In Japan, if there is a death in the family during the past year, it is customary not to send New Year’s greetings. With the loss of my father near the end of last year, our family had a very quiet holiday season. It was a good time to reminisce, reflect, and be grateful for our blessings.
I come from a large family. My siblings and I don’t have the opportunity to see one another as often as we like. But, no matter how much time goes by, once we are together, it’s like we are children again. We all fall into our roles. Funny isn’t it.
As the Tao Te Ching teaches us, just as in nature, life is cyclical. Without darkness, there can be no light. Without birth, there is no death. I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t want my dad to ever die. My father lived a long, full, loving life. He taught us so many things, and even at the end, he reminded us to live life fully. Although we should know this, we need to be reminded that life is about living, experiencing, and connecting. No life is perfect. And all lives are unique. There is no “one way” to live. And yet, we all deserve to be happy.
So, my wish for everyone this year is to live life fully, to share, to connect, to hug, and to love. A big hug to all of you!