Recently I attended my Nonna’s (grandmother’s) funeral. Nonna was such a constant person in my life. We shared a close and playful relationship. I saw her nearly every weekend and it was wonderful to spend so much time with her. Nonna had always been a fit, active and strong woman, but from the age of 88 I could sense that she was slowing down.
Nonna died one week before she reached 90 years, after falling and breaking her hip. I got to see her while she was in hospital and express how I felt about her. This was not something new for me as every time I was with Nonna I would express my love for her: Nonna knew without a doubt that I loved her and that she was a very special person to me.
When Nonna died I thought I would feel overwhelmingly sad. I had never experienced the death of someone so close to me and I had this belief that the amount of sadness I felt would equate to how much I loved the person. I felt much love for the woman I had spent so much time with and a true acceptance of the choices my Nonna had made in her life and that this life for her had ended.
I felt a deep appreciation for the relationship we had, and that I had always expressed my love for her. There was much sadness around me, which is understandable, and much talk about how the funeral would be difficult and very sad. I did begin to wonder how I would feel at the funeral; would this be the time that I would be sad, would I be overcome with emotion?
Coming from an Italian background, I had attended many Italian funerals and these experiences had shown me that extreme emotion was involved: there might be wailing, there would definitely be a lot of tears and people wearing black clothing. It was like swimming in a sea of heavy emotion. In the past I had reacted to this intensity by feeling overwhelmed.
As I pondered on how attending Nonna’s funeral might be, I realised that the only thing I could do on the day was to accept what I and everyone around me was feeling.
I also realised that in the lead up to the funeral I could choose to live in a way that supported me to deeply care for and nurture myself.
Living this way was not new to me as for a few years I have been developing a deeply caring relationship with myself. As a result, I was open to listening to my body and how I was feeling and then open to making more loving choices to support me to continue to feel well and vital. During the week before the funeral I chose to deepen this loving way more consistently.
I brought my presence to every moment, which simply means when I was doing something my mind and body were together.
- Each time I made my bed, I brought all my attention to the task at hand. I did not allow wandering thoughts as I lovingly smoothed out the sheets and doona and tenderly placed the pillows. I focused on the way my body felt as I moved with this presence.
During the week I did not override my body and what it was feeling, I listened and made loving choices in response to it.
- If I was tired I would lie down and have a rest; I chose not to push through and ‘just get on with things’
- I ensured I went to bed early every night so I would feel rejuvenated in the morning
- If I had an emotional conversation with a family member I would sit afterwards and ask myself tenderly “how am I feeling”. I would take the time to support me by simply reflecting or having an honest discussion with my husband or a close friend. I did not override how I felt, I simply honoured what was there and gave myself space to be with it.
I felt how simple it was to live this way and how every moment was building on the next, nothing felt separate or disconnected. Every moment that I chose to be loving supported me to keep making more loving choices for myself. I was in constant appreciation of the choices I was making.
All week I took deeply loving care of myself, not just for myself, but for others. I ate foods that were supportive, spoke gently to myself and my family and walked every day. My daily walks were such an amazing support…the fresh air, feeling the sunshine on my skin and watching the birds dance through the sky brought a feeling of harmony to my body that was very soothing. There was no perfection, only a loving dedication and commitment.
On the day of attending the funeral I felt tender and very present because of the loving care I had chosen over the last week. There was a strength that came from honouring what I was feeling within with a steadiness and a surety that I had not felt on such a deep level.
When I walked into the church I was not alone. Every loving choice I had made that week was with me, which allowed me to be open and loving with all, even though I could feel the heavy sadness and grief that was present.
As I stood at the altar and expressed the love I felt for Nonna and shared stories of our connection, I felt my expression come from a place deep within and I felt truly connected to all. People dried their eyes and laughed at the cheeky stories I told of Nonna, remembering the woman she truly was. It felt like my expression washed away the heaviness and brought clarity and space to all.
Afterwards, family and friends expressed such loving appreciation for my expression… one person genuinely thanked me for the eulogy and said it had made her day because it supported her to stop feeling overwhelming sadness and focus on the loving connection that she also had with my Nonna.
As I drove home that evening with my husband I reflected on the funeral and the connection we felt with everyone. It had been such a beautiful day. There was such openness, love and acceptance from all who were present.
Attending my Nonna’s funeral was different to any funeral I had ever attended. My deeply caring and loving choices leading up to the funeral allowed me to stay open and present all day and to express without reservation. I felt much love for all, and the connection I felt with people had made the funeral a truly special day.
I am deeply inspired by Serge Benhayon’s love for humanity and the presentations of Universal Medicine that have supported me to re-connect to the love within me and re-develop my innate awareness. Without this re-connection I would not be living the joy-full, loving life I live today.
By Bianca, Melbourne, Australia