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The journey from “oy” to joy.

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Okay, I admit it’s a little strange to use the word “joy” just a few weeks after my beloved father passed away.

But I’m realizing that even though there’s so much in life we can’t control, we can learn to control how respond to it.

Even now, while grieving, I’m aware that we can choose to “reach for the higher thought” (as they say Abraham’s book, Ask And It Is Given.)

Maybe some examples from my life will help you in yours.

Here’s what I mean:

Instead of re-playing images of my Dad in pain, I can choose to look at a photo of him when he was the picture of health and happiness.

Instead of thinking “I should have done this or that,” I can choose to cherish the memory of sitting and holding hands during our last conversation:

“Daddy, I wish there was something I could do for him to take away your pain.”

You do a lot.” he said.

Right there, with those simple words, my father gave me the gift of a lifetime.

But instead of telling myself that no one will ever love me like he did, I can choose to love MYSELF like that.

I believe that there’s a gift in every struggle.

Some just take more time (and therapy) to unwrap. 

In her inspiring new book, Living Proof: Celebrating the Gifts That Came Wrapped in Sandpaper, Lisa Nichols and 38 extraordinary women (including my dear friend, Marcy Cole), share their stories of struggle and the wisdom that came from them.

It sure helps to know that we’re not in this alone.

Speaking of which, during this time of “oy,” I’ve been finding joy in signs that my father is still with me.

For instance,  the day after he died, I saw a man walking down the street wearing a name tag.

Do you know what it said?

“Gerald.”

Yep, that was my father’s name.

And to add to the woo-woo factor, almost everywhere I went that first week, sweet little hummingbirds flew right up to me.

Did you know that their wings flutter in the pattern of an infinity symbol. And that they are considered symbols of eternity and continuity?

One could roll their eyes and say “wishful thinking.”

But I choose to believe.

It just makes me feel better.

What about you?

What makes you feel better during times of loss—whether it’s a loved one, a job, a friendship or a dream?

How do you cope with the “oys” of life?

It would give me great joy to hear from you.

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22 comments to The journey from “oy” to joy.

  • Thank you for spreading the word about me. I have been feeling kinda broken lately and your support is so healing.

  • Oh my oh my oh my! I sat with my Dad for many hours before he died – it was still unexpected. I had just those same thoughts, Wendi – reading your words brings the tears right back up. Man I miss having that man physically in my life, and I get the sense you enjoyed something similar. I miss playing backgammon with him late at night over single malt scotch and fresh fruit when he was still well. I miss watching his favorite news programs with him. I miss how he made my Mom feel important and how much they enjoyed playing and listening to classical music together. I miss holding his hand in those last months and just being with him. Just BEing with him. And I definitely caved in to those feelings of could-of-would-of-should-of done more, found a way to help him heal, spent even more time with him. But at the same time I know know know way inside that he and I shared something incredible – not just in those last few months (although our relationship shifted into something even bigger through that time) but all along. For me, the sign that we’re still connected is butterflies – there were two enormous swallow tails at his funeral… our rabbi says she’s NEVER seen butterflies there before. They did a loop de loop in front of me and my younger daughter. Took my breath away for a moment. I’ve seen pairs of butterflies since then too – just a few weeks and days ago. The reason I love that they come in pairs is that my cousin passed away at age 46 or so. She had a butterfly tatooed on her shoulder and told me she would love to BE one – I was surprised and said so – why would you want such a short life? She answered without ANY hesitation “Because think of the tremendous shift they provide with all that beauty – how much good they spread just by fluttering by. I would much rather make an imprint like that than live for a long time and do so much less!” So thanks so much. I am moved!!!!!! Sending huge hugs right back! – Ellen

    • Dear Ellen,
      What a beautiful message. We have been very blessed, you and I to have had Daddies who we connected with at such a deep level.
      Yes, it all comes down to BEing together…not really DOing anything. What a poignantly precious story of the two butterflies and what your cousin said….I’ve never
      even seen two of them together. What a magical sign of your connection to them both. I have been having quite a few oy-filled days lately. And you “getting”
      what I wrote about brings me profound joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      • Thanking me seems sort of redundant or something – sounds like you are in a puddl-ey messy lumpy place like I’ve been for the past ten months. I’ve felt stalled and lonely and stuck. I am thankful to have seen your beautiful expressions of these feelings and “aha’s.” So wise! I’m not just “getting” what you wrote about – your observations and processing is helping me understand what I’ve been going through!

  • CC

    I am sorry for your loss, Wendi. You are a wonderful role model for how to deal with the feeling of grief. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Melissa Abbud

    …during time of loss all I can think are my kids and the rainbow just pops up….

  • Melissa Abbud

    I was lucky enough to see that birdbath from the very begining, I CANT’ BELIEVE how much you acomplished not only for the birdbath but in your life…and I remember telling you that when this work in progress is finished a lot would be different in your life. I feel very close to you each time I see your videos. Love Melissa.

  • Goddess Wendi ~ I adore you… That was a wonderful edition of OH MY Goddess TeaV! Love the birdbath and how you are creating it.
    With Big Goddess Love,
    Sabrina

  • Carol Pilkington

    This is so wonderful and precious!

  • Oh Wendi,
    Ally and I sat and watched you and your words filled me with such warmth and joy. My oy is that I’m going to Italy and probably shouldn’t, but my joy is that you and everybody I know and love would say, “go” you have one cup to fill let it runneth over. You are my cup runneth over. Thank you for all your wit and wisdom.

    • Linda, I feel that when you follow your joy, everything else (like lots of work) will show up and support you. You’ve had enough oy…..go for the joy xoxoxo

  • Absolutely brilliant, Wendi.

    “Hey… That would look good in a birdbath.”

    Teeheheeehe.

    Thanks for the giggle, and the profound lesson as well, Goddess!

  • Lainey

    Wendi,
    What a wonderful message to give us!!! I loved the TeaV episode!! I will follow your lead dearest goddess spokeswoman.
    You look so beautiful and everything speaks of you in your work.
    I love you and I have no reservation in saying, right now your Dad is smiling and filled with pride.
    Lainey

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