Loss by definition is the process of losing someone or something.
I lost someone one year and four months ago. It was the first time I lost someone and I can tell you one thing for sure:
That healing and dealing with loss is a never ending process.
My mom called me crying at 8:55 that morning.
I kept repeating:
“So he’s dead? He was killed in an accident? Oh.”
Then I went to work.
I went to work and I remember in that moment part of me had instantly died.
He was my best friend for five years and my boyfriend for three. We were each other’s first love. I was his last. So when he died, five years of my life did too.
We met at church camp when I was 14. By met, I mean a wave here and there and a sort of conversation and I just remember his laugh (which I’m starting to forget) and his smile and thought “Wow what a babe!”
Long story short, my mom set us up on a lunch date for my 15th birthday and the rest is history.
Fast forward a year later and we were in Ocean City. I was really sick that weekend, but he woke me up at 6am to see the dolphins anyway. We climbed the lifeguard stand and watched the water as the sun rose over it and guess what? We saw them! They were jumping out of the water and diving back in! It was all so magical.
-A Pose For This: Dolphin
Sometimes I need to go upside down. It makes me laugh and feel playful.
I wish I could tell you there is ONE magical way to heal and deal with loss, but there is not. There are many.
My personal way of healing and dealing with his loss is yoga. It’s not magical though. In fact, it’s incredibly messy. I move my body a lot. I sweat. I cry. I Savasana. Then I do it again.
-A Pose For That: Warriors
I read a book about warriors recently. It stated:
“Warriors may not always win, but they always show up with great courage.”
Practicing yoga is my way of holding space for myself in my moments of needing to feel what needs to be felt. Without yoga, my heart races and my body feels like it’s going to shut down. Then I question why I’m still here and he’s not and it’s a never ending pool of grief.
So that’s why I come back to my yoga practice, because it’s the only thing that makes sense. I breathe. Then I breathe some more. I remember what Oxygen feels like. Then I move my body and slowly start to feel alive again.
-A Pose For This: Heroes
The moments that I recall feeling most alive in my life involve my Ujjayi breath that I always practice in Heroes Pose.
When he died, I had just moved to New Orleans. I didn’t know anyone yet. So there was no one there to hold me or hug me or to tell me that I could get through it. All I had was my yoga practice, so that’s what I did. I would go to yoga and I would move. I moved so I could feel something and cry. Then I went to yoga again and cried some more. Then I hit my head off a cupboard door and fell to the floor sobbing. I remember having to lock myself in my bathroom, because I had guests over and didn’t want them to hear me cry into the nothingness that I felt.
-A Pose For That: Camel
When I need to shine my heart open to feel everything and then let everything else flow out.
It was Mardi Gras that entire month. So the city was celebrating, but all I did was cry. The crying would happen randomly. I would be waiting at the bus stop or sitting on my couch or lying on my yoga mat and lose it. Completely break down. Uncontrollable sobbing.
I never thought I would miss him again. The last time I cried for him was in a subway station in New York when we said goodbye. That was when we broke up.
Five years went by. Both of us had moved on with our lives.
Then he hit a guardrail and was killed instantly.
I don’t know why I’m writing this, but I’ve questioned myself a lot this past year and four months. I question if my love for him was enough, if what I did for him and us in our time together was enough. And now I have to work extra hard on being love to every person in my life who I care about. I have to work on being love to the world and I feel like it’s a lesson I forget and have to repeatedly learn. I just need to make sure that everyone I love knows that they are loved unconditionally by me.
If there is one thing I do not question though, it is this yoga practice.
I found yoga shortly after we broke up and it is the only thing that got me through losing him. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I ended things with him. So I could find yoga and learn how to heal and deal with losing him after he was gone.
-A pose that we all rush to get to, but always arrive to in the end: Savasana
A yoga teacher once told me that this practice is just the warm up. When we wake up from Savasana that is where the work begins.
So I’m still warming up. And I’m thankful for that. I get to climb mountains, swim in waterfalls, see the world and feel his light all around me in those places. Healing and dealing with loss through yoga is a never ending process, but maybe that’s a warm up too.