For My Cousin, Erin

My 36-year-old cousin, Erin, transitioned yesterday after a long, winding journey with cancer. On September 28, I received a handknit scarf from her with instructions to view any imperfections through the eyes of love, and as proof that it was handmade with love in every stitch. As much as I hoped she’d pull through, I had made a special point to see her on our January 2012 trip to Pennsylvania for my paternal grandmother’s 100th birthday party. David got to meet Erin and her new husband, Mark and her little girl, Isabel. We all had a heartfelt visit at my sister’s house with my two nephews.

I’m grateful for the chance to have hugged Erin again in the physical, saddened by her path of primarily traditional medicine, and honored to have known her for all of her short life. So many memories! She was my closest cousin, and we spent many weekends together growing up, as well as Facebook time, emails, texts and visits on both coasts.

After many months of texts addressing her fears, hopes, potential opportunities and adventures on this side or the other side of the veil, during this past week I urged her to find and receive her peace in whatever form that took. She’s an incredible soul, and her journey continues as she celebrates her expansion beyond physical limitations — even while those left behind will miss her humor, huge heart and love. Actually, we still have that. She lives on, and I know that in this cosmic window of decision time, she has finally found and claimed her peace.

When I learned of her passing, this haunting song by Lizzie West returned to me from many years ago. I offer it now in honor of Erin and for anyone else who’s had a loved one transition. I had texted Erin before receiving the scarf, “I support you in whatever adventure u choose, wherever and however that looks. Just sent u a card to that effect. 🙂 I love you and know more than most that life continues beyond ‘death.’ Life is a beautiful adventure however long or short. I have walked with many in your position. Some stay, some go, but the adventure continues for them. Important thing is to allow yourself to feel and embrace the peace. I love u!”

The song, “Prayer,” that ran through my mind when I read my aunt’s email sings: “Do not stand at my grave and cry…” Even though I know she’s finally decided and at peace, and I know how to communicate with those who’ve passed, I’m crying. I love you, Erin! We will miss you.

Prayer

Lyrics:
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that flow
I am the sunlight on my own grave

I am a gentle autumn rain
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight

do not stand at my grave and cry
do not stand at my grave and cry
do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there I did not die

(Spoken)
man as yet is half grown
Even his flower stem has not appeared yet
Hes all leaves and roots without a sign of stem in sight
Blossoming means establishing a new pure relationship with the cosmos
It is the sign of heaven.
Its the sign of a cobra.
Its the sign of a man who knows himself royally.
Crowned with the sun.
His feet gripping the earth as he goes.
We have arrived.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there I did not die.
I am not there I did not die.”

based on the poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye

16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gail Ross on October 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Simply beautiful, Laura. I love you.

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  2. Posted by Cheryl on October 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Lovely that you were able to be such a kind support for her and to offer a glimpse of what awaited her, whether she believed it or not – she surely knows now. Sending love your way…

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  3. sending you and erin’s family so much love. she is a brave soul continuing to spread her love from where she is. this is a beautiful song and reminds me of the celtic version by aine minogue that was around me when nestie transitioned. may peace fill the hearts of all she physically left. big warm hugs to you sweetie and thank you for all that you have supported with her and others ❤

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  4. Laura-
    We’re sorry to learn of this news. Sending love and light your way.
    -Bill, Wendy, Sol & Thea

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  5. […] Laura Bruno’s Blog | October 1 2012 […]

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  6. Sending you and your family tons of healing love. What a perfect way to honor such a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing with us! Thinking of you… <3<3<3

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  7. What a beautiful tribute to your cousin Erin, and the honor/respect that you each shared with one another for your individual beliefs and knowing speaks volumes to the type of love that connected you. Much love to you, Erin and her family.,

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  8. Posted by Michelle Poppy on October 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Love to you Laura and Erin’s family

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  9. Sending our love (times a billion) to you, Isabel, and Mark – and all those who knew and love Erin. May all who remain on this side of the veil feel comforted and at peace with her journey. We love you. ~Nalla, Taylor & Ale’ Rei

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  10. Posted by Sandra on October 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    What a tribute to Erin and her family. How loving and spiritual. Much love to you as “life’s journey” continues…Thank you Laura

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  11. Thank you all for all the love and care for me and for Erin’s family. Much appreciated and much love back!

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  12. Blessings and condolences. Even though we know how these changes work there is still that physical loss that can still be hard to ake. May your journey’s be sweet and inspirational. Love Flash ps if you like using homeopathics Ignatia Amara is good for grief for the whole family including the pets unless the person or animal is quite stoic then Natrium Muraticum is better.

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  13. May the pain of your family be eased. Blessings to you.

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  14. Thank you!

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  15. […] felt that same bizarre passage of time after my cousin, Erin, passed. Checking my blog post, her passing occurred right around October 1, slightly over two weeks ago. Really?? I cried on the […]

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