Thursday, July 18, 2013

Her Mark

I just finished writing Cora's obituary. I'm sitting here accumulating experiences I never dreamed of having. Such strange times. Meetings at funeral homes, talks about funeral services, surreal and sad discussions.

But there is a tangible state of grace around everything.

I know Cora is in my heart because although she's no longer here, she's still making me and everyone else around me feel better. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the void her tiny little chubby body left behind, with the need to snuggle her face, pet her hair, or get those head pats I was just experiencing and writing about a few days ago. The need to see and be seen by those eyes.

To not be able to feel her little perfectness is a sad and sinking reality.

But Cora won't let me stay there for long. Each time I feel those aches acutely, she works her way in by sending me a comment, a call, a card or a story shared from a friend. Tonight someone sent me this:

I just watched the most beautiful sight of mist and fog rolling across the sky lit up by the moon.      Cora is everywhere I look. She's part of god. I feel her.

These comments, to me, aren't just condolences. They are confirmations that Cora, a child from the spiritual world, touched and changed people, and she profoundly made her mark. They say to me that her life was large, and that it still is. That it can't be measured by normal scales like time and fairness; that her sweet soul will extend far beyond her imperfect body and its painfully limited time here.

If I could string together every comment and every sentiment that essentially said, "Cora changed me," or, "Cora made me better," I feel I could wrap the earth more than once. And each one I read makes me cry.

What a tremendous gift to have been able to stand beside a person who had that kind of impact on the world. She was such a smart little baby, she knew so much more than most of us. I can only pray she carries on using her magic on me to keep making me better, and to help me learn to live in a world that is somehow still turning without her.

I keep hearing about, and I completely agree with, the idea that happiness and sadness are the two most closely related emotions. How true it is. There has been so much joy in this entire experience. Not always laughing, happy joy, but deep and primary joy. The kind that comes from profound respect for life and the quality of beauty for which our limited language has so few words to describe.

Everyone knows what it feels like to have a moment when you teeter on the fine balance between happiness and sadness. Time stops. You feel both things leaning in on you. And in our limited human capacity, we can't stay there for long before wanting to tip the scales in one direction and just decide. Is it a happy thing? Or is it a sad thing?

But I hope one day to reach a more evolved place where I can exist in those moments with everything. All the happy, all the sad; all the pain and all the heart-bursting joy.

That's the place where Cora spent her whole life.


  1. Thank you for allowing Cora to make her mark and for making one yourself, for your willingness to show us what this fine balance between joy and sadness looks like off paper.

  2. Cora gives you the strength & inspiration to share her life with all of us and inspire your words of peace, adoration and love you all had for her and for those you did not know her to love her too.

  3. Thank you Michele and Cora for continuing this blog and sharing what is going on with you and Cora as she now works her magic from above. Thank you for sharing your experiences with what is going on with life at home.
    You can be so sure that Cora has reached so many lives through you Michele, she was sent here, to you, when we all needed her the most. Our world is kind of messed up in so many ways, our lives so busy that we hardly have time for "family" but somehow you and Cora have made us all stop and revisit what's really important in life by making us look forward to your blogs and the incredible words Cora enabled you to feel so you could write to the world. Thank you for all the love Cora gave and keeps giving; all the unconditional love that Dom showed and your endless energy for the last 8 months that has held together your world with Jason and the children.
    I feel Cora everyday, I look at how to handle situations
    differently because of her love, because of your sharing, just because of the Bousquet family.
    Thank you, thank you Cora, Little Lionheart, for your old soul and the gift you gave us these last few months, we love you.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story with Cora and your family to us. Your beautiful, eloquent and at times funny words were a true expression of Cora's journey that grew to be a part of us. I've found myself smiling, crying and laughing while reading your blog. The pure beauty and innocence of your little angel would always wash away any doubts of true goodness in the world. Thank you Michele and thank you Cora!

  5. Michele - I'm one of the many strangers who's been following your blog over the weeks and months. And one of the many who Cora touched inexplicably. I've found myself in tears at random times the last several days. Maybe it's because I have an eight month old daughter and can only imagine the pain you must be going through. Or maybe something far more universal about what Cora was and why she was with us for a short time. I think she may truly been an angel.

    It is so easy to be cynical and hard to the world these days. Cora was able to break through that for so many of us. Her innocence, her vulnerability, her love and wisdom. I find myself completely changed by her in a way I'm surprised by.

    Every night when I put my daughter to bed, I think of you and of Cora. I say a little prayer for you. It's become a ritual. It breaks through when I feel sulky about silly, trivial things about my day. Or when I need some sunshine.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and giving us a guardian angel in little Cora Lionheart.

  6. Living in Hawaii, I am accustomed to seeing a lot of rainbows. Yesterday morning, as I was driving, I thought of Cora and began to get teary. At that moment, the strangest thing happened. I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful, the most bright, and the most perfect rainbow. It was a storybook rainbow spanning across the morning sky, not covered by any clouds. Cora, your sweet angel, is everywhere- working her magic with her tiny little fingers.

    Thank you, thank you so much for sharing her magic.