Loss is experienced by each of us in different ways. As unique as we are in learning, in loving, and in raising our babies, we are just as unique in the way we grieve.
The only other person that I have lost that broke my heart, was my grandma Louise. When she died, I was in Europe and so far away from the ones I loved. It is through this experience that I realized that when I grieve, I write. I turn to books and words to help me process loss and my emotions. Some people run, turn to fitness, turn to music, turn to therapy. Whatever helps you in your grieving process, do this and explore other options to help you. Talk to friends, share your emotions, and don’t be ashamed at how you are feeling (or not feeling).
I am writing this with my newborn daughter passed out on my chest. My emotions of intense love and joy at holding and cuddling a newborn have been mixed with immense loss and grief and despair at losing a friend, a colleague, fellow yogi and fellow mom. If you didn’t know Tessa and you are a parent, it will break your heart too to know she won’t see her daughter’s 1st birthday this coming May 2019.
I think her passing has reminded us to hold our loved ones close and just how precious life is. The arrival of my new daughter this January and seeing so many birth announcements this week (and in the days around when Tessa passed) have shown me that as light leaves the world, light also enters it. It’s a constant cycle of energy coming and going.
Tessa was a bright light and very sensitive to energy. As yoga instructors, we strive to be highly aware of the energy our students carry with them into the rooms that we teach them. It’s hard to explain how we are energetic beings, but I like to use this example when I explain this concept to my students: You know that feeling when you meet someone you jive with? Maybe the love of your life? When they come near you, or look into your eyes, or hold your hand, your energetic being is reacting to theirs and fireworks are going off like ZING! This is what I am talking about. Your energetic being is reacting to another’s. Some yoga teachers have this gift of reading people’s energetic beings – and knowing what their students need at each class – not just teaching from their ego or what they wrote on a piece of paper, but teaching the people in front of them, and giving their students what they need energetically that day. Tessa was one of these teachers; she led her classes with intuition and read her students energetically – that is why her students and community loved her so much.
(For the record, Eion Finn is also an instructor that comes to mind when thinking about energetically teaching your students – so if you are in Vancouver, or you see a class with him in your town, sign up for it.)
One day Amy and I dream of building a retreat centre for mothers. We would have a beautiful yoga studio in this retreat centre where we would offer Mom & Baby Yoga, Prenatal Yoga and any other yoga that moms feel they need to find balance. We would love to have a space in this centre dedicated to Tessa. But that is just a dream of ours, put out into the universe.
For now, we will continue to support moms locally and with our growing teacher training offering – globally. This year will be an empowering one for us as entrepreneurs, as we bring Birth Your Power™ out into the world this May or June 2019 (a 12-Step Program to help moms suffering from post partum anxiety, depression and OCD). MOGA fits well with Birth Your Power, as the yoga community for postpartum mental health and wellness.
We will think of you everyday Tessa. We will be here to watch your daughter Isla-Faye grow, and we will show her what was important to her mother and what she believed in: community, support for new mothers and most of all – unconditional love.
Yours in Motherhood,
Hannah (& Amy)
If you want to support Isla-Faye, a Go-Fund-Me has been set up for her here.