The Unexpected Present

Rooted in Life, Rooted in Love

violin

Reunions are joyful occasions, especially with loved ones. Having loved ones around for the sad life moments may be the only way one can get through tough emotional times like the funeral of a young person. Saying goodbye to a young man, a forty-three-year-old in his prime, was especially difficult. It was sudden and a shock.

It was love that people came together to remember the dearly departed, Michael, and I learned some very lovely and personal things about him. It was love that brought the people together and will keep them together. We all felt the grief the two remaining brothers were feeling. A question raised amongst us– how hard is it to lose a sibling? Then again, the question that may have beat that card is how hard can it be for a parent to lose a child? The brothers lived through the funerals of both parents and now must deal with such sadness for their brother. My heart went out to the heart-wrenching pain of this young man’s aunts, uncles, and cousins. They are holding onto one another.

We’re finding there’s no need to be concerned about the result of any scheduled event; things will turn out better than expected. The repast took place in the church hall in the parish I grew up in. This hall which was once a school auditorium staged concerts and Christmas plays. It was a place where the grandmothers made varenyky by the thousands to support the school. It held family events, christenings, graduations, and our wedding reception. We sat with Michael’s family (his mother, Oksana, and uncle Roman grew up with Yuri) and spoke of the connections the siblings from the first generation had, compared to the cousins that remain in the family network spread out like the mushroom mycelia that interconnect different tree roots. In this parish, the elder and the younger members came together, reconnected, interconnected, and vowed to do better by staying connected.

That evening we talked about the day long into the night and the meaning of it all. Questions arise, why him? Why at this moment? And that’s where the priest spoke gently about having faith, comforting the many who came to honor and remember Michael. It may not matter the age or the cause; the grief can be like a tsunami hitting an emotional nerve when you least expect it. It will be twenty-five years since my mother died. At the time, the sadness and grief were overwhelming. My professor in art history wrote me a note that I carried with me for a long time– that when the time is right, I will be able to put this sorrow into its proper perspective. She was right. In the end, it’s all about love.

We felt the love from our friends who invited us for a Sunday afternoon meal. A fortunate find– a traditional Ukrainian food mart in Lord’s Valley, PA. We were treated to a traditional Christmas Eve sampling of tastes and flavors that reminded us of our childhood days when Sunday afternoon luncheon gatherings were commonplace. The conversations would encompass all topics, and different courses would come out, tempting us to put a bit more on our plates. It was a delightful show of friendship, love, and connection.

Our afternoon stretched into the early evening, and as the winter light faded into a clear starlit evening welcoming the full moon, the Wolf Moon, we made our way back home.
The emotional experience from the weekend becomes more than the event it is attached to. We have been dealing with a tough emotional cycle in our lives, and the community settings are a welcome sentiment, especially among the people we consider family, extended family, community family, and parish family. It shows us that we will transcend these difficulties and begin a new chapter in life.

I look forward to the conclusion of the emotional “roller coaster” ride Yuri and I have been on, resting on a sense of forthcoming well-being and emotional completeness. We do not feel like a piece of our emotional self is missing. We have a sense of belonging, complete and joyful, with the potential to share this fulfillment we are experiencing. We are puzzle pieces put together as part of the Universe.

All good emotions, particularly love. We look forward to an everyday life full of joy, pleasure, and harmony in the New Year. It’s all about love.

I’ll Be Missing Your Love  music & lyrics by Yuri Turchyn

Related Articles

Yuri in Nature

Requiem and Repast for a Renaissance Man


Memorial Day is Opening Day of the summer season, yet for the past two years, Yuri and I spent the weekend and weeks following in the ICU. This year, on Saturday, family and friends gathered at a morning memorial service, requiem, and repast commemorating the 40th day since Yuri’s spirit and essence left his physical self, ultimately melding into the universe of our collective consciousness.
Sviato Yuri icon

On Name Day, It’s All In The Name

Today is Yuri’s name day. May 6 is St. George’s Day. Name days, these traditional feast days, hold a unique significance as they commemorate a particular holy person, often a saint or martyr, and celebrate an individual's given name. They are not just collective holidays marked by national calendars but personal celebrations
Yuri@Kinderhook NY

A Kinderhook Revival Reunion for Campers

It was Saturday night, April 25, 2009, when the band Kinderhook's rocking revival reunion with the campers from the 1970s took place. Like the rest of the crowd that filled the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Whippany, New Jersey, I anticipated a night of returning to my youth during the Plast Scout Camp years in East Chatham, New York, a stone's throw from their namesake Kinderhook Creek. That night, Yuri and I met. Eye contact.
Yuri Turchyn Violinist 2024

Yuri Notes: Wake Me Up From This Dream

I am sleepwalking and still reeling from having to write the words that Yuri Turchyn departed this world peacefully in my arms on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Time of departure: 15:05. Sail away.
CK+YT @Woodstock

Telling Our Story

We find a purpose in life, not just a lifestyle to live by, taking on life’s challenges with words, music, time stamps and postcards.

HOW IT STARTED
Air Guitar Wedding

Who, What, Why Is This Happening?

ambulance

Grammarly Stands with Ukraine

Together with the UNITED24 fundraising platform, Grammarly is raising money for ambulances in Ukraine. We invite you to join the fundraiser by donating
HERE

 To all of Ukraine, we stand with you and are sending aid. To everyone else, we ask you to declare your support for the people of Ukraine, who continue to resist the unprovoked Russian invasion.

UA flag
EXPLORE