There is so much rambling inside of my heart and head right now that I find it near impossible to find the words I want to write, no that I need to write. No words seem adequate and yet there is too much I want to say as well.
For the past 24 hours I’ve been in deep shock, a shock as deep as the night that Russell died. Rocked to the very depths of my being, I have been curled up in a ball crying and shaking and reminding myself to breathe, Just Breathe! I stepped back into another rabbit hole last night and have been traveling the twisty paths of Cuckoo Luckoo Land – that place where things just make no sense.
Last night we received word that Ayanna, my life coach, my mentor, my most trusted confidant, and my lifeline for the past several year died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer. From the sounds of the information from her husband it was a very brief battle of just a few months. Considering I hadn’t seen her for about 7 weeks, knew nothing of her cancer, she was younger than me, and last time I saw her she was the epitome of health, the news is beyond shocking to me. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and then shoved me head first down a rabbit hole into the darkness again. As I tumbled down the hole my entire being just kept screaming “What? Why? How? Whhyyyy?”
I’ve texted some with Ayanna’s husband but it has all been supportive messages between us. I’ve withheld from asking the hundreds of questions running through my mind. He doesn’t need to answer anyone’s questions right now. There will be a celebration of life ceremony for Ayanna sometime soon and perhaps then I will find some answers. Most likely I will never know all of the story. But then again, I know that none of us ever can really know what the whole story is anyway. Even if we are there for the acting out of the story there is always some shadow piece, some part of the puzzle that remains unknown to us.
As I have followed the twists and turns of this new journey in Cuckoo Luckoo Land I have slept and eaten very little. The pain is too raw, both physical and emotional. Ayanna has known more of my story – every little nuanced piece of it – for 5 years that I cannot imagine her not being part of my ongoing healing and transformation. With her I was always able to say anything and everything that I needed to say. Plus she could hear the things even I couldn’t speak out loud. She had this amazing ability to read the unspoken words of my heart and heal me in more ways than I can even name. The tools that she helped me to learn are more valuable to me than anything I ever learned from a book or in a school.
Just being in her presence could provide peace and healing for me. She would walk into a room like a radiant, light and love filled Amazon Warrior Queen. When I was with her I believe anything was possible, even the seemingly impossible. More than any other person she was an advocate for me to write my story – my story of Cuckoo Luckoo Land with Russell and the healing steps I have taken since. She was going to help me write that book and also a book about healing through grieving. We talked about creating a program to help those who support people who have lost a loved one. She was going to do programs at Avalon Sanctuary – a space she believed was infused with light and love and that is truly a magical space. When she was there at our anniversary bonfire she said she could feel the room pulsing with healing energy. There were so many more things I hoped to journey through together.
Part of the powerful light throughout this 24 hour journey has been Ayanna herself, smiling to me and speaking clearly to me. “Dive into the pain Lara. Dive deeper. Keep diving. I am here in the light. Breathe and dive into all. Feel it; scream it; know it. I’m still here. You can do this. You will do this. You’re not alone. Love and Light and Peace is all around you. Trust the journey. You are a warrior of love and it is your time to step forward and stand on your own. You are ready. Dance in the shadow place. Write your story. Heal your heart.” Throughout all of my crazy dreaming as I’ve tried to sleep she has been in them, smiling and speaking to me. What a gift that has been.
I honestly do not know what I will do without the presence of this unique, powerful, love filled, healing woman in my life. Never have I met anyone else like her and never have I entrusted anyone else with as much of my full story as I have with her. Her presence in my life over these last 5 years has brought me to more understanding about myself and the world than I ever could have imagined. She has helped me transform myself and my relationships in profound ways. And I do not believe I would be anywhere near as far along my healing path since Russell’s death as I am today. I have a long way to go in many aspects but I credit her with helping me get to where I am today.
Tonight I watch The Matrix, a movie Ayanna and I often talked about as we explored the ways in which we can rethink what reality is. It’s a favorite movie for both of us. “You are faster (or stronger) than you think. Don’t think you are. Know you are.” “I’m trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it. You have to let it all go. Fear. Doubt. Disbelief. FREE YOUR MIND!” Morpheus just spoke these words to Neo as I was writing. THIS is what Ayanna wanted me to believe. That I could free my mind. That I am powerful and magical and full of infinite possibility. She believed in me and this is what I will choose to take with me as I now make my way out of Cuckoo Luckoo Land back into my world.
Ayanna has reminded me again that there is no time but the one we are in. I must live my life as authentically, as powerfully, as fully in the moment as I possibly can. I must live my life out loud, telling people that I love and believe in them. I must follow my dreams now. I must do what I can to help heal the world and provide a place of breathing sanctuary because I believe this is part of my life’s purpose. I must write my stories and share these with the world; it is for my healing and for those who need to hear only the story that I can tell. I must be the warrior woman of love and light that I want to be. I must seek joy and believe it is okay to do so.
In this time, in this moment I breathe and I am thankful for the light that Ayanna has been for me. May I continue to share that light with those around me who need it. As I step out of the dark and back into the light I promise you Ayanna, I won’t forget the journey we’ve had. Thank you!