Sunday, November 17, 2019

Larissa Minicucci ... a bright new star in the night skies

Posted on November 14, 2019 on my facebook page ...  it is with great sadness and a heavy heart I share that our beloved Larissa has since crossed over into the spirit world on Saturday, November 16, 2019 around 3 pm. For more on this amazing human being please check out her caring bridge site:
As many of us prepare for the crossing over into the spirit world of our beloved friend, partner, mentor, teacher I want to share with you a photo taken at the Leech Lake SIRVS clinic in Oct. 2018 with Jonathan Elbaz, current president of SIRVS which shows the spirit of Larissa, the spirit of SIRVS, and the amazing fire and spirit of SIRVS (Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services). I have had the honor of working with many SIRVS presidents over the years, and they have all been amazing (Molly Kubeczko-Schmidt, Rachel Marie, Kristen Capen and this year's president elect, Hilary Hooberman).
I picked Larissa up from home so we could ride together to Leech Lake ... we have many road trips and last year after her diagnosis with cancer we had two road trips (Red Lake and Leech Lake). We had long heartfelt conversations. She told me she wasn't afraid of death - she just wasn't ready. She talked for hours about two of her deepest loves - her work with SIRVS, the students, tribal communities .. and then she talked for hours about her husband Lou.
Yesterday at the hospital I promised her that her work with SIRVS and tribal communities will continue. That I know she will be with us in spirit and that I am counting on her letting us know if we flounder or go astray by sending us a strong message ... she smiled and there was a twinkle in her eyes.
Many of us are grieving deeply already. It's like someone stuck a knife in our hearts. And my heart hurts so deeply for an amazing husband who shared with me, in his own words, how he met Larissa 16 years ago. And there was a twinkle in both their eyes.
She has touched the lives of so many, and she wants us to continue this work. I encourage us all to find a way to talk to this overwhelming, all consuming grief ... I share with you one of my favorite poems. Grief has arrived at our door step. I am going to invite Grief in ... Grief brought me a puppy from the Mille Lacs SIRVS clinic (her name is Migizi, and when I held her i could feel Larissa's presence so strongly and was guided to name her Migizi). I will be adopting Migizi. With Ahnung (means 'star' in ojibwe - spirit dog from Red Lake), Ishkode ('fire' in ojibwe - from Leech Lake) and now Migizi ('eagle in ojibwe - from Mille Lacs) I promised Larissa our collaborative work with tribal communities will continue.
Together, we will keep Larissa's spirit alive. To my friends at Leech Lake and Mille Lacs and White Earth, I ask for your support and know I can count on you ... Shirley Nordrum Sharon Nordrum Veronica Bratvold Winnie Walleye Melissa Yuenger Angela Nordman Gary Wayne Branchaud Li Boyd Mary H. Skelly Tawny Warren
Please continue to hold Larissa in your heart as she prepares her transition into the spirit world ....
Talking to Grief (by Denise Levertov)
Ah, grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.
I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.
You think I don't know you've been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

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