My beautiful mother Leslie died on November 13th of this year. As far as deaths go, it was a good one – peaceful, at home, from natural causes and with no accompanying illness. I’m proud of how she chose to leave, and at the same time it is a huge loss. She was not only my mother she was my co-author, close friend and confidante.
Since she died I have had to step up to do things I didn’t know I could do. Like, together with my youngest brother, lovingly dressing her body, combing her hair and laying her to rest in her wool-lined eco casket. Like organizing and conducting her intimate burial service. (We walked her casket to the churchyard ourselves, spoke prayers for her, played beautiful music, lowered the casket into the ground, filled the tomb with earth and decorated her grave with flowers.)
Two weeks ago, we held a live-streamed celebration so that her friends and fans around the world could join us in honoring her. It was beautiful. It began with a video of outtakes from some of the many Sacred Truth videos Leslie shot with my brother Aaron. Mama’s ability to laugh at herself was one my favorite things about her. The whole audience at the event laughed whole-heartedly along with her. It was not a funeral. It was not a memorial. It truly was a celebration of a remarkable and inspiring woman I was, and am, blessed to call my mother.
I feel grief, sadness and denial – can she really be gone? The tapestry of my life feels torn. It’s as if the bedrock beneath me that always felt so solid has turned to quicksand. I’m OK, and I am not.
This morning I went for a run in the botanical gardens. It was peaceful and beautiful. And as my body moved through space I had the thought, “Leslie would have loved this – like she loved so much of life.”
I am left with the desire to live my life soulfully and full-out, to leave no part of me unlived, to be awake to the wonder of each moment and to love and embrace it all – including death – as best I can.
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