Of Stars & Men: A Note on Grief, Love & Life

Part of this blog has been about coming out about stuff. Being vulnerable, daring to share. That’s why it’s sometimes quiet– not because I’m not writing, but because I’m not posting, not letting go.

This time was different. I wasn’t writing. These are the first words penned since I lost

–6 minutes doing other things before I can write this next part–

My Dad.

Some people have strained or even terrible relationships with theirs. If at all. Mine was a Best Friend, a Warrior, my King. There are some things you don’t fathom until they’re gone.

Can you imagine the world without the ocean? Or air?

My Dad showed me absolute, unconditional love and acceptance. I could share my crazy any time, no problem. And rebellious harshness was never unforgivable.

I wish this kind of love for everyone. It’s life.

But easy to take for granted if you always swim in it. Like Air.

His responses were always tempered. Wisdom from a lifetime of reading, wide-thinking, far-traveling, legal/social/cultural-navigating, fighting for equal treatment of others as a career and passion.

I could call at 3am, thousands of miles away. If needed he would come. “Too Easy.”

Dads who teach you they stand on the streetside to protect you. And admonish you to do that for others.

Dads who remind you not to jump at any news, because there’s always 3 sides to a story.

Dads who keep telling you not to sweat the small stuffand it’s all small stuff.

Dads who dance when wiping their shoes at the door, enjoy the little things, spark your coffee love, always point to Wonder and Gratitude, stay the course under any Fire.

Dads who Serve and always set the example and Standard. Dads who Survive.

It’s because of a crazy vision years ago that I started calling “God,” Dad.
(and I never told you..)

Mine left without warning. In his sleep, 63 years young. I could ask for nothing kinder. You get “the call” and the world stops. You’ve lost limbs, you have no strength, you’re falling off a cliff every time you think of him. You can’t breathe. Or look at photos. Or feel where his pen left its weight on inscriptions..

You wonder how anyone survives this.

#Covid restricted travel, blocked any kind of gathering or service, and so much more..

I realize many are running through these traumas. ❤
Hang. in. there.

But I know stars shine even in the daytime. Even when we can’t see them. Even if we aren’t thinking of them.

Gaining Perspective.

I showed my kids the sun in comparison to Rigel, a mere star in beloved Orion.

We read about solar nurseries and star life cycles and for the first time ever–call me crazy, or slow— I considered celestial bodies like living things.

Like plants, animals, people..

I shared this with my mom, and the quiz trap, “How many stars are in our solar system?” (wink, wink: One).

A bible-nerd verse came to mind and I went digging. But found a gem my broken heart wasn’t expecting:

“All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory..

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” (verse)

Sown in weakness, raised in power..

I thought of the fragility of my father in contrast to his inner fortitude.

I thought about seeds, like hope, that thrive under heavy dark, the weight of the world on their shoulders.

How many times do we feel weak or broken? Alone? Do we also know we’re strong and courageous?

We’ve survived 100% of our days so far.

Mighty Track record.

Not everyone believes in an afterlife or seeing loved ones lost. I’m hoping for it, and an Insane party–after all, if creation took “6 days,” and Jesus said “I’m gonna prep a spot” –like 2,000 years ago– let your mind go.

Love is powerful. Unconditional love is unstoppable. And regardless of time, space, dimension and belief, Im still feeling it.

Love your life.

Share your heart.

Shine like you mean it.

The night is a little less dark when stars just Are.

Keep hope in these strange, uncertain and sometimes breaking days.

And the greatest things aren’t seen with the eyes anyway, right?

© @JasNotes – thisisheartinformation.com

Marvel love, thanks Dad.

Hey, I’m Jasmine, how are you holding up in this Covid time? Sending hugs. Also, if you need some grief resources pls check online. I’ve been fumbling through it here. Everyone grieves differently and there are no clear cut stages or timelines. And Covid is wacking the already unnormal pain and process. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Take. Your. Time.

One Ted Talk I saw before the world broke said we dont move on from it, we move forward with it (Nora McInerny). Time helps. Breathing helps. I’m still in it so still lack wisdom.
I’m sending love. I did a quick google search this or this may have something for you. (but I haven’y thoroughly checked them).

Feel free to post a comment below, or share the blog. We could all use a little encouragement and connection these days❤

A little more Space Love?
Saturn’s Hexagon, what?
Rainbows are Full Circles, what?

