We lost our nephew over the weekend to suicide. It is confusing and heartbreaking. He struggled with drugs and maybe depression. He was trying to get help. He had support around him. And now the family is joined to grieve together, cry together and make sense of it all.
We are a Mexican family even if we don’t totally look like it. I’m white girl from the Midwest but in my heart I’m Latina. Family is first. There is nothing more important than family. And we live and breathe that. Yet during times like these, when we are so far away it feels like a disconnect. We have our nuclear family of four in Wisconsin and then we have our extended family in Puerto Vallarta of 45. Carlos has 10 brothers and sisters, all living in PV, and there are 30 nieces and nephews. Now 29. We are the four in the US. We do what we can to stay close. We facebook with the nieces and nephews. We call. We visit once a year. But today it doesn’t feel like enough. With all my heart and all my soul I wish I could be there right now to hug, comfort and cry with our family.
Carlos was trying to think through flying home. He wouldn’t get there in time for the funeral. How much would it cost? How long could he be away? How would he rearrange work stuff? And he kept asking how we could help his brother and their family in the time he would be there for. I heard the confusion and distress in his voice so loudly until all of a sudden I interrupted him and said, “It doesn’t matter if you will help your brother or not. You need to be there for you. This isn’t about Rafita’s family and if you will get there in time to be of service to them. Your heart is broken and being with your family will help heal YOU. The question is what do YOU need right now?” And with that clarity we were able to book him on a flight without any further hesitation. The peace I felt after the flight was booked, knowing Carlos would be there with everyone gave me peace too.
It is so easy to think and think and think and do what we think is the right thing to do. What I’m learning is that sometimes there is more clarity in doing the right thing based on how I feel in my heart, in my gut, at a cellular level.
Get out of my head and into my heart.