brother to school for their first day?
I look at pictures and it feels like yesterday - sitting and coloring at the kitchen table, snuggling on the couch, enthusiastically unwrapping Christmas gifts...
What would I give for her to see the young adults these kids are becoming? I know it’s not a question with an answer. But it’s a question that I hold space for, knowing my own grief needs room to emerge.
Sadness wells in me as the thought arises: we keep going without you, and I know there must be another, more powerful truth out there...Something about how we carry our loved ones in our bodies because they have shaped who we are becoming...
I don’t have any studies to offer; it feels simply like a truth in my body.
We carry our loved ones in our bodies because they have shaped who we are becoming.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the imprint Ama has left for me and for my family. And I’ll find comfort in knowing I am carrying her in my cells - (maybe not as literally as my husband and kids).
I can’t reach in and pull out her irrepressible laugh. But as we share funny Ama stories around the dinner table, I can hear that laugh in my head.
Laughter is part of her legacy and even amidst the tears, I can smile with gratitude.
I know how proud she would be of how we’ve lived into her values and her gifts.
Grief and gratitude walking hand in hand - and bringing healing when given the space.
What is your relationship with loss? What wants to emerge for you in this moment?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with
Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.