Remembering Ralph

May 5, 2015
Remembering Ralph Barbara Ayurveda Holistic Health and Healing

I’m not someone who remembers dates. Let alone what day of the week it is. But May 5th is a date I don’t forget anymore. My partner, Ralph, died four years ago on that day. Cinco de Mayo. Remembering Ralph.

If you have a healthy grieving process, you move forward, you move on, you heal. And I most definitely have.

I wasn’t going to post anything today, but stil,l my fingers were drawn to the computer. And when that happens, I don’t argue because more often than not, I’m pleading with the writing gods to inspire me.

Whether we’ve suffered a loss in the form of the death of a loved one (including a beloved pet), a divorce or separation, a job, or any other significant life-altering change, moving forward is imperative.

After a couple of years, I started to feel that, well, maybe I shouldn’t share my thoughts about this particular loss anymore. Keep them to myself, because people will start to think I’m stuck in the past.

But my friend, Mary, reminded me yesterday that although we move on, we never truly forget. And that’s okay.

When Ralph died I found myself alone for pretty much the first time in my life. I could have crawled into a dark place of fear or longing or anger or pity. Instead, after the shock and sadness started to wane, I remember making a conscious choice to begin a love affair with myself.

I’ve spent these last four years getting to know what really makes me tick. Digging deep. Taking my inner child out to play again.

I realize that not everyone is the same. I’m an introverted artist at heart and so, for me, spending time alone can be like a soothing balm for my soul.

And from an Ayurvedic perspective (Of course I had to work that in here!) people with a lot of Vata in their constitution (air/movement) tend to be able to let things go, move forward.

It may not be quite so easy for the extrovert who needs people around.

Or for the Kapha type (earth/grounded/stability) who can get stuck in the past, unable to move forward or forget.

Certainly, there’s a spectrum for all of us. I think that my constitution and the knowledge that I had about it has helped me significantly.

And as with any life-altering situation, there’s usually the good and the bad.

My relationship with Ralph wasn’t without its hardships and challenges. It taught me valuable lessons which I carry with me into the future. If another relationship should come my way I will be stronger and wiser.

But it’s the good memories I choose to remember every year on May 5th or on those unexpected days when I feel Ralph’s presence. And I let myself breathe them in, whether they bring forth tears or smiles.

I loved his smile.

I loved his protective nature.

The man would have jumped on the subway tracks for me.

Ralph&JazI loved how children were so dear to him.

We could barely go for a walk in our neighborhood because he worried about the little ones who weren’t holding someone’s hand crossing the street. He loved when they came into his restaurant.

Speaking of his restaurant – I loved his cooking.

God, how I miss his cooking!

I loved his sense of adventure.

We relentlessly explored NYC every weekend even though he had lived there his whole life. He loved this city.

I loved riding my bike with him.

Back CameraI loved our Friday night movie dates.

I loved his generosity of spirit and lack of jealousy.

No matter what his own situation was, he was always happy for the success and joy of others.

I loved Ralph.

And still love him because his spirit is never far away from me.

So, like a birthday that comes around once a year, I celebrate Ralph and all that he was to so many people during his short life here on earth.

He truly blessed my life.

Thank you for letting me share my memories here – again.

So much love,
Barbara

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44 Comments

  1. This post is full of Life (the bitter and the sweet) and Love, just like you and Ralph are. You are both blessed to have each other, still. I know he’s watching over you. Love you, my sensitive friend.
    Nancy

    • Oh, Nancy. Thank you, love. I wasn’t going to write anything, but my fingers said otherwise today. Such sweetness in your words. xoxo

  2. Dea

    So beautiful Barb. Tears are flowing, thanks for sharing such an intimate, personal part of yourself with us. I’m going to go hug my loved ones 🙂

    • Thank you, Dea. Tears are good! 🙂 Sending you a big HUG! xoxo

  3. Mary

    Barbara, I am so glad that you decided to share your feelings as we remember Ralph today. Love is stronger than death, which is evident by how you remember what you loved about Ralph or the things that you did with him that brought you joy. Our thoughts are with you on this bittersweet day. Much love, Mary

