The Ballast in Bereavement- A Reflection on Family

At 3:30am I said goodbye to my siblings and dad and by 10am I’d said my goodbye to my cousins who’d I’d met in middle Canada for a family funeral. In the rush of my everyday I rarely stop…this weekend in Picton Ontario there were many moments to take pause and reflect on what’s important. In a quiet lake setting we, as a family said goodbye to our Uncle Rob, my father’s brother, and a staple in our family. I looked to my left and right in the church pew and saw folks in quiet reflection honoring my uncle’s life…but what really got me was the legacy he left behind in my cousins and great cousins who played the piano, sang operatically and spoke with such cadence at his memorial. I held my sisters and brother and cousins ( and even baby great cousins) a little closer. I laughed to heartily watching my uncle Rob on old super 8 videos dancing into rooms with such aliveness and vitality for life. There were effusive tears, but also much laughter, and a cousin’s dance party until 3am which we know in our hearts would make “Uncle Bobert” so happy. He was that guy who always had a camera…capturing every moment and now I know it’s my job to get back at it and continue shooting video wherever possible and taking pictures…just like I did in my early years. I got that from him and the Steele bros.
This family is so close knit, we tell each other we love each other, we acknowledge and accept our unique…weirdness ( I’m picturing uncle Rob in the baby doll pajamas he extracted from a certain young woman’s room to don for the camera). If this funeral had of been happening in Timbuktu I’d of gone, to stand in solidarity with this family who is my reason for getting up every day and the reason I extol the importance of family to my daughter even though we live miles away from blood family.
We lost a fixture of our family this year, and we lost him fast, but we gained a “renewal of our family vow session.”
What does this have to do with any of you past or present birth clients? It’s just a call to action to keep in mind what your constructing when you begin or add to your family. You’re building the foundation to your heart and soul. Family can look unique and individual, family can take on many forms…..but family is the essence of our being….whether it’s a family of 3 or a family of 30. Lean on the people you consider family to nourish your soul. Do not be afraid to tell people you love them and you care about them…to their face. Raise your children to know loving kindness in a world where it’s a rarity.
Today I wish for you the same warmth and acceptance I felt and tried to give in the wake of death. Birth and death, the pendulum always swings, but in both occasions, celebrate life, celebrate kindness, togetherness, non judgement and strength.

Family 2017

Myself and all of my Steele Cousins and siblings, My uncle Robert’s funereal, June 2017

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