Tag Archives: family

Dealing with Death, Dealing with Life

A Parting Word

You are lights.
Wherever you are is lighted.
You are never in darkness.
You are only approaching darkness.
You are never in death.
You are only approaching death
for when death is entered
it is life.
For you are alive.

Therefore, once you have found yourself
you are infinitely safe
for you are always who you are:
Ultimately, when you return Home
to be received by God,
you will welcome yourself
with love and understanding.
from “Enmanuel’s Book” A manual for living comfortably in the cosmos. Introduction by Ram Dass. Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton

I thought I would never be able to handle, much less deal with my Father’s death. 1 year, heck, even 2, 3 years before my Father passed away, I was always anxious and fearful that my Father would die. I constantly bit my bottom lip and would cry ferociously. I cried on the subway. I cried walking to work. I cried walking from a party. I cried walking to the Bodega. I cried in the middle of a conversation. I cried always, always at witnessing love between family members, couples, puppies, even cartoons. I bit my bottom lip every night while I was sleeping, that to this day, I have 2 black bite marks on my bottom lip that I try to hide. People ask me, “Why do you have that on your lips?” I tell them that I bite my lip uncontrollably but I don’t tell them why. In the Fall of 2010, my Father told us he was diagnosed with cancer. What? Leukemia. What? My heart–What?–dropped. Then it started pounding a thousand beats at once. What? Why? Why? No. No. Why? Not him. What? Why him? Ok. No. Never will I accept this. Ok, I need to accept this. What? No. Repeat. For 3 years.

6 months ago, on June 1, 2013, my Father passed away. I was there with him when he passed on to his next journey. I was so happy, honored, and very blessed to be there with him. I was holding his hand. Wait, he was holding my hand, and I remember when he tightened my hand into his. I knew this gesture meant he was ready to go. I was the only person with him. My mother left the room an hour before to take a nap. She was so tired and so relieved I was there to be with him. For she was in the ICU all 9 days, he was there, day and night, with them. She needed to rest. My brother, David left a few hours before. He never accepted that our Dad was sick and was going to die. Just like me, David was always questioning, Why and being in denial, No, this is not happening. I didn’t accept it all, until 1 month prior to my Father’s death. One day over the phone, my BFF, Gabby, gently said, “Do you know death is a part of life. Your Father is going to die, Moana. All of us are one day.” I sobbed with acceptance. I sobbed for departure. I sobbed again because it felt good to let all the tears and sorrow out. I knew I was ready for anything. I just wanted to be with him. Be there for him. Be there with him before he took his last breath. And I was.

My father passed away in the late afternoon on a beautiful, sunny Saturday on the 1st of June 2013. He passed away at home, my parents home in Sandy, Utah. I flew in from New York City that day, only a few hours before he passed away. He got to see my smile and laugh. I got to see him smile and laugh in his eyes. (I’m taking a little moment to just cry while I write this because I remember that moment so well.) The chemo and cancer impacted his physical body so much, that his face was so sunken in and his mouth could no longer be controlled by his muscles. It just hung open like the rest of his body. Everything, his ears, his arms, just hung, flapped out, swollen and sore, laid out to rest like soggy laundry craving the sun for warmth and to dry. My Father was in the ICU for 9 days before he passed away; of course, he was spent. He finally came home, where he wanted to be. With his family. With me. I have it, that my Father was waiting for me to come back to say Goodbye. (I have to take another moment, to cry and blow my nose). 9 days earlier, I told him, “Papa, I will be back. I’m going to NYC now. I will be back, ok, ok, Papa, listen to me, I will be back, I’m going to NYC and will be back here, with you. With you Papa. ‘Ofa lahi atu.” He gave me this look of, You better, I will miss you. I love you. Come back soon. I did come back to see him go. I saw his soul leave his body. He was in Peace. Even though his physical body was so weak, his spirit was so STRONG. SO much LIGHT in that man, so BRIGHT, so much LOVE. His soul left in peace and in great slow flight. I was overwhelmed with so much profound love and peace. My Father passed away in great peace, freedom and light.

I want you to know my Father was unstoppable love, light, freedom, immense joy and happiness. He was the most generous and strongest man on the planet. He was very brilliant and very humble. Super funny and super smart. Everyone enjoyed his presence, even strangers. He created the world to be fun and enjoyable. He created this world to be sooo kind. My Father was a very, very kind man. When you met him, you got you were loved and accepted. Everyone knew him by his heart and his class. Yes, he was very classy. My Daddy had swagga before swagga was born. He taught what I value: love, passion, art, poetry, generosity, family. Yes, Family. My Father was family. He stood for family, our family, through it all: challenges, pain, struggles, sorrow, forgiveness. Forgiveness. My Father taught me how to forgive. Yes, to truly forgive. ‘Ofa lahi atu Papa. I love my life because of who you are and what you brought to me and this planet. Thank you for my life. Thank you for your life. Thank you. Thank you.

Mi Mama and Mi Papa and I. I love this picture of Us.  Provo, Utah. Sept 2009.

Mi Mama and Mi Papa and I. I love this picture of Us.
Provo, Utah. Sept 2009.

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Happy Birthday David Niumeitolu!

35 years old.
Happy Birthday to my amazing brother David Niumeitolu, father of 8 children (my beautiful nieces and nephews), husband to the beautiful Ronnie Mailo Niumeitolu, my older brother, and the only son. Thank you for all that you are and have giving us. I’m so proud of you. And of course, you know, you share this day with Malcolm X ~ Happy Birthday David & Malcolm!

