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Birth and Death:

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

The Cycle of Life

New born with father

It is magical to hold this beautiful soul in my arms. There is no denying that she is a special being who is going to bring such joy into my life.

BUT, where do I fit in?

I have experienced a lot of loss in the last few years. Many deaths, divorce, and leaving my job and home to find myself again—what a journey it has been!

I recently returned to the city where I had my children to welcome my granddaughter, Sophia Lynn, into the world. I missed having my parents here to hold this little angel, especially my mother, who was very close to my daughter.

What is it like to say goodbye to your parents and say hello to your first grandchild?

It is all very surreal and at times hard to grasp.

I sit in the Airbnb I rented, waiting. I left a beautiful island in Nicaragua to return to a city I no longer recognize. It is strange to drive through a place I used to call home, yet which has changed so much… as have I.

It is a wonderful place to raise children, but is it a place I would like to live now? No. I am surrounded by buildings, missing my lakefront view and the sound of birds and greenery all around me.

My children wish for me to stay and be part of the family. They are adults and have busy lives. They like their space, and I admire the boundaries they set. I love my children with all my heart and have devoted my entire life to their well-being and happiness.

After saying goodbye to my parents, I needed a break and decided to travel and explore the world, potentially finding myself a new home. I never planned to come back to Canada full-time, nor do I plan to now.

I have learned that when you move or travel for extended periods of time, people take it personally. It is like you have left them. I think they may feel that they are not valued/loved enough for me to stay. I have moved many times as an adult and lost many friends along the way. Those who are truly my friends have remained.

I am in a tough situation. I am no longer living what society deems as a "normal" lifestyle for my age.

I question finding a full-time job, staying in a country that no longer feels like home only to pay my bills and wait until my children have time to see me. They are what holds me here.

I prefer hot climates and have been cold ever since I returned to Canada. I have tried to move somewhere warm many times. I thought I had finally achieved that desire.

There is no denying I love my children; I wish to be the best Nana Jo for my granddaughter, and I plan to always be part of their lives.

After the loss of my parents, life has become more precious. To me, it is all about living each moment to the fullest. Life is about adventures; it is not about settling for less or being afraid. It is knowing that abundance is my birthright and trusting that it will flow with ease.


I am so grateful for the birth of Sophia! It has offered me many opportunities to grow. I have realized how unkind I was to my own mother when I had my first child, a daughter too. We were such opposites in our approach to childbirth and parenting. I have had many moments during this visit where I wished she was here so that I could tell her how sorry I am and we could celebrate Sophia together!

I recognize I need to allow my daughter the space to step into motherhood with grace and support her when asked. And so I ask myself:

  • Can I be the best Nana Jo from afar with visits throughout the year?

OR do I sacrifice my desires for my children’s?

  • Will this jeopardize my relationship with them?

OR am I setting my own boundaries, making my own choices, and finding happiness?

I ask myself, how do I find a middle ground so I am happy and

my children are happy, too?

As humans, we experience the cycle of life continually. That cycle can take the form of a physical death, shedding old patterns that no longer serve us, entering new stages of life, or watching the turn of seasons.

I observe myself going through the process of a death and a rebirth. I am moving out of the mother role and into the “Autumn” chapter of my life. A dear friend described it as a time of offering my creative essence to my community as opposed to my nuclear family. Birthing projects and experiences outside my body to serve others.

This concept excites and energizes me. It shows me that I am not here just to be a mother, but also to offer support and guidance to others. I can still be the best Nana possible. As the saying goes, “quality over quantity.” An intentional mix of virtual connection and in-person visits can offer me and my family a middle ground.

I believe we all have a purpose in life, and it is ever changing. I embrace the change and know that I am on the right path. I am here to show Sophia that there is no right or wrong choice, so long as it nourishes your heart and lets your light shine.

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