Guest Posts, Inspiration

Hello, My Name is Rebecca & I Lost My Mom to ALS.

August 27, 2012

The following guest post is by the incredibly gifted Rebecca Butler. I met Rebecca because I posted something on my Facebook saying “What Are You Afraid Of? What Fear Do You Want to Tell To Eff Off?” Now we have never met, and I didn’t know who she was when her message came in my inbox, but suffice to say that since that message, we have become friends and I am now going to teach workshops at Karmany Yoga where she is manager and lead studio teacher teaches in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Again, I marvel at connection. How powerful it. How powerful social media and vulnerability can be. Here is what her message about fear said:

Hello there. I am a fan. You inspire me. So thanks for that. And I am responding to your request for a couple of paragraphs on fear – what you are afraid of…

I am afraid of being too fat and being too thin. I am afraid of being too kind and being too mean. I am afraid of staying married and being single again. I am afraid of being incredible and falling flat on my face. I am afraid of becoming my father and never living up to the memory of my mom.

Not so long ago, a dear friend of mine took me through an incredible energetic soul retrieval. In this experience, I shed layers of sorrow and disappointment and I felt a strong, overwhelming beam of pure energy into my solar plexus – so much that I was pinned to the floor while my entire being became tingly. And what did I feel during this rush? Joy over this connection with the infinite divine? Eh, a smidge. Elation at the imminent newborn potential clearly being established within me? Sure, kinda. But mostly, I felt fear. Fear that this amazing feeling would leave me soon and I’d be back to plain old me. And to this, I say: FUCK IT. Fuck fear.

Below is the guest post I asked her to write, because, well, how could i not after reading her email? She is a tremendous writer and a beautiful mind. Looking forward to my workshops in Dallas!

Hello, My Name is Rebecca & I Lost My Mom to ALS.

Hi. I probably don’t know you. And I’ve been asked to write a guest blog post for this site, which I consider a huge honor. At the same time, it’s intimidating. I want to make sure I tell you something poignant. I want to offer you something humbly from my own experience walking this Earth. And I intend to do so with love.

By far, the most intense thing I’ve weathered in my 38 trips around the sun was losing my mom to ALS.

It was slow.

It was brutal.

It was harsh.

There were moments of love so pure, so strong, so rich; words will never do them justice.

There were moments of pain so deep, so great, so overpowering; words will never do them justice.

There were moments of beauty so radiant, so wild, so raw; words will never do them justice.

Suffice it to say that even though I loathed my helplessness during this process, I will never regret the lengths to which I went to be by her side. And I will always cherish the learning’s she gave me – sometimes via words, mostly via actions.

She was courageous.

She was brave.

She was honorable.

She was angry.

She was terrified.

She was ready.

She taught me…

…that there is nothing in life so important as the love and laughter of your family and friends.

…to cherish your partner and stand by them through thick and thin.

…that being judgmental towards yourself and/or anyone else is a fucking waste of time and energy and it should not be borne. Ever. Period.

…that staring death right in the face with openness and acceptance is true strength.

…that life is a gift to be lived with gusto and without apology.

From her bedside, I learned…

…breathing is special. Succulent. Delicious and not nearly as easy as healthy people think of it as being.

…swallowing is sophisticated work and is as delightful as any handstand will ever be.

…love is meant to be given away freely. To any and everyone you can possibly ladle it upon. Without question. Without fear. Without expectation.

…fear is a nasty mother fucker trying to steal your light at any given point and it is incumbent upon you to never relent!

…nurturing energy is perhaps our greatest gift. And it can be wielded without words, without even moving anything more than your left arm. From your bedside.

And in her memory, I will continue to walk this Earth cherishing the beauty and power of each moment. Even if it comes with pain. Even if it comes with sorrow. Because in the end, I have the power to Choose Joy. And that is what I choose.

Joy.

Joy over having ever known a creature so amazing.

Joy over having the chance to create change and encourage others to love their lives exactly the way they are! Right now!

Joy. Just because. Just because I can. Joy.

Connect with Rebecca by clicking here or on the above photo.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Marissa Morris Oliver August 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    That is both beautiful and powerful. Namaste.

  • Reply Jill Collard August 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hello Rebecca, my name is Jill and I lost my highschool friend from ALS 4 years ago he was 33. I undertsand your words in a way I couldn’t have before the experience of losing him. Our highschool group of frinds were by his side until he crossed over. So many moments that words cannot do justice to. Fuck Fear!

  • Reply barbarapotter August 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Jen’s mom here. Oh my goodness, you made me cry. That was so absolutely beautiful.

  • Reply Rebecca Butler August 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Barbara, Thank you! You must be so proud of Jen. She’s amazing.

    Jill, I’m sorry for your loss. Yes, FUCK FEAR! I’m raising funds to combat ALS. You can contribute if you like (or anyone else for that matter) here: http://tinyurl.com/starsfund

    Marissa, Thank you. And yes, Namaste.

    LOVE to all! Or as we say in Texas, y’all…

  • Reply Karen Branch August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Very powerful and insightful Rebecca…. I loved your piece and must share it. Namaste.a

  • Reply Chelle aka Writer Yogi August 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! I know it can’t be easy going through something like that but I am so glad that you came out of it with your head up. Learning something and moving on and sharing your strength with others.

  • Reply lisa simmons August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    whoa. wow. damn. this hit me on so so so many levels. as new(ish) yogi, always practicing (and falling whilst attempting-) bakasana. as someone who has been dealing with the little details of death since i was 12. as a mom. as a human being ever searching for the greater meaning. thank you thank you thank you.

    lisa
    the trouble with lisa

  • Reply Stephanie Cassaday August 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Beautiful! Deffinetly someone to learn from. Joy, love, and compassion. It was her way.

  • Reply Unshakable Hope August 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, Rebecca!

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  • Reply Callie March 20, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Rebecca,

    I just lost my mother to ALS three weeks ago. I was searching for an article to put into words exactly how I felt after losing her. This is absolutely perfect.

    Thank you,
    Callie

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