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A Shared Moment of Grief

A smiling giant pops through the door today speaking perfect English, “Cheri, hello.  How are you?”  I almost have a smile attack.  My beloved angel and brother, Gabriel is visiting me first thing in the morning speaking his first greeting to me in English so beautifully.  He came to town for food for his chickens early so we could walk together this morning across town.  I always enjoy our walks together.  We laugh a lot and we are really working on trying to understand each other with my sad Spanish.  Every day though, we’re getting a little better.

Not too long after our walk, I found him sitting in his house with big tears rolling down his beautiful face and his face in his hands.  He showed me a picture, faded and tattered, “Mi hermano.  Hoy es su cumpleanos, pero el morio hace quantos anos atras.”  He was mourning the loss of his brother who today would have been 29 years old and who had died four years ago.  My heart aches and I feel tears come from my own heart and eyes as I witness this vulnerable display from my new friend.  He is wide open to be seen and seems totally comfortable sharing his grief with me standing there.

My giant’s heart is so tender.  I gave him a hug and stood with him as we light a candle together and sent prayers to his brother in the spirit world. I think for a moment of the difference in this man’s open sharing of his grief and of how most people I know in my own culture hide it, repress it and feel ashamed or embarassed of their pain or suffering.  I fall a little more deeply in love with my angel in this moment and feel my heart crack open wide to share his pain and offer my love and support to him in this moment.

I stay for some time, and pray with him, my hand lightly resting on his back and then leave him to finish his mourning alone.

Later I return with sweets for Gabriel and his brother’s altar, and by it brings the smile back to his face and gentle laughter into his voice.  He walks me home and we move through town in silence appreciating the company of each other in a new way through the shared moment of grief.

To purchase the book, The Breath of Cuba, please click here.  If you are interested in traveling to Cuba, please consider booking your travel with The Breath of Cuba Travel to support the author.  Cheri offers custom and signature tours to Cuba with or without her services, and works with reputable Cuba Travel Service Providers with over 25 years of experienced bringing travelers to Cuba.  Book and inquire here.  To learn more, subscribe to Cheri’s YouTube Channel.

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