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ohhhhhhh, it just turned after midnight…i missed posting for dec. 19, 2011. what a magical day!

just finished having a spectacular dinner/sharing/convos/connection with my 2 amazing gurlfriends C and M. thank you hermanas! gonna FREESTYLE this.

letting go of pain through pain-ting joy
no more drama, no more pain
we all on a new rocket ship
yogurt covered pretzels
butterscotch couch of comfort, safety and home
receiving blessings
in abundance.
you got me.
i got you.
i got you universe, i know you got me.

heart (candle) flames

conjuring the ocean, feeling the cowry, cowries got my back

we still growing

‘ofa atu.
i’m gonna stay up all night working on my moana love boedega–getting orders out before christmas, thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support and love and magic.

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malo’aupito mucho ~ thanks y giving

dear world: i’m grateful and GREATfull to you, thank you for giving me the honor, pleasure, challenge and blessing for the vida i got–for each breath and a new day to live life fully. i would not have the life i have today if you were not in it.

to my best friend in the whole entire world, Gabriella Gab*Star Callender, you are not only my best friend but you are the world’s best friend. yesterday, Gab*Star put this as her status on FB: “to be here..with my soul in my skin…creating you… creating me..creating you…..to be in love with life ..all of it …the illusion that it is ..the game of it ..and the discovery of love in the absence of meaning…..i can not help but love you in spite of everything and because of nothing …for this i am thankful, grateful and free.” Freaking beautiful y inspiring. This is my best friend, world. Yep. can’t get better this. ‘Ofa atu Gabby, I thank you for giving me and the world your music, your harmonies, your words, your beautiful spirit, your amazingness to the fullest. You inspire me on da daily, for real real. Also, life  just feels and looks better with you around…you make my heart sing and flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Happy ToFurkey day!
to my Mums y Pops, Litia y Tangata: i just got off the phone with you Mums. i love you all and will miss you all today. ‘Ofa atu ka Dad. thank you both for having me. right now as i write this, i’m getting present to the big life you both have given me through your sacrifice, risks and love. wow. thank you guys! i’m sending so much warmth and sunshine to Utah right now. beaming in Sandy to you all and happy eating at chuk-a-rama.
to my big sis, ‘Amelia Le’afa Niumeitolu, thank you for your call this morning. I wish I was with you and D, making 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies, yesssssss. thank you for never giving up on us, for plowing through and through, from the eastside to the westside sister, i salute you today and will always remember our bunk beds, garbage pail kid card collection, all our stuffed animals, my heavenly kid, Jenny, you picked out with Mum, cuz she could not afford a cabbage patch kid, our Strawberry Shortcake dolls and our bonnie bell chapsticks. yum. sending you lots of fair way brownies today! LA is in da mutha friggin’ billllding.
to Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, you inspire me to write, write, write and write our stories, our lives, our voices. thank you always for your impeccable listening, your brilliant mind y heart: your brilliance is mind y heart together, never separate.  ‘Ofa atu hermano ’til we speak again.
To mi created familia, my sisters and brothers:  La Chata aka E-Lo Erica DeLaRosa, loveeee you so much hermanaaaaa, i am so happy for you, haven’t seen you happier for your familia from Tejas to be in NYC this weekend witchu!! thank you for always being here and being here and being here! ‘Ofa atu Ewok-a. Mi hermanos, Luke Nephew y Frankie Lopez of the Peace Poets, dannnnng SUNS, ‘ofa atuuuuuu. You are pure inspiration, goodness, love, freedom, safety, poetry, and PEACE. I love you 2 soooo mucho much. huge abrazos always. Mi hermano, Oja, from a different mama y papa, I met you when when I was 19 years old at NYU’s Violet Cafe, at an INI event, mixing y turning tables, providing the soundscape for that amazing night. ‘Ofa and ‘Oja atu to my brother. You are still on my path and will always be on my path. thank you always for being there for me in alllll times. thank you for your wisdom and your light and always your smile. I love you Brother O. you always got me. to my other bff, Maria Marisigan, my hermana, I love you immensely. El Puente Presente, yo. Thank you for saying yes to working in my sweat shop for my T-shirts. it won’t be a bad sweat shop. i promise. it will be a good, fun, sweat shop. thank you for always supporting me and giving me your best love Maria, for bringing your truth and your smarts and the DANCE–moooooooove gurl, show me how you do that! Mi hermanas and hermanos, Tania Romero, Rafael Landron, Liz Romero, Amaru and Luz Schreiber, I love you OLLIN! I thank you for your leadership, community, love, healing, strength, and FAMILIA. I love y’all! thank you, thank you, thank you, i can just squeeze the heck out of yous right now. Felicity, thank you always for your support! Adoris and familia, i miss you guys. Thank you always Zoe!
I thank all these folks who I have just met this year and they have given me a part of themselves for me to grow: Re Perez, my coach from my Introduction Leaders Program, i love you so much Dude, you are freaking awesome! David Stadler, you the truth and i would not have played this game with out. James Picurro, Ahhhhh James, thank you Man! Mark Skylar, Aron Eisenpress, Wendy, Akua, Nikki, Lisa D, Chad Smith, Queenie, Clarivel, Aaron, I see you and you made a difference with me. Iman y Afrin, I love you.
I can’t forget these folks, you have made a huge difference in my life, you are superStars: William Solomon Orellana, Lizzy Fox, Bethany Edmunds, China Ching, Tressa Diaz, Lah Tere!!!! ohhhhh Yanny Clermont, loves you. I know I am missing peeps, there are more to mention, I just want to say thank you. when i see you, i will say thank you! thank you.
‘Ofa atu MSQP. thank you!
thank you.
thank you.
thank you.

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