I just want to give everyone a couple of warnings about the post today. First, I never would have believed it had someone else told me the story, and even as I think about it I’m not sure if it sounds too “out there” to share. Second, this was something that hit me very deeply and I may or may not dive into a ton of detail… it all depends on what happens as I type. Last, it’ll probably help bring on a case of the feels… just sayin’…
So yoga on Tuesday was absolutely incredible. Not just the workout, it was much more than that. After almost an hour of twisting, stretching, pushing, and pulling we end with the “Final Rest,” or savasana. In going from strenuous work to laying flat on my back with my eyes closed and arms out I’m transported to a peace I rarely find elsewhere in life. Usually when I get to this point I find myself chilling at one of my favorite places on Earth… on the volcanic beach in Hawaii watching lava… laying on a giant rock in a boulder field near Long’s Peak… sitting on the shore of Iceberg Lake in Glacier NP… you get the idea. I just sit there and just exist, totally present, no thoughts or stress, just enjoying the feel of the air and savoring the incredible view. This Tuesday was very different.
The last time I had gone to yoga prior to Tuesday was the last Saturday my dad was alive. During yoga that morning I just couldn’t get into the swing of it. Nothing was quite working right, I was struggling to stay focused, I was just off. Try as I might I just couldn’t get myself to be present. Finally I got into the groove, just in time for Final Rest. As I started to go to one of my normal haunts something entirely different happened. I was in an area that was pure white. Had it not been for one thing in view I wouldn’t have been sure if it was a two dimensional view I had. That one thing I saw was Dad. Not angelic or anything, just my dad. He looked at me and said “Hey bud, I’m leaving.” No tears, no sadness, just a statement of fact. And with that it was time to wake up from the rest. As Becky drove home from yoga I told her what happened and I wept. I knew that Dad wasn’t going to make it.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday. With this being my first time back to yoga I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was able to get into the swing of it quickly and it all felt right. Far from perfect it was all good. Everything was clicking and I was totally checked in and present.
As I went into the final rest my mind led me somewhere different yet again. I was on the porch of the house on the coast of the ocean in Hawaii… and Dad was with me. We both cried, hugged, told each other we loved each other and took a little while soak in the moment. “Dad, I’ve got some places to show you!” I said as we jumped from one of my favorite places to the other, all places I would’ve loved to have gone to see with Dad but didn’t until that moment. It was incredible! Without his earthly form we were free to go anywhere together. We zipped from the coast to the volcanic beach and watched lava pouring into the ocean. We chilled on the rock near Long’s. We hiked along the rim above Emerald Lake. As we ended up at the Ancient Grove we spent a little time talking and catching up. As looked up at one of the ancient trees I laughed and asked him how much wood we could get out of that tree and we both almost doubled over in laughter. We hugged, exchanged I love you’s… and then our instructor told us to start moving.
It took all of my strength to keep myself stoic as we wrapped up and headed out. As soon as we got to the car I buried my face in my towel and wept as I told Becky about it. She was concerned and wanted to make sure I was okay. I told her the truth – I was awesome! How incredible of an experience to have, to have that extra time with my dad?
At the end of the day I know it sounds crazy. All I know is that it felt as real as I feel typing right now. It could easily be my mind playing a trick on me, giving me what I want so bad. Maybe I actually fell asleep and it was a dream. Regardless, I could care less what it actually was, for me it was an incredible experience with Dad. Real or not, I’ll hold it close in my heart for the rest of my life.
It has been a couple of days since this experience but I find myself thinking about it often and am so thankful for it.