    • Thank you, Mary, my friend. You were the impetus. 🙂 You have been my steady rock for so many years and I love you dearly. xoxo

  4. It’s always wonderful to read what you write about Barbara. Your words always hit close to home with me and today is no exception. Ten years ago this past April, Bob passed away due to a sudden heart attack at the age of 57 and today we would have been celebrating our anniversary. Our marriage had it’s ups and downs but I try to hang onto the good without romanticizing the not so great. It’s been a strange day for me as I can’t quite get it going. And although I hadn’t given the date too much thought today, my body has it’s own rhythm and my mood has been quiet and reflective. You have sweet memories of Ralph to cherish in your heart always. xxoo Debbie

    • Thank you, Debbie. Sending love back to your heart, as well. Yes, isn’t it interesting how our body/mind remembers? xoxo

  5. Margaret Billam

    I always love the way to remember your love.

    Much love to you.

    Marg

    • Thank you, Margaret. Sending love to you, who is still in the most difficult chapter. It will get easier. xoxo

  6. Barbara

    Beautiful remembrance of a love that never dies, Barbara. The picture of Ralph with the little one is priceless! And highlighting your “love” in purple – great idea!
    Such great advice for all who are grieving a loved one. As Ralph blessed your life, the words you shared today bless my life, as does your friendship.
    Much love, Barbara

    • Thank you, Barbara! Sending love to your beautiful and compassionate heart. xoxo

  7. Victoria

    What a beautiful way to remember him! I think it shows your strength, wisdom, and everlasting love for that amazing man. Ralph was like no other and I always love when you post something about him or a pic of him suddenly starts circulating in FB
    ;-). Anyone who was blessed to know Ralph can only smile instantly upon remembering him. Thanks for big smile!!

    • Thanks, Victoria! Ralph adored you and Joe – can you imagine what he would have thought of your little sweet pea? <3 xoxo

  8. The loving energy and memories you share through this post honour you, and Ralph. Grateful to have read this, and thank you for sharing as always Barbara. xoxo

  9. Naomi

    So beautiful, Barbara. It made me sorry that I never got to meet him. What wonderful memories you have and what an example you are for how to move on after grief: not forgetting but not giving up on your life either. Loved this.

    • Thank you, Naomi. He would have embraced everyone in our group and you would have all adored him, I’m certain of it. xoxo

  10. Aline

    You are so celebrating life. You are really putting your passed love into the perspective of today. That is what I love about your post. I see how Ralph’s vibration is eternal to you. Bless your heart.
    Aline

    • Thank you, Aline. So beautifully put. Much love to you! xoxo

  11. Lily

    So heart-warming to read this, Barbara. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

    • Thank you, Sweet Lily! I was just thinking about you…how are you doing? xoxo

  12. Sarah

    Dearest Barb, thank you for sharing your reflection with us today. I’ll never forget visiting with my cousins for their birthday with you and Amy in NYC at Ralph’s restaurant in 2005. He came out briefly to say hello and I’ll never forget how much you lit up when he was around. Your light still shines just as bright and I am grateful that you have a great love that will stay with you always. This was a reminder to treasure what we have now, whether that be a person in our lives or our own power and steadfastness to overcome tests. I love you and send you hugs. Xoxo

    • Thank you, sweet Sarah. I remember that visit, as well. Ralph was so genuine, kind and loving. Special. I’m so happy you had the opportunity to meet him. Sending you a big HUG, Sarah. You are one of those special people, as well. xoxo

  13. Yvette

    This made me cry. Thank you for Shari g and allowing me to take a moment to think about Ralph and his raspy deep voice and amazing smile. He did love my my kids. And Tyler still has his mala beads. Xoxo

    • And you, in turn, brought forth a tsunami of tears on my end when I read your comment this morning, Yvette. Yes, he did love your kids – and you. I would have never met you had it not been for R. Please give Tyler a hug for me. I forgot to mention Ralph’s voice in my life of things I loved…I can hear it now, crooning out a Teddy Pendergrass song as he’s chopping vegetables. 🙂 xoxo

  14. Yvette

    This made me cry. Thank you for Shari g and allowing me to take a moment to think about Ralph and his raspy deep voice and amazing smile. He did love my my kids. And Tyler still has his mala beads. Xoxo

  15. Becky Novak

    Barbara, although I’ve never met either you or Ralph, except for our Ayurvedic Skype session together, and messages, and the many workshop videos I’ve seen you in with DK, I feel like one of your new soul sisters and I have a great affinity for you. I’ve shared in your joy and sadness as you’ve shared stories and pictures with all of us over the past months. And I identify with all the challenges and ups and downs of the grieving process that we’ve both endured having lost our beloved partners recently, my husband by his own choice to end his life three years ago.

