In January, I usually write some version of my (gentle) rant against the “New Year, New You” marketing that we see everywhere, but this year I can’t seem to muster the energy. Let me give you the TL;DR version – you are enough as you are, and there is no resolution or new year intentions that will make you some better version of yourself, because you are already perfect in all your humanness. Maybe what needs to “resolve” is the unrealistic expectations we’re fed of what a good life looks like (in the name of capitalism). There. Got it?
Aside from that, I’m going to keep this message short and tender. The truth is, for me, it’s been a difficult start to 2023. Not much space for “new year, new me.” Just after the new year, I lost a close family member unexpectedly – my cousin Elisabeth, who I grew up with. We were the same age – the two youngest of our whole generation of cousins. She and I played on the beaches of Lake Michigan every summer as children, then as adults, watched as our own kids did the same. This was an unexpected and devastating loss. She was too young, leaving behind two school-age children and a beloved husband, her mother, and so many others in our family that are heartbroken. She was a kind, good person, down to her core. She had a big heart, expressed love freely, and was a joy-filled and devoted mother to her two boys. She had a musical laugh that I can still hear.
Quite honestly, I’ve been just going through the motions of life these past couple of weeks. Loss is like that, isn’t it? I have had moments where I feel a bit like I am underwater, or like I am moving slowly through the day with grief as my sidekick. As a Source community member wrote to me after I shared of this loss with her, “The irrevocable nature of death is so stunning and powerful and the loss of someone so young is always so bewildering.” Yes, and yes.
All the cliches after we lose someone are true. Yes, time heals, and no, we never really get over it. Grief is not quantifiable. It’s not predictable. It ebbs and flows, it expands and contracts. Grief comes in many forms, and for many reasons, not just after someone we love dies. There’s certainly a collective grief we have all experienced through these last 3 years, life and expectations upended because of a virus, affecting us in ways we are just beginning to see and really understand.
The best medicine is knowing that I’m not alone. Remembering that is helpful. I know we’ve all lost people that we love in one way or another. Our shared humanity is a gift. All I have to say right now is to hold your loved ones close, let people know that you love them, reach out to those you haven’t seen for a while. Take good care of yourself, practice self-kindness. Offer yourself grace. Let that grace expand out to others. We never know the grief that people are holding, not really.
I’m grateful for the community that Source Yoga is. I’m grateful for how we show up for each other on and off the mat. In 2023, we will continue to be here for each other.
In a divisive world, may we all remember the humanness that connects us all. May we keep offering each other grace.
Erin Joosse | she/her
Source Yoga | studio director
Upcoming this month:
- Once monthly Relax & Restore in person with Lori Ferry THIS Friday 1/21, 5:30-7pm
- Postnatal Yoga with Baby – 6 week series with Samitha, Fridays 11-12:30pm: Begins this Friday – only 3 spots left!