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Joyce Lunas
09-04-2008, 10:48 AM
Hi all.

Having spent my entire summer working, many have been the times when i had the opportunity to read a lot of the really interesting threads and articles, posted by you, here.
And then, going back home, i kept on pondering on some of them, combining them with my thoughts.

The main cause of sadness and relief this summer (strange mix, i realize) has been my mother's death. She passed away on June 16th. Sadness for her departure, relief because she was in a lot of pain before her passing.

Please, provide your wisdom and thoughts on this; the very day she passed and after the urgent things had been done and over with (hospital etc.), one of the surprisingly first thoughts i had was that i would miss that night's training at the dojo.
I shook my head and said to myself: 'Do you mean this? Why?"
And now i ask you: HOW can this be?

I am the first to admit that 'aikido saved my life': I used to be an athlete, then gave it up completely and became a heavy smoker, computer-for-both-work-and-recreation type of person.
When i enrolled to this dojo two years ago (04/09/2006), I'd taken the decision to do something about the health of both my body and spirit, before it was too late.
Turns out, aikido has worked wonders on me since that day and I am really proud to say I celebrate September 4th as 'second birthday' ever since.

My late mother knew of my love for aikido and although it was (and is) hard not to miss classes -mainly due to the fact i work at night at a newspaper- she always encouraged me to keep it up, she'd wake me up in the morning (after what has been so brief a sleep) to drag my exhausted body to the dojo and enjoy been alive and she'd smile whenever i'd discuss anything aikido-related with her, because she may have been the only person in the whole wide world who could understand the deepest core of my heart and knew my joy was true.

Now that she's gone, I feel so unbearably alone. I even took place on the kyu promotion test, one day after her burial, and succeeded. I am now a 4th kyu.
And, since she's not here with me to know of this, i tell you that my 4th kyu has been the saddest of them all.

Thus, I share silently with you both my sadness and my joy today. And i say that this odd mixture of words that consists this message is my truth, my love, and a small tribute to my late, loving mother.

God bless. Be well.

09-04-2008, 11:42 AM
Hi all.

Thus, I share silently with you both my sadness and my joy today. And i say that this odd mixture of words that consists this message is my truth, my love, and a small tribute to my late, loving mother.

God bless. Be well.


When the funeral was over it was just me and the old couple. They sat across the couch from me smiling from ear to ear. I was tired and wanted only to sleep.

They weren't even blood family but they had stayed to comfort me. I thought to myself, why are you smiling? Why do they seem so happy? They had been my mother's closest friends.

Suddenly, Aunty Nene and Uncle Mike blurted out, "Now, you are free. Now, you no longer have to worry about taking care of her. Now, you can get on with your life.

My mother had had a long 15 year illness. I had always lived with the fear that she would die on me. I have often that about Aunty Nene and Uncle Mike's words. My mother had given me a last gift. It was the gift of freedom to do what we must all do...lead our lives.

Aunty Nene is now in a home with alzeimers and Uncle Mike passed many years ago. I am now married to a wonderful woman and I worry if I will live long enough to ensure their transition from childhood to adulthood. But, I am very very happy.

Joyce, you will think of your mother every day. For a while the pain will be unbearable. But, one day you will get up from your bed and the pain will be gone. You will be busy, going on and leading your life. You will be free.

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Kim S.
09-04-2008, 12:29 PM
If you need motivation to practice your Aikido, then practice in honor of your mother.

My Grandmother passed away a few years ago. It took me awhile to get over all of the grief and depression of her death. I eventually learn to simply remember the good times that I had with my Grandmother and the wisdom that she had taught me. Occasionally, I remember her and start to cry because I missed her, but that is normal.

Please understand that all of the feelings that you are going through is completely normal.

Just remember: death is the ultimate enemy. And no matter how much we might try to escape it, it will still haunt us.

If you have any feelings, emotions, thoughts that will lead to negative actions (suicidal thoughts, cutting, drinking excessively, old habits, etc.), don't be afraid to ask for help. Okay. I speak form experience.

May God comfort you and be your shelter and grace.

09-04-2008, 12:55 PM
I think it's perfectly normal to automatically seek out life-affirming experiences in the face of death. For you, that meant wanting to train.

Wanting to live life is never bad. Resenting death and illness for sucking away life is never inappropriate -- we need to accept it, but we don't have to be happy about it. There's no need to feel guilty over wanting to go to the dojo, and feeling upset that your mother's illness deprived you of an opportunity to train. You resent the illness, not your mother -- there's nothing to feel guilty about.

I lost my mother, my father, and my best friend within five years of each other. There are still nights when I wake up and feel completely lost -- when you lose the people close to you, the pillars in your life personified, you feel adrift. Sometimes it doesn't feel survivable, but it is. You grow new pillars, maybe not as strong as the ones that were there for you from birth...but strong enough to hold you up.

Lan Powers
09-04-2008, 03:09 PM
I am sorry for your loss.
Welcome "home" to the second family that I hope your dojo becomes for you, as mine has been for me.
Be well

Joyce Lunas
09-04-2008, 04:14 PM
Thank you, all.

Words prove insufficient to describe how i feel about your responses, only feelings. And i feel as if you are close, friends, out with me to have a beer and a chat maybe, on a sweet, summer night.

Thanx again, guys. Your friendship, however far away, is priceless.


09-04-2008, 07:00 PM
cherishing your positive memories will help ease the pain of your loss. Use them to reinforce your time on the mat and not to make it a sad experience. Your 4th kyu should have been one of joy since she would have wanted it for you and would have celebrated in your achievement.

Best wishes.

Mark Uttech
09-04-2008, 09:55 PM
Onegaishimasu. What a sad time for you! Perhaps it is because you were still early into your aikido journey, and had not gotten yet to the place where aikido becomes more than what you do, where it becomes what you are. That particular gift of aikido is always there waiting. Learning to do sitting and standing bows help us build bridges that help us cross deep places, dark places, and find some courage to fit aikido into our life, our life into aikido. I would hope that you will please go on from here, even as you are carried.

In gassho