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Day 71

Updated: Apr 23

A handful of years ago, I completed a yoga teacher training certification. I wanted to teach special needs yoga classes to individuals with sensory processing and regulation challenges, such as those with autism spectrum disorders. My interest in taking Constance everywhere with me led me to discover that the only way I was going to find a yoga class that was propitiate for both of us was if I created it.

When Constance and I would do yoga at home, she had this adorable habit of figuring out how to perform poses by climbing on my back as I did them and then doing it next to me. Some poses she found so silly that they made her lie down on the floor laughing. Let’s face it; a tripod headstand against a wall is a bit ridiculous looking.

Regrettably, I was unable to find any other parents with kids with special needs interested in taking such a class. However, the training did have two very positive outcomes. First, I was able to volunteer my time helping with the Misericordia yoga classes. These were for the benefit of adults living at Misericordia who have physical and development challenges. Each adult had their own yoga instructor there to help them. Second, I made friends with some local women.

Two of these women opened a yoga studio of their own a couple of weeks after Constance passed. In fact, the day that Constance passed, Jen came to my house to pick up an office chair I'd left on my front porch for her. They were kind enough to take office supplies and a water fountain I no longer needed as well. It helped me clean out my basement.

Regrettably, I wasn’t able to come to the opening party for their studio because I wasn’t in a place in my grief where I could. As a result, the moment I felt up to it, I signed up for a gentle yoga class and came in. It was incredible to see how much my body had changed in the last couple of months. My balance, posture, flexibility, and strength were gone. It felt like my muscles and bones had all shrunk and coiled in on themselves, petrified by fire. My goal was simply not to cry until I got to my car; that I achieved.

At my second gentle class, a woman introduced herself to me by saying, “I know who you are... the mom with the dead daughter. You must feel terrible. I can’t imagine anything worse.” I replied, “Correct on all points. I am that woman and it is terrible.” If I had ever hoped-for infamy, it certainly wouldn’t have been for that. I’m not offended by well-intentioned remarks; IT just meant that we have friends in common and they had told her about my loss—not surprising in the a big, small town like Chicago.

It is hard to be motivated to do anything for myself. Is it okay to allow myself to feel good; I don’t know. If my only motivation is my short-term personal pleasure, then I fear I’m destined to make all of the mistakes of my youth all over again—it is a chilling thought.


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Jul 02, 2018



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Jun 25, 2018

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