Center, Bearli with Poppy observing the first Harley parade in Lugano; top left Bearli poses with Pici; next Bearli poses for his passport photo; next atop a pair of carrot clad Happy socks he bought for Poppy in Belgium; bottom left Bunny & Bearli floating on vacation in Turkey; bottom right the entire family with a photo of Bearli for our private memorial service.
Friday 15 November Bearli was kidnapped, inside my stolen purse in Brussels.
Grief and despair engulfed me, and Claudio amazed me with an uncharacteristic display of emotion. He had lost his best friend - one could even say a piece of himself. When I held a memorial service for Bearli (bottom right photo above) he refused to attend, saying it would make him cry, as if crying was a criminal offense.
For two days my mother searched the internet to find a new Bearli for Claudio, she simply could not stand by while he suffered this loss, she went into full activation. I put up a Bearli rescue post on Instagram, Alice (the illustrator of Bunny Chronicles and a soul friend of Beali) went one step further and put up a post to get a Bearli for our family. Friends sent postcards through the mail, called, sent messages, and expressed their kindness and empathy in person. The outpouring of love was tender and warm.
The Thursday after Bearli went missing, we had dinner with a dear friend who has the same exact bear. Her bear was given to her by her children more than 20 years ago when she got her PhD. She had this bear sitting on the table at the entrance to her home, waiting for Claudio when we came in. “He is ready to live with you and be part of your family”, she said. That same day my Mom sent a message saying the Bearli she had ordered had arrived and she was sending it to us via post, “Bearli will be back with you soon”, she wrote.
In less than one week we had TWO Bearli’s and were in every way possible, tangible and intangible, reminded of the love and kindness that surrounds and supports us. Magic.
One of the key concepts I offer in both my group trainings and personal coaching is that everything that happens in life is a possibility. This is not an empty positive thinking slogan for me, it is a real way of life. What happens in life is one thing, how I choose to deal with it is another. The disappearance of Bearli put me right in front of my own idea. Bearli is gone, who am I going to be in the face of this situation?
Sad, yes, and where this sadness led me was to my priorities.
Bearli’s disappearance gave me an invaluable reminder of a long held belief - things don’t matter. I am 100% grateful for all the things I have. I treasure things of sentimental value and I am grateful each day for the things I have which make my life simpler. Equally for the things which add beauty and happiness to my life. And, at the core, it is not about the things.
A soft, loving creature, Bearli's role in our lives went far beyond being the character in a book. Before he was the character in a book, he was an unusually sentimental present from my late father. Next he was Claudio’s avatar, his connection with the deepest most tender part of himself. Bearli’s absence, as a thing, could pose a threat to this. On the other hand could this be an opportunity for him to recognize and be that part of himself without the need for a poppet as an excuse?
Could Bearli’s kidnapping be the opportunity for us both to reconnect with our own internal tenderness? A chance to restore and rejuvenate the tenderness of our couple ship? Could this situation be a simple chance to remember I am not my things and to realign my priorities within my relationships, a return to heart based living? Could this situation be a chance for me to remember how lucky I am to be surrounded by love and kindness?
All of these questions have led me to choose to be grateful for the gift this situation has offered me. At once allowing myself to be sad over the loss of this treasured thing and to receive all the love and kindness in my life. To live the magic of life.
I close with a letter sent to me from a dear soul friend just after Bearli was kidnapped, she not even knowing what had happened. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, EVERYday!
You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.
Why did you spill the coffee?
"Because someone bumped into me!!!"
You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.
Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.
*Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.*
Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled.
So we have to ask ourselves... “what's in my cup?"*
When life gets tough, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?
Anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?
Life provides the cup, YOU choose how to fill it.
Today let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.