saturday we were given the news that bodhi’s best childhood friend took his own life. i have loved him like he was my own young cub since he was 5 years old. i felt like he was my kid too. for years he spent 2-4 overnights at my house each week and when life got tough at home i asked many times to have him come live with me. i wanted to give him a different crack at life. over the years it felt like watching a runaway train while not having the full agency to redirect the course. i wanted to give him a better chance… the only thing i could really do was love the hell out of him.
his time in his body is done now. i’ve been riding waves of grief, disbelief, horror and sadness as bodhi is having his own mourning process. i’ve been in the not knowing of what bodhi needs or even if i have it to give to him right in the moment when he needs it. we’ve taken time together and apart. we are loving each other as best we can.
last night bodhi decided to take a nap and i took advantage of the time to return to the mat for a gentle yoga class. i went to my new yoga home in SLO and gave myself back to my practice.
i remembered all the fun, creative, silly, sweet, nature inspired play that i got to experience with him over the years. so many trips to the river, camping out on bodhi’s birthdays, mediating disputes over mindcraft… i remember him and bodhi cooking me breakfast on mother’s day and each gifting me a handmade card. i saw him sticking his head out the passenger window and barking madly at full volume at all the cars on the highway as he and bodhi played their favorite “annoy artemisia” driving game, “doggie.” as a single mama with an only child, it brought more fun and a greater sense of family to have him around.
i let the tears flow with my breath as i found movement and space inside myself and on my mat – i breathed into this living body and felt all the spaces he exists inside of me. the mourning and celebration danced together freely.
i let life happen inside me as i moved from posture to posture and felt the dignity and grace of letting his life and death touch my whole being. i did not stay home to avoid my tender heart being seen. i trusted the container within myself and the larger container of the practice as well as the space to be as i was – raw. real.
today i called his highschool in northern california to try and find out more about his funeral. all the numbers i have for his dad and his grandparents have been disconnected. i’m taking steps to gather information. at every turn i discover that yes, he is dead. yes, he did end his life. this is real. i may be coming up to humboldt soon to return to the places he lives in my heart.
i want to get to watch him grow up. he’s gone. i want to take him on adventures and let him see our new home in SLO. he’s gone. i want to hear what he’s struggling with and hug him ’till he melts into my arms, a collapsed pile of softness. he’s gone. his time in that awkward big-kid body i knew and loved so well is over.
when i was 16 i tried to exit my space-suit as well and landed myself in intensive care for a week. he succeeded. i did not. i felt so alone. my body felt like a cage. only in recent adulthood have i come to reliably want to have a body to contain me. my life now is incredibly rich and filled with solid loving connections and support. each day has some reason to be so grateful to continue to inhabit my skin. i have people i know i can turn to and, more importantly, i know HOW to turn to them when it gets darkest. i’ve developed tools and have resources now that help me continue to heal and be healed. i wish he had that. i wish i could have done whatever the magic thing was in the moment that could have kept him in his body and helped him to find what he most needed. i miss his living. his lifetime of 15 years, gone in the blink of an eye. he hung himself. it doesn’t yet seem real. i love him forever. we have people we can lean on. i continue to return to my breath.