My mother just died. Seems like no matter how old you are (66) or how close you were or weren’t, it’s really hard to lose your mother. It feels like a coat I didn’t even know I was wearing was suddenly yanked off … and I’m left feeling a bit exposed. The buffer between my mortality and me is gone and my place in the hierarchy of life is now at the front of the line!
As for Mom, she simply died of old age. At 87 her organs were worn out and shutting down. No dementia, no pain, no fear (according to her) and no way back. She accepted that.
While my mother and I shared a biology…our lives were very different in experience and perspective. Where to find the common ground?
I found it in those last 10 days I spent at her side. The hospice angels came and went as I tended to her needs. As naturally as breathing, I found myself doing for her the things she did for me as an infant – feeding, bathing, wiping, grooming. She often looked at me with eyes filled with gratitude and whispered, “thank you.” She smiled knowingly when I said “no…thank you for allowing me to accompany you as you complete the circle of life. It seems we enter this world as helpless beings dependent on loved ones to care for and protect us, and if we’re fortunate, we leave this life in the same way.”
That’s the common ground of our shared humanity.
Her body reflected that of an elderly woman who had birthed six children. Droopy breasts, loose belly, bottom like a deflated balloon. Even in its used-up state – it still regally housed her gentle spirit. Letting go a little at a time. Happily eating all the ice cream she wanted. Surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Often we would just sit in silence as I watched her active eyelids and imagined her moving from one side of the veil to the other. Putting her “toe” in the water, perhaps? Sometimes the greatest truths are communicated in silence. They say nothing happens unless you ask, so I boldly asked Archangel Michael to escort her to wherever she was going. Out of the corner of my eye, I would catch “glimpses” of a Being in her room, lovingly holding the space for when she was ready to enter it.
It was my youngest sister who was present for the moment of death. One minute Mom was talking – the next she was gone.
As I sat in meditation during the hour after her transition, I was shown a vision of two angels gently escorting her…and then a huge flash of her face as a 30-something woman with her beauty-parlor champagne beige hair, sporting a big smile with eyes beaming with a joy I’ve never witnessed before.
Way to go Mom!
The tears still come in waves. One afternoon while sitting in the quiet embrace of Mother Nature – I realized that my joy for where she is far exceeds the sorrow for where she isn’t. I find that very comforting – and like to think it is her parting gift to me.
Happy Mothers Day Mom.
I love you.