I went for a walk through a rainy Toronto park today, missing my Grandmother dearly. Bubbi endured all manner of difficulty in her life but she continued to model an open hearted way of being. Now that my heart is more open, I recognize how much courage that took. She left her body in 2005, off to join my Grandfather on a bed of golden light. How blessed I had been- 43 years of unconditional giving from this tenderling warrior, 98 pounds of pure love stoking me higher with every step. So many memories, so many back-rubs, and simple gifts, and over-cooked chicken, and rolled coins, and blankets quietly set down on top of me when I drifted off to sleep. And so much I don’t remember, loving acts so subtle and so natural that I didn’t notice, acts that gave me the strength to go on, pushing me along. Throughout my life, I carried her loving seeds within me, unknowingly growing them into sunflowers on the still murky trail. Only now do I see them, and appreciate the role she had played in watering me as I grew.
I sat down in the rain, cold and contracted, shallowing my breath to avoid breathing into the memory of her loss. I sat there for some time, afraid to miss her, so afraid. But if my tenderling warrior taught me anything, she had taught me to go on, to feel everything and go on. So I breathed deeper, breathing reality in. And I soon felt it- Bubbi was gone. No, can’t be, she’s still here. I still have her messages saved on my answering machine. I breathed a little deeper. I saw her favorite chair, and she wasn’t in it. I moved through her apartment in my minds’ eye. No, wait don’t do that. She’s just out shopping. I breathed a little deeper. I saw the apartment. It was someone else’s apartment now. That hurts…

I resisted the pain, I felt it, I resisted it, I felt it. The cold rain was bouncing off my head. Terrible weather, I had every excuse to turn away from this inner quest and go home. But then the courage came, coaxing me to stay- my courage? or her internalized nudging- ‘live in truth, Jeffrey, live in truth’. I began to breathe intensely, pushing the breath through my body, a depth charge on a heartfelt mission to excavate buried hurts. Then the soulevator dropped down another floor. The door opened and there it was. The heart-core truth- Bubbi is gone. No way out. The School of Heart Knocks had struck again. Goodness, how I hate to go to school some days.

Yes, Bubbi is gone.

I sat there for a long time, holding the tether to my pain as deeply as I could. Then the rain intensified- wild chaotic rain. Was (Grand)Mother Nature trying to tell me something? I kept at it, breathing like a wild man, staying with the feelings. And suddenly, there she was, in the torrents of rain cascading down my face, in the wind blown trees calling out her name, in the face of the elderly woman running past with her granddaughter. There she was, laying in wait at the centre of my rain-soaked being, a warm sweater and a pot of chicken soup at the ready, inextricably woven into everything that is, that was, that will be. There she was…close at heart, the reign of the Divine Mother pouring down upon me, whose breath is this anyway? Ma, ma, ma, ma….

“I want to share my hope that all women everywhere enjoyed a wonder-full, gentle and kind International Women’s Day. ” – Jeff Brown

May you feel the love of the Divine Mother crashing down on your heartfelt shores, graciously lifting you up above the madness of the world, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have nurtured. Those of us who have received your blessings may not always see and acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. The road to God goes through the open heart. May you take some time to “soulebrate” the courage it has taken to keep your hearts open in a challenging world. May you feel the love of the great Ma cast her eyes upon you the whole day through.

Jeff Brown, Author of – Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation

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