I don’t often post about my personal life, but some aspects of life we all experience. I’m facing the death of my mother in the coming weeks. And it’s complicated.
What does this mean for you and what I offer to you? I will have more limited availability. I may have to postpone something at the last minute. Max Pearl and I have postponed our Wheel of Consent workshop in Chicago, moving it from August to sometime in the spring of 2024.
I’m taking my own pleasure practices seriously. That means prioritizing care amidst responsibilities. I’m allowing myself rest amidst intensity and being called on for instantaneous needs in my family relationships. It also means making space for grief. And joy. And the absurdity of human experiences when things fall apart. Really, for all the feelings, associations, memories this kind of time brings. To keep in contact with my body and the sensations that are present, and for my needs for solitary time and for connection with loved ones and friends. To seek the support I need, that my web of connections and beloveds need.
I worked in hospice settings for ten years. Years ago, I fostered my grandmothers both through their deaths, sharing jokes and breathing, presence and wonder at the process. I’m exceptionally lucky to have those experiences and the skills from them to guide me through.
All of you who have been clients or students have given me gifts for this experience. I carry with me all your tenderness and vulnerability as I enter this journey. The joys and tears and transformation of your experiences are part of my guidepost for this time in my life. Thank you for those gifts.
But death and pleasure? Isn’t this work supposed to be all sexy and everything? Can these two things be considered together? Yes. I feel the anchor of pleasure to help me remain present in this hard time. As I foster my parent through the end of her life, I intend to bring the gifts of being with my own grief, my own relief, and the reminder of how nourishing and essential pleasure is in the midst of it all. To be with connection, relationship and community amidst it all. As generations of my ancestors teach me, life is for the living.
Did I mention that there are so many lessons on choice and choosing, on consent in times like this? With a hefty dose of tenderness towards our bodies as they change. More on that some other time.
Thank you for reading this vulnerable post. Wishing you sweet joys and pleasure. For their own sake and/or to comfort you from the hard times when things fall apart.
If you are seeking support for grief about the death of a loved one, I recommend checking out Agrace’s grief support services, found here. If you’d like my support in connecting to pleasure amidst it all, please be in touch.