My most popular blog post to date is the one in which I gave tribute to my grandfather turning 99, who passed away yesterday. So I feel like he has had as much of an impact on you as he has on me.

If my grandfather didn’t survive the Bataan Death March in 1942 – in which thousands of soldiers died walking 80 miles to a POW camp in the Philippines – I would not be alive today.

Last night I meditated to see what wisdom he would give me. My grandfather was a pilot and he loved talking about his time in the sky, so it was fitting that he had me sit in the back, looking at him in the pilot’s seat with my grandmother next to him. He said to me in the straightforward way he always does:

This is what we see now.”

And even though he was prompting me to look at the earth below, I found it hard to focus on his point of view. He was trying to tell me that this is the view of life we must all have, without pain, and without pettiness.

We are meant to feel like we are flying all the time.

It was painful for me because on the one hand I can understand what he is trying to tell me. On the other, I am living in a body, and I cannot experience it. It is going to take some time – my whole life really – to understand the depth and the lightness of what he is experiencing. It is something I believe only the spirits – and the most divine and conscious of us – can understand.

I’ve learned so much from him even if he didn’t mean me to. About how to treat others and myself and about the extraordinary impact one person can have on the world. Thank you for this legacy, Lolo. I am going to miss you but I know you’ll be with me always.

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