My Godfather died this week… I learned the news by my cousin Audrey on Wednesday. I was at work, and all of a sudden, it’s like a drastic change of weather. One minute you feel the light wind and the warmth of the sun on your skin. The next minute, the sky gets lower and darker and a strong wind sweeps the land ferociously. Then, a light rain starts.
A little voice emerged from my chest..
My Godfather loved me like his daughter. In fact, he cherished me as his only ‘daughter’, father of two older sons.
A few days before him, it was one of my aunt who passed away.
I have to say… This is very strange hearing sad news about family, and being on the other side of the world.
A sense of helplessness and loneliness invaded me, not knowing what to do with my emotions. But instead of resisting them, I embraced them, embraced my sadness, let my tears fall down and started to grieve.
I only wish that I could have being with my family at this time, and grieve with them. Crying together, reflecting on one’s life gently, feeling close, laughing, remembering…
Early December, I wrote to my Godparents a letter. I knew my Godfather was unwell and I just needed to tell him how much I love him and how grateful I was for what both had done for me.
I also said good-bye.
I am glad I did. Daring being vulnerable and authentic in those moments is crucial. I realize now that this letter was my way of starting the grieving process beforehand, from a distance.
When I connected by Skype with my family on Wednesday evening and saw my Dad, I experienced a great sense of relief. He just had lost his brother. He looked calm and relaxed. Appeased. The thought of dying slowly in a hospital bed is unbearable for him. He was accepting his brother’s death with gratitude.
Humbling and beautiful.