I Want to Warn Others!

Dear readers,

It is with a certain degree of agony that I am writing this post. If you have experienced the death of a parent, then perhaps you can relate to my anguish…

If you have not yet experienced the death of a parent, I want to warn you! But what can I say to prepare you? All I can do is share my story and hope that it may be helpful to some people who read it…

My Dad died four months ago today, and it is truly the worst thing that has ever happened to me. At fifty years old, I thought I had experienced a lot of grief already in my life, but now I see that the griefs over unions-with-earthguys-gone-bad and the griefs over my health and financial issues were nothing compared with the grief over losing my Dad…

The pain is just terrible! But, in the days following his death, I received an overwhelming amount of comments and private messages from friends on Facebook, and that helped me so much. I printed out all of those helpful words, and I read them again and again as I sobbed. One friend, who had lost her father the year before, wrote, “There is nothing like it; It is cellular.” I could so relate, because I felt the pain in all of my cells, fibers, and bones!

Another friend, who also lost her father, shared that she didn’t realize how unbelievable the territory was. She wrote, “We can’t know until we arrive at it, that’s for sure.”

I cried so much during the first couple of months, while I continued doing all of my spiritual practices each day. Gradually I gained more inner strength and stopped crying so much, but still, every evening when it gets dark my “witching hour” begins and the questions and answers replay in my mind as they have hundreds of times before… The journey through disbelief, trauma, and shock is rocky, but hopefully I’m steadily working my way towards acceptance, healing, and peace…

One friend said that we don’t ever really get over the grief when a parent dies, but rather, it just becomes a familiar part of us… That idea brings me a strange comfort.

Fortunately I am by nature a grateful person, and I have a strong base of happiness in me… So, even during these terribly painful months, I have been able to create happy moments each day.

When the time comes for you to experience the death of a parent, I hope you will also be able to access the inner resources you need in order to love yourself through the pain.

With grief and gratitude in equal portions,
StarFire Teja

 

Taking Stock

 

“My failings have become my adornments.”

~ Rama’s brother Bharata, speaking in the Shri Ramacharitamanasa by Tulsidas.

 

Dear readers,

The practice of taking stock can be helpful for anyone, regardless of your current status — essential worker, working from home, unemployed, unable to work, retired, billionaire overseeing charitable works, and any other categories that I’m forgetting…

As we are now already one-third (gasp!) through 2020, this is a very good time for all of us to assess, both personally and collectively, who we are and where we are heading. Without ruminating over the past and what could have been, we can take a little time to review our successes and failures in order to make good decisions for our paths forward.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Yoda reminded Luke that failure is the greatest teacher. Well, I have sure had my share of failings in the past decade! The one that’s really haunting me is how I feel that I failed with my Dad. When he died suddenly in January, I had been living with my parents as a boomeranger for the past two years, and I had been struggling internally with how irritated I felt with some of my Dad’s habits and some sounds he made. They were small things really, but they annoyed me greatly.

Even though I didn’t tell my Dad about my irritations, and even though I was working on them inside myself, and even though I was actually making progress in cultivating loving-kindness, good vibes, and gratitude, I still feel that I failed.

But, the Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh says that transformation is always possible. He says we can always achieve reconciliation inside ourselves, even if the other person has died… So I am endeavoring to accept that I did the best I could at the time, and to learn from that experience, so that going forward I won’t have to live with that kind of regret again.

The practice of taking stock reveals that as I am recovering from a decade of failures, I am now restoring my power and wearing my failings as adornments.

Can you relate to my story? When you review your last decade, can you face your failings? Can you wear them as adornments now?

With forward-going energies,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by isaac on Unsplash.

 

Divine Associations on Every Inch of Earth

“Every inch of ground on Earth… has a divine association. Mother Earth has been there since the beginning of creation, being one of the five primeval elements. She has seen countless pairs of feet running about on thousands of aims and pursuits, both evil and good… Even after the participants have vanished, every inch of Earth still retains the impress of all that has gone before. We attain a full understanding only when we are aware of the divine and other associations of every piece of ground we tread on.”
~ R. K. Narayan, in his book The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic.

Dear readers, in the photo with this post you can see a divine association: On that spot of Earth, in a gathering of pine trees, a little baby girl (me, at 18 months) and her Daddy shared a moment of deep love… I wonder if that piece of ground in Glacier National Park (Montana) is still a forest, or if a building stands there now? In any case, that piece of ground still vibrates with that exchange of father-daughter love…

My Mom wrote in my baby book that “pinecone” was one of my first words! And my Dad and I shared a deep love of the forests and mountains out West… I lived in Ashland, Oregon for 23 years, and he really loved visiting there…

It has been almost two months since my Dad died, and I am feeling so grateful that we got to have a proper funeral and green burial with family gathered around. I feel so incredibly sad for all the families now who cannot hold funerals and cannot bury their dead, due to the virus pandemic.

Sitting here in quarantine, sipping my black coffee and watching the birds flying about in the trees, I’m feeling rather sad and depressed this morning… In the northern hemisphere it is officially the first day of Spring, and my Dad isn’t here to see the flowers bloom…

My dear ones, this time is so uncertain. None of us know who will lose family members, or even lose our own lives… Now is the time to really cherish our loved ones in each moment… And to appreciate the beauty of this sacred Earth…

May you feel how divine every inch of Earth is…

With gratitude, love, and sadness,
StarFire Teja

 

You the Bell

 

“Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear readers,

In my lifetime I have had a tendency to go into regular spells of darkness… But, I have a very strong base of happiness in me, so I know how to create happy moments, even when I’m being battered in darkness!

How about you, is your base of happiness strong?

My dear ones, I sincerely hope that my posts help you to Happy Up. 🙂

With happy hope even in my dark time of grief,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo color enhanced by StarFire Teja. Original photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.

 

Shining Jewels Poem

 

It’s okay to take delight in small joys —
the birds singing
the sunlight pouring in the windows
some chocolate
a bit of reading in ancient tales
and a hot shower.

It’s okay to relax,
to feel good for a while.

The love is still there
shining like jewels
in the image of Dad’s eyes.

 

Photo by Didgeman (Thomas B.) on Pixabay.