California Connections


California dreaming…..and triggers….

Being in San Diego this past week for a conference brought up a lot for me, and it felt like a dream. Last time I was in California was with Jason, and I was missing him so much. I was reminded of how much he liked California and saw himself going to college there. It reminded me of my dream to move somewhere warm and adventurous with Kule, like California, when Jason went to college next year. Maybe we would have moved together. Yes, we will move together, we will always be together. We are together now, and yet I miss him so much. It feels so unreal. Nothing is real except the present moment.

My trip was a journey in exploring the present moment, the beauty that brings, and the deeper connection I get with Jason and anyone, dead or alive. It was a hard journey, and also rich with gifts.

I enjoyed being in the moment in my pleasant interactions with work colleagues, and getting closer to friends. I was in my flow delivering my presentation with my session speakers, and it was well received. I was very present with my new client, and it flowed. My past fears about both of those events dissolved. It was a blessing that my first business trip away from my grieving cocoon was in a small conference, in a city I really like, with many people I know well and who know about my loss and who welcomed me with caring thoughts and hugs. My healing sprained ankle was happy not to have to walk too far in this small venue at my hotel. I hobbled up to my room at the end of the day, bathed and iced my ankle, got room service, and went to bed Boston time. It was easy to ignore small voices in my head telling me I’m missing out on great business networking and fun out on the town. I was taking care of myself, and I was surprised at how exhausted I was. I’ve been told grief can be exhausting, and I’ve thrown jet lag and a sprained ankle on top of that. That hotel bed felt so unbelievably good. I felt held. I slept like a baby.

I sat in presence on a beach bench in Del Mar, feeling the sun warm me, the light breeze caress me, and the surfer waves wash over me. I got lost in the consciousness of all there is. I let the tears flow as I looked around for signs of Jason in the clouds, wishing he were with me, sitting with me in his deep presence, and with his camera, capturing the beauty in his way. I watched my mind, and tried an experiment.

Instead of looking actively for Jason in nature and in my memories, I connected with the love of the divine mother embracing me. I immediately felt my deep motherly love for Jason, and felt his presence strongly. I was reminded how powerfully love brings me into the beauty of the moment.

I stayed with friends in San Diego, welcomed warmly into their beautiful home. I had been crying through a wave of grief on the way to their house, and conversation with my friend Maureen about grieving and spirituality brought me back into that presence, enjoying fully my time with her and her family. I received the divine mother embrace. It didn’t even trigger me when I found out their teenage son was a tecchie, just like Jason. It was a joy watching Maureen cuddle with her daughter, as I used to do with Jason when he was younger. As I was driving to the airport, I found my mind being active again, wondering what I am doing and where I will end up, being in post-loss transition. I was able to be with the thoughts and the feelings, as hard as it was, without judgments or expectations. It’s just what is right now.

I wanted to be alone at dinner in the airport, and I was placed next to two overly-friendly Floridian businessman on their way back from Shanghai. Another opportunity to be in the moment. I truly enjoyed their congeniality; enjoying them enjoying themselves. I am never alone.

Another gift, this one was certainly from Jason. It’s the first time I’ve travelled where I could see land the entire journey, from San Diego to Chicago. This was the land he loved most – the Southwest, and it was showing me its greatest beauty – the vast desert, sculpted canyons, ancient riverbeds, glaciers, snow-topped peaks, and endless mountains. I felt I was seeing this through his camera, with mystical lighting and filter effects created by the distant clouds and setting sun. It was breathtaking, and I got to share it with Jason, capturing a few photos as he used to do. The last leg from Chicago to Boston was the same leg we shared coming back from San Francisco in July, a week before he passed to the other side. I watched comedy shows, reminiscing our laughter together on that trip, and practiced being in the moment.

I was in Kule’s arms again. I had held back the tears on the plane, and now the dam was up and the flood of tears came, releasing more. This was my current moment, and then I was present with Kule, in that joy.

So this is grief. This is life. Being with what is, all the contrasts of experiences. Grateful for all the gifts….

Will I move to California? I don’t know. What I do know is that I can be at home anywhere I am when I stay in the moment and connected to love.

That’s the spirit of California, feeling the warmth and aliveness!
It was so great travelling with you again, Jason, dude.