Vuela alto, Papi. ¡Bendición! View in browser


If you follow me on social media, you may have heard that my Papi passed away last week.

I'm equal parts devastated and in complete denial over his passing -- even with advanced notice and preparation, there is no easy way to integrate this new emptiness.

A few days ago, I began drafting a different version of this December update. I tried to honor his memory with a litany of words and stories, but I could not stop writing.

There aren't enough words to capture his influence on my life. And even if one day I manage to craft an adequate tribute, I am entirely unable to do so at the moment. 

Instead of trying, I will share a version of what I said at the cemetery, surrounded by our family and his friends (whom he always taught me to greet with the phrase us Boricuas use to greet all our elders: "Bendición"):

People say "Love is a Verb."

Papi taught me that Love is both: words and deeds.

He said "I Love You" "I Love You Too" "I Love You More" easily and often. 

I never wondered if I was deeply loved because he told me, from the day I was born and every day since, that he loved me. 

And then, because Love is, in fact, also a verb, he showed me his Love. 

In big and small ways my father LIVED LOVE for me, for my brother, for our kids, and for everyone who knew him. He taught us all how to give and receive LOVE with open hearts. 

If I've ever given you LOVE or shared JOY with you, then you have been in the presence of the lessons Papi taught me about what it means to live a good and meaningful life.

My Tío Jossie, Papi's older brother, captured Papi's spirit in this way:

“Cuándo un ser humano convierte a sus amigos en familiares cumplió con su propósito en este mundo”

"When one turns his friends into family he has fulfilled his purpose in this world."

Papi taught me this key lesson as well, and I am forever grateful for my extensive familia -- the one into which I was born and the one I’ve created along the way. 

My year and decade end on a heavy note as I make sense of a world that includes missing Papi every day, but I remain grateful for many blessings:

  • my husband and children, who carry me during this tempest;
  • Mami, my brother, sis-in-law, nephews, comadres, compadres and other family who keep Papi's memory alive daily; 
  • the fact that my youngest was born in time to spend a week cuddling with his grandfather;
  • the fact that Papi passed on to me his love of taking pictures so that I have countless pictures of him and us together;
  • the friends who reach out daily in love and support — including this community;
  • and many many more...

I wish for you some peace as the year and decade draw to a close -- in whatever form peace is available to you at this juncture in your own special journey through this life.

Picture of Li Yun Alvarado
Abrazos, Paz, y Amor to you hoy y siempre,
Li Yun

P.S. Below I've shared links that might be useful or of interest to you, including information on how to purchase the workbook I so lovingly created before baby was born and Papi passed on and my whole life was turned upside down several times over.


"My New Year's Gratitude not Resolutions List"
by Jan Warner

If you are grieving a loss, or have had a difficult year in other ways, this piece might be helpful as you reflect on 2019.

"A Puro Puños"
by Li Yun Alvarado

Excerpt: "My Papi comes from caña. And rios. And caserios. From mariscos. From la costa de una isla he still calls casa."

Almost a decade ago, I wrote this reflection on Papi, his best friend, and on his ambivalence towards Thanksgiving. Read it for a glimpse into my Papi’s youth and life in the in-between that is living in NuyoRico.

Write Your 2020:
Reflect, Set Intentions, and Chart a Course for Your Writing Life

A Workbook for Writers & Creatives

by Li Yun Alvarado

This workbook will guide you through your end of year (and decade) reflections and will help you create a concrete plan for the coming year. 

Follow the link above to learn more, download your copy, and join our Facebook community. Please share the workbook with your writer and creative friends who might find it useful.

In honor of Papi’s boundless generosity, the workbook will be available for half price through the end of the year.

Li Yun Alvarado
3:23 PM - Dec 8, 2019

Hasta el próximo baile, Papi. I already miss and will love you, always. Vuela alto Papito. Bendición 🙏🏽🐰🕊🇵🇷 Cornelio Jun “Palometa” Alvarado 1/27/59 - 12/5/19

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106 likes 31 comments
liyunalvaradoI am heartbroken and will have infinitely more to say about Papi in the coming weeks, months, years, lifetimes. . For now I will say this... he was ALWAYS there for us, and found immense pleasure in being a part of our lives. So much so that he got to know many of my friends, colleagues even acquaintances, just from being so present in my life. . So along with your condolences, please gift me any stories you may have. In the comments, share one of your memories of Jun Alvarado, help me keep his memoria alive hoy y siempre 🙏🏽❤️
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liyunalvaradoVuela Alto, Papi. Bendición 🙏🏽🐰🕊🇵🇷
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Photo of Li Yun Alvarado speaking, including the words
Li Yun Alvarado

2436 East 4th Street #1180, Long Beach
United States

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