As some of you may know, I have been visiting with my family and friends back home for the last 8 weeks. I have just under a week left before heading back to my home of the last 13 years. As I reflect on my time here I realise that I have had an agenda. Really? Whoops!
Since my last visit I have qualified as a Counsellor, a Behavioural Scientist, and started my own consulting business where I facilitate conversations about death and dying through workshops and events. It's been a busy 4 years!
The main reason I facilitate conversations about death and dying is to help people with their unfinished business, the clearing up of old wounds and letting go when needed, so that people are freer to live fully before they die, whenever that day may be.
So, back to my agenda...my unfinished business. You guessed it! I have spent the last 20 years or so living in such a way that I minimise the business that needs finishing with the people in my life. And for the most part, this trip has been a clean one. Because on an emotional level I was complete, I knew that I wanted only one thing from my mum on this visit and that was to give and receive a hug. After four years of Skyping, I felt somehow incomplete until I shared that physical connection with her. But the first hug wasn't the hug that made me feel satisfied, it was a deeper hug that came somewhere in the second or third week that felt like a true heart to heart hug.
From the final closure of a long time unhealthy friendship, to seeing how each of my siblings have grieved the death of our dad, to my newly teenage son's reluctance to visit down memory lane with me, I am reminded that we each process our world differently...and we tie up loose ends in much the same way, our own unique way.
As I head to my favourite cafes, my old neighborhood haunts, or where I first learnt to ride a tricycle, I am reminded that these could be my last memories. The reality is I may die before I get back here again, my mum may die before I get back here to hug her again, many things or people may come to an end before I come back. This time, I have visited in a new way with new eyes and a new perspective that I didn't have four years ago. For that I am grateful. I feel that because I live so far away and don't get here often, each visit is precious. Each conversation I have with someone in person feels special and has a quality about it that may not be the same had I lived here all this time.
I love both of the places I call and have called home. Vancouver is a beautiful city...when it's sunny! I am one of those people who loves summer anywhere in the world. The rain and grey makes me want to dig a whole and hide there until the sun comes back. I feel pretty lucky that I get to visit Vancouver in her prime and live in sunny Perth/Fremantle, Australia the rest of the time.
I don't know when I'll get back to summer in Vancouver next, but I can appreciate more fully my time spent here this time more than any other. These memories will stretch far and wide...
And for that I am grateful, and passionately yours for another day,
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