It is quiet here this morning. Given that I awoke at 3:45am, I guess one could assume that it would be quiet – most of the world is still asleep. It feels absolutely perfect, though, to be the only one stirring in the witching hour and to feel the other dimensions so close.
Today, on the day of Grandpa Vic’s graveside service,I feel as quiet inside as the atmosphere is outside of me. Stillness fills my every cell, as I reflect on my grandfather’s life through my own experiences of him. I remember the feel of his silky white hair that always looked perfect – until I got my hands on it teasingly and he allowed me (and only me) to twist it into spikes and horns. I remember the sound of his laugh and his raunchy sense of humor. I remember the perfect taste of the Mexican Vanilla ice cream that he hand-cranked and tenaciously babysat. I remember his “chopped off finger” trick and his propensity for continually trying to rig the Speed Uno dealing machine that never worked quite right. I remember his favorite sayings that were some twisted form of his native Italian language, Jesu Cristo! and I am Vitorio Emanuel Il Terzo and In the name of the padre, del figlio e spirito santo. Now, some of the words were missing and it was, of course, interspersed with English, but… that was Grandpa. He was his own man.
There is something very magical about Grandpa’s passing. Most of the family members I have talked to are feeling immensely peaceful and content. Yes, there has been some tears, but the overall feeling is… a sort of gentle joy. I have been witness to miraculous healing and have felt both Grandma and Grandpa near. I’ve had the honor of delivering messages from them to their loved ones. And I’ve been able to feel their love pour through me and into their loved ones who I am honored to touch.
Grandpa lived his life fully, working hard and taking care of those he loved. He was a strong, prideful man who was mostly incredibly shy. His Italian heritage coursed through his veins and his temper followed the heat of that blood – although, for me, his loud outbursts were only legends passed on by his children because, as he aged, he learned to quiet that raging beast.
He had a zest for life, a love of the ladies and possessed a wickedly-sharp cunning ability. A prize-winning gambler, he experienced “life on the edge” through his high-stakes poker tournaments and he never backed down from a challenge. A devout, but non-attending Catholic, he remained steadfastly non-Mormon, only converting to Mormonism after the death of his beloved, Mormon wife. However, even though he fought against the religion their entire marriage, I can safely say he was probably the most knowledgeable “Mormon” I knew because he studied the religion closely, all while vehemently opposing her pleas to get baptized.
Everything that Victor did, he did to the fullest. I remember his joking manner with me when I was a young girl with starry eyes who endlessly fell in and out of love. “HoneyGirl,” he would say to me, “Marry for money. You can learn to love him later.” Then, the memory comes to me of him standing beside me, radiant in his tux, proudly holding out his elbow for me to loop my hand through as he prepared to escort me down the stairs before handing me over to my father to walk me down the aisle. His love for me shined in his eyes and I knew that he loved me, that he was proud of me – even though I was marrying for love, not money.
For me, Grandpa’s death has been an opening, of sorts. Yesterday, I received – quite divinely timed, I may add – an email from a group that sends me daily uplifting messages. It read:
Before a new birth there is always a death. A death of the direction we thought we were heading; a death of dreams that will not be realized; a death of the person we thought we were; a death of the loved ones that will be left behind; a death of the things that must be let go of to create space for the new; a death of hope for something or someone that will not be.
A death deserves to be grieved. Allow your sadness to move through you. It will wash away any obstacles that stand in your way of creating that which wants to be birthed.
It was an eery experience to read the very first sentence when I opened it, but my heart melted as I read on. And, as I shared it with family members throughout the day, I was able to witness the same transformation wash over them that had flowed over me.
It has been such an incredible experience to do the work I do and to have the opportunity to be open to Spirit so that I can continue to feel Grandpa near. It has been so powerful to learn of my ancestors and their beliefs and to feel of the power that courses through them, through my Grandpa, through me. I am so grateful that his life touched mine. He has had such a huge impact on me and will always be in my heart.
This life is a beautiful life and it is made all the more beautiful when I choose to look for that beauty. Thank you, Grandpa, for teaching me to live full out! You are an amazing, beautiful man!