    I find encouragement and strength from reading your lovely tribute to Ralph today, and I do so appreciate your courage to open up to all the emotions, your continuing love for Ralph, and all those things you cherish about him. Sometimes it’s the little memories that mean the most. Like you, I can find peace in being alone, but your open sharing does reach out to each and every heart that reads your blog, and postings, and that way you are not alone, we are all stay connected, in our joy, and sometimes in sorrow. Rest well in your love on this special day. Ralph is smiling down on you, and filing your heart with his love. I can feel it in you. It radiates through you out to all of us.
    Big Love, Becky : )

    • Thank you, Becky. Really, truly, there’s no point in sharing if it doesn’t reach out and help or comfort someone else. I’m not one for attention (I shuddered reading that I’m out there in video land – I’ve never had the courage to watch any of those videos myself). Sending you love – it’s been a joy to get to know you, even though it’s been virtually! xoxo

  16. Barbara, I am sad to learn of your loss. I too know that burden of grief. I prefer to think of forward motion but personally have problems with the term “move on”. It is important to live our lives but that loss will be ever present in out DNA. Certainly something we could discuss over a cup of coffee some day. I applaud you for taking the time to dig deep and learn more about yourself–and hope that you continue to explore the city Ralph so loved, in his memory and to feed your soul. Blessings and peace to you.

    • Hi, Laura! Yes, “forward motion” sounds much better than “moving on”. A cup of coffee (or tea, for me :)) sounds lovely. Much love, B

  17. Barbara, I am sad to learn of your loss. I too know that burden of grief. I prefer to think of forward motion but personally have problems with the term “move on”. It is important to live our lives but that loss will be ever present in out DNA. Certainly something we could discuss over a cup of coffee some day. I applaud you for taking the time to dig deep and learn more about yourself–and hope that you continue to explore the city Ralph so loved, in his memory and to feed your soul. Blessings and peace to you.

    • Hi, Laura! Yes, “forward motion” sounds much better than “moving on”. A cup of coffee (or tea, for me :)) sounds lovely. Much love, B

  18. Elina

    A beautiful post celebrating love, life and soul. Thank you so much for sharing it, Barbara. Much love.

  19. Elina

    A beautiful post celebrating love, life and soul. Thank you so much for sharing it, Barbara. Much love.

  20. Rita Shields

    Thanks for sharing as always Barb. Your love for Ralph can be felt by all of us and I thank you for that. Tears roll down my face as the love for my mom comes up because of Mother’s Day coming up. I miss her so much also.

    • Dear Rita, I’m so happy it resonated with you. Sending you love and hugs as Mother’s Day approaches. It can be such a bittersweet day for so many of us. xoox

  21. Rita Shields

    Thanks for sharing as always Barb. Your love for Ralph can be felt by all of us and I thank you for that. Tears roll down my face as the love for my mom comes up because of Mother’s Day coming up. I miss her so much also.

  22. Oh Barbara, thank you for following the call of your fingers to write. Such a beautiful reminder to remember the love, joy & memories of what we shared with our loved ones who have passed. It is easy sometimes to stay stuck in the grief of that loss. I enjoyed reading your process of healing and remembering! Much love to you!

    • Thank you, Debbie! I know yesterday was probably bittersweet for you. Sending you love… xoxo

  23. Oh Barbara, thank you for following the call of your fingers to write. Such a beautiful reminder to remember the love, joy & memories of what we shared with our loved ones who have passed. It is easy sometimes to stay stuck in the grief of that loss. I enjoyed reading your process of healing and remembering! Much love to you!

    • Thank you, Debbie! I know yesterday was probably bittersweet for you. Sending you love… xoxo

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