On Mortality

On Mortality

Mortality came to claim two beautiful souls that I had the honour of knowing. They were both young, both mothers of young children, strong, courageous women. They have left behind their loving children, husbands, families and friends. They have passed on and have left our hearts broken, in shock and disbelief. How fragile, how precious is our time here on this earth? How do you deal with it? So here I am passing the first few weeks of Spring, emotional, often disheartened and constantly on the verge of tears as more news of death, sickness and suffering presents itself so conveniently with the ever-helping hand of the internet and social media.

Several people came up to me after my Grandma, Lucy, passed away, saying I’m so sorry for your loss. I had no idea what to say, so what came out of my mouth was, “YES. IT SUCKS!” My Mom rolled her eyes at me. I wanted to scream that it’s not fair, I wanted to tell everyone that she was very healthy in her young old-age, she was an active dancer, she worked on a farm, she drove a huge-ass frickin’ tractor! She was vibrant, hardworking and beautiful! Oh wait, I did tell people that! To their faces, without screaming.

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[My sons Nainoa and Keliikoa]

This life is short, and sometimes even shorter than we expected. I can’t help feeling it’s cruel and unfair, I want to challenge the truth that feels so unreal and wrong! That one moment you were physically here and now you’re gone is the most un-wanted feeling and an inevitable conclusion. It will happen to every single person we know and eventually we will succumb to the end of life as well. I think about all the people I’ve found and loved, all the people I’ve loved and lost, all I’ve lost and all I have found and all I have yet to find.

It is through our struggles, around the pain, past the tears, after the heart stops aching, if we find at the end, that we are alive and kicking there is still time to celebrate. There is time to appreciate the magic that this life is, the light and joy reflecting through our children’s eyes, the warmth, security and friendship in holding hands, laughter sparkling in the rays of sunlight streaming through the kitchen windows reflecting off the spilled orange juice on the floor…

I need to count to 5 and then continue. Please join me. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5…

Today.

Mortality arrived gifting the world with another soul! A soul that has already brought an immense amount of love into many lives, a soul that will place so much more than just a carbon footprint on our world. Today one of my hula sisters, Kate, sent me a message that she had her baby, a little girl! How amazing is this life? How wonderful is it to be a mother and to hold your child in your arms for the first time? How crazy is it, that you can feel it again and again just by remembering that first moment when you held your child in your arms. How magical is it to witness new life coming into this world, to hold the tiny fingers and toes of a precious child. How wonderful to recognize and feel again the wonder of it all!

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Several people message you when you have a baby to send their love and congratulations. Many of those people, who love you, already love your new child. It’s like magic! Our hearts are immediately captivated by this tiny individual who is like a stranger and it feels like we’ve known them all our lives! I still remember when my first nephew, Kamani, was born. I felt like my 16 year old heart was physically expanding when I first saw him. I also remember when I had my first son, Nainoa. It was 18 August 2011 and he was born at 4:59 in the morning. Tim with the doctors assistance, was the one to catch Nainoa upon his entrance into the world. He proudly held his son and slowly, carefully handed him up to his impatient wife, who was practically yelling “Give him to me!” I put him immediately on my chest to hold him close and as I did, an enormous swell of emotion hit me in the chest. It was so powerful, like being hit by a truck. I sobbed with joy and held my little boy. After a few seconds of crying, I finally lifted him to stare into his face. I kissed his cheek and said, “Are you Nainoa? Are you my Nainoa?”

I love remembering that moment. I love to tell my sons the stories of their births.

It is a miracle that we exist, so many little things have to happen genetically for us to even be created. And here we are! Yes! WE are a miracle.

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This life is short and sometimes even shorter than we expected. I can’t help feeling fascinated by the wonder of it all. How lucky are we? To live, to love, to be loved and to bring new life into this world. To know that one moment we weren’t here physically, and the next moment… You are here! To know that in someone else’s eyes and heart, they feel it’s like you’ve always been here.

I think of all the people I’ve found and loved, all the people I’ve loved and lost and all the souls who have yet to join us on this journey of life. It is through our struggles, around the pain, past the tears, after the heart stops aching, if we find at the end, that we are alive and kicking… It is time to celebrate. It is time to appreciate the magic that this life is, the light and joy reflecting through our children’s eyes, the warmth, security and friendship in holding hands with our husbands, or holding hands and dancing with friends. Let’s look forward to joy and the laughter sparkling in the rays of sunlight streaming through the kitchen windows, reflecting off the spilled orange juice on the floor… It’s still there. I need to go and clean it up now.

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