Living with hope

photo by Greg Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

Each day we have tasks that must be completed and there are things that we must do to keep things moving, things that need to be done. I have found that every little thing has a new purpose, like a deeper importance because we are doing it for our loved ones, the ones that are not walking with us anymore. They fill our thoughts constantly and that helps us and guides us in the decisions that we make. We are doing it for them.

We must always remember that our loved ones, even if they are not here with us on this earth in body, that they also lived.

They lived, just as we are living. And we too shall fall asleep when it is our time. But until then, we must keep those memories safe, because that is what we have.

In our Yup’ik Eskimo ways, we do not say goodbye. Instead, it is always I will see you again, this is not the last time, this is not the end. Tua-i-ngunrituq. To say goodbye would be to turn our backs on what we believe in so sincerely and it would almost be like a deterioration of the hope that we are holding on to.

The explanation of when or how this came about is simple. That is how it has always been. This shows the great faith our ancestors had in the hope that we will be reunited again with our loved ones.

Sometimes those around us seem to forget what we are going through. They do not realize that the sadness that we are bound to is still and always will be upon us. What do we do? Sometimes we need an advocate, someone who can be there for you when things get rough. A trusted friend who can speak for you when things are too hard to bear.

When we grieve, we grieve for the past because that is where we get our memories from. We grieve for the present, because right now is when we feel our grief, our sadness. And we grieve for what is to come, the days ahead without our beloved one, wishing that she was still here with us and wondering how things would be like if she were still here. The longing of wanting her is too painful to bear.

What we cannot say in words, we weep in tears. Every day we pray and we send you messages of our love. Released into the atmosphere where God hears them.

There is no cure for grief. The only thing that we can and must do is continue to grieve and to grieve and to grieve. In our own ways. To cry when we feel like crying. Grieving is not only crying. If you think about it, it is a way of life.

Thank you, dear friends, for the little things you do for us. To us they are immense. Quyana for the flowers and for cleaning up our area, the place where our beloved rests. You are forever teaching us the many meanings of love and kindness. Until next week, tua-i-ngunrituq.