Her Final Breath



I’m at Denver International Airport on a 3 hour layover between New York and Portland, Oregon where I will be attending my Grandmother’s funeral. Surrounded with family as she peacefully passed to places unknown Grandma Kern as I called her lived a wonderful, vibrant and long life. When she made the decision to go into hospice care we knew that her story was coming to an end. This kept my huge Italian family on edge as we watched someone we loved and cared so much about come to terms with life’s promise of impermanence.


In yoga and any other mind-body practice we always come back to the breath. The breath calms us, brings us to the present, helps us to quiet the mind and focus on what is. It’s precious, yet so often ignored. On that rainy Saturday when she would leave this physical world, I was in a yoga class. The teacher brought us back from Savasana “start to wiggle your fingers and toes…..  take your arms over head and take a great big inhale”….. and the sensation of that breath brought me to her. Brought my being to her current state where a breath that I forget about 80% of my day (at best) all of a sudden means everything… means LIFE….. or not……

Her passing reminds me to live the life I’m in now. To come into this moment, to stay calm and see the beauty of life from a peaceful place. To remember my breath is valuable and each day is precious.

Grandma Kern was uniquely herself, vivacious and loving. While her physical presence is no longer here her essence will always live in my heart.

Live from your heart, your essence is your legacy.