2021 was a really hard year for me. I lost my special pōpoki, Noelani, in January, and I’ve lost three very close friends since August, and their deaths have hit me hard. You’d think, since in the past I’ve been a prolific journaler, that words would fly out of my mind like the wind that’s gusting here now. Instead, I’ve been numb. And depressed. I know, thanks to Megan Divine at Refuge in Grief, that this is a common reaction for grieving people. Maybe I’m afraid of all the intense feelings that will come up, though I’ve gone through lots of intense feelings before. I got Megan’s wonderful grief journal, “How to Carry What Can’t Be Fixed”, had it spiral bound so that I could write easier in it, and haven’t even been able to do that. I’ve read several pages and can tell that it’s an amazing way to process grief. My goal this year is to work through it. And if you are dealing with grief, I highly recommend Megan’s website. In the meantime, and during that process, I’m intending to write on my blog again. I think that can be a healing thing, too.
Today I honor my beloved friends as well as Noelani. I got her as a rescue in 2011, and she was always so incredibly cuddly, especially after my knee surgeries and on cold nights. She was terrified of loud noises, and we took special care to keep things quiet around her. She and Keola were soulmates, and he misses her terribly, as do I.
This is my sweet friend, Carol, who courageously fought cancer up until the very end. It was an honor and a privilege to be with her during her last weeks at home on hospice. She and I have been friends for many years, and her three “motto” words were hope, joy, and kindness. She and I spent many hours on the road together going to our Gathering retreats and meetings, and I miss her desperately.
My friend Teresa lived her last years to the fullest, spending some of her final weeks in Hawaiʻi. She and I met at our spinning guild, and shared many of the same interests. She was an amazing shawl knitter and handspinner, and though our guild hasn’t been meeting for two years, I can still see her smiling face in front of her wheel.
My friend, Pat, grew up on an Indian reservation and suffered terrible injustices because of his ethnicity. He was a rodeo rider and WW2 hero, earning two Purple Hearts in the Navy. He was able to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., which is where this photo was taken. Though life didn’t always treat him well, he was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and lived his 95 years well.
Aloha ʻoukou, my sweet friends. We will always be together in our hearts.
It is SO hard to lose such special beings in our lives, especially when it feels like so many at once! What a gift to have had someone that makes you miss them so terribly, that makes you smile remembering conversations, a certain look, purring in your lap, whatever it may be, but to have experienced this special love. I know you will find ways to honor these friendships when the time is right. And it is YOUR time, whenever and however long. These are weird days that have been compounding such facts of life as death. It sucks. And I send you hugs oxoxox
Mahalo for the hugs and wise words. I love what you wrote, and your thoughts really do help. I so appreciate you.
Oh, Moki-chan, I’m so sorry for all of your losses. 2021 was very hard indeed. Thank you for your beautiful tributes. I’ve also been working through grief and loss and have been trying to work up to journalling to help process those losses. I love Ms. Devine’s wisdom that grief is not something to get over–it’s something to learn to carry. Here’s to a better (in every sense of that word) 2022.
Mahalo nui, my friend. I know the year was difficult for you as well. I love Megan Divine’s words and just listened to more of her podcast today about processing last year’s grief in a new year. So many people think there’s a timeline on grief, and there just isn’t. It takes as long as it takes.