A little more Encouragement?
Stay the Same or Show Up? The Rainbow Needs all Her Colors to Shine
Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Story
Stars are Always Shining, even if you Don’t See Them

Surely a Dad-Approved:
Busting Religion: Why I let my Kids Play with Batman, Nijago, Elsa..

NB: *I use He & His as simple pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” (for lack of a better word) as demonstrated throughout the Bible and most blatantly through humanity. Related post, Transgender God, here.

Photo Credits:
-Old 80’s and 00’s pics of me and my dad @JasNotes
-space happenings poster via NASA
-“Justice is what love looks like in public,” book pic from Subversive Jesus, Craig Greenfield.
-Astronaut drawing, via Macmillian Color Library: Space (1979)
-Image of girl and sun, and NYC and moon via WP Gallery
-Star comparison via Macmillian Color Library: Space (1979)
-“South of Carina” Nebula/Stars image via NASA
-Cosmic/Explorer graphic via Stoian Hitrov (found via Walli wallpaper app)
-Poem, “Death Exists…” (in Dutch), thanks dear neighbor ❤
-Sun collage by me, originals via NASA (i think, yikes).

Where I can, I always try to credit photo authors. Pls msg me for what I miss.

Take care peeps ❤

Maybe Kids aren’t a Distraction, but the Main Event?

Ever been in a store and witnessed a child meltdown? The parent is either a. trying to ignore, b. negotiating/pleading, or c. hoisting kid in prem and getting out quick. (yes, I’ve been ‘all of the above’ person).

Parenting can mess people up.

We think we’re calm, sane people, but kids blow that up. You get a new spectrum of emotions, including fierce protector, bottomless love, anxiety, grief,… add another child to the mix and watch anger jump off the Richter scale when you see one hurt the other.

Yes, that was me who clapped so hard and stood up shouting “Stop!” at my kids during a Hema breakfast outing. The restaurant went silent for a moment.

It can feel like a sliding scale between brain mush and losing your mind, but is something more profound going on?

Continue reading “Maybe Kids aren’t a Distraction, but the Main Event?”

Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Own Story

Encouraging memes can fall flat when you’re in the middle of a firestorm. My experience is that problems or stressors rarely come alone. I’m dealing with X, but Q is spilling over, and my heart is breaking about T (and D through K).. I’m not sure I’m going to make it about P….

Do troubles wait their turn?

Continue reading “Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Own Story”

Trump Appointed by God??!

I cry write about the rift between American “Christianity,” and God’s Heart. Before Donald Trump was elected I wrote an Open Letter to America and POTUS himself sharing what I experience as an epic, end-time battle between Love & Hate. I also mentioned some prophecies from the crazy bible book, Revelation.

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and wouldn’t lose any votes..”

2 years later, the unwavering acceptance by some “Christians” of Trump’s  behaviors, statements, actions and policies– which have been anything but Christ-like– is increasingly BANANAS, or gut-wrenching, or fire-spewing, or all of the above.

Continue reading “Trump Appointed by God??!”

10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me: #7- It’s Not Cool for Teachers or Parents to Hit On You

Day 7 from the #UnashamedList series. Written to be a resource for any youth navigating issues like sexual integrity, porn addiction,..  Series intro here.

After reading Day 5, my husband dropped this:

“Op een oude fiets moet je het leren.”

Apparently it’s an old Dutch phrase meaning, literally: ‘You’ve got to learn it on an old bike.

The cultural meaning is: get your sexual practice with someone with experience. Continue reading “10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me: #7- It’s Not Cool for Teachers or Parents to Hit On You”

#UnashamedList of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me [Series Starts Here]

That’s me on my 17th birthday. Woo, virginity blown the year before (with the first guy I kissed–in the same setting–ugh), vowed “never again” till marriage (yikes), sexualized more than a decade prior, porn addicted–didn’t realize it was addiction or problem…

Houston, you still with me?
Continue reading “#UnashamedList of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me [Series Starts Here]”

Is Hell bigger than Love?

The gospel can be cut so many ways. “Good news” for a woman begging is different than for a rich Westerner, or trafficked boy. But concepts like unconditional love and freedom keep me busy.

I’ve heard many Christians stress about people needing to “convert” or “be saved” to avoid hell. Was it similar thinking that sparked the convert-or-die theology of the Crusades?

Continue reading “Is Hell bigger than Love?”