Posted in Death, Life, Loss

Being gentle with myself

It’s hard to believe that three months have gone since Mom’s has left this world. For those of us left behind, it’s been a time of pain and heartbreak. A time of sorrow and loss, a time to adjust and perhaps get used to the truth of never hugging her in the physical again.

It’s been a time of raw feelings but also healing. A time of coming to terms that some questions will never be answered. I have learned a lot in these three months, having experienced death as an adult. It was so much different compared to losing Dad at the age of ten. I was simply too young to comprehend it fully at that time and work through the patterns of grief and loss.

Today I know that I am not the same anymore. I can’t say that I have changed in a negative way, but this pain that has cracked me wide open, has also allowed more light to enter my soul. Going through this experience has ignited my flame even higher and stronger, despite the pain nearly diminishing it several times. More than ever do I know that it is a process, and more than ever do I take care of myself by given it the time to go through those steps. Pain and darkness often lead to enlightenment and brighter days. And because of it I ride the waves of my emotions by staying on top of them. For the most part….

Here is what I would tell you from my own experiences, and this is for anyone who is trying to cope and heal.

It’s ok if you thought you were over it but it hits you all over again.

It’s ok to fall apart even after you thought you had it under control.

You are not weak. Healing is messy. And there is no timeline for healing.

Be gentle with yourself.

Posted in Death, Loss, Mom

Missing you today and always

December 25th, 2018 is when I said goodbye to you, holding back the tears while rushing out of your room. We had spent the last 10 months together, and I felt positive that I had given you hope and something to hold on to. Health wise you did better then you had in a long time and things were looking up. You had your purpose back and the promise of me coming back to take you back home. Home into your own four walls, your beloved house.

December 25th, 2018 would be the last time I’d see you alive. Maybe it is the holidays without you, maybe it is the anniversary of such day, but today hurts just a little more and I miss you a lot. I don’t even know why I torture myself with thoughts of whether I would have stayed longer had I known? But the thoughts automatically appear and I can’t help it. Would I have hugged you a little harder, perhaps longer? Would I have given in to the feeling of holding back the tears, and instead freely just broke down in front of you, the strong woman you have always been your life. Would the love for showing you how much you meant won over the fear of you seeing me as a weak individual, telling me to get it together?

What does it matter? I know there are questions that will never see the answers. You are no longer here to set the record straight and I will forever wish to see again. Once more and once more and yet once more again. You are missed and I love you so much.

Posted in Death, Family, Loss

The last of my Clan

Baby me with my parents

I felt like an orphan several times since Mom has passed. There is something so lonely about not having your parents anymore. It’s bad enough having to grow up with only one, but having none is a whole different story.

It’s even frightening to some extend, even if you have led independent life’s for many years just like me. If you have been on your own, responsible and dependable without ever asking for help. I guess there was always some sort of safety cushion you never even fully realized, although you never planned on failing and asking for help. You just weren’t alone and somehow you knew without any further thought about it.

Now, being without parents, being an only child and a childless one on top, I realize that I am the last of our family, the last of our clan. It all ends with me.

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

The early years

Mom and me many many moons ago…

If roses grow in heaven lord, please pick a bunch for me. Place them in my Mother’s arms and tell her they’re from me.

Tell her that I love her and miss her? And when she turns to smile, place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for awhile.

Because remembering her is easy, I do it every day. But there’s an ache within my heart that will never go away.

You are missed beyond words and most days I pray for the strengths to cope with your loss.

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

Mom – A bond that couldn’t be broken

One month ago I received the terrible news of Moms passing. It’s hard to believe that four weeks have passed, and yet it feels so unreal and hard to grasp most days. It’s a never ending nightmare with the same outcome. She’s just not here anymore, not in the physical sense anyways, but I feel her presence other times and know that she will forever be with me. Sometimes the signs are subtle, sometimes they are smack into my face and Mom has always had a way of being very direct, even blunt at times. At least with me. She didn’t held anything back and she let me have it, especially if I aggravated her in some sense.

She kept her mouth shut on most occasions, even in times when she was wronged and she never talked back about anyone in a bad or revengeful way. She wasn’t dumb and her exposure to the world was minimal, but she still knew and had a healthy take on right or wrong. She kept her feelings, her opinions to herself for the most part, perhaps to keep the peace, to not rock the boat. After all she was alone most of her life and I was far far away in another country, but when it came to me, she spoke her peace without sugarcoating anything. She was blunt and direct. Today, I know that I have inherited this from her, but my approach is a little different. I’d be lying if I said that her ways didn’t leave pain and scars behind, that they didn’t cut deep into my heart and burdened me with a heavy load most of my life. I’d be sugarcoating it to dismiss how hard these times were, how much I have chased her love and acceptance as her daughter all of my life. And yet I have never held it against her, and her being gone couldn’t hurt any more. I loved her unconditionally and she was always my Mother. It was a bond that couldn’t be broken. I pleated with her when she was strong willed and dismissed me and my feelings. I’ve never stopped trying to make her proud of me and a couple of times I even received a few glimpses of what this could feel like.

I know that in the end she has always loved me, she just couldn’t verbalize it. I wouldn’t trade our time last year and I realize how important that time was for both of us. How much closer we got, and that that love was always there. She has shown me while I grew up without my Dad in the form of providing for me and even now in her death it is still trough material and financial ways that she provides for me. It was always her way to show you that she loved you. She provided, she bought things for you. If I could choose, I’d give it all away for a one big hug and one sincere “I love you.” She managed to give me half of it in this lifetime.

So if you think money can replace love, think again because love is priceless and can not be replaced. A hug, a look, a touch of hands, a heartfelt I love you, will always be worth more then anything you can buy. Material things can make you feel good but their magic never lasts. Love fills your heart with warmth’s and a strengths that will last forever.

Posted in Death, Mom

Hello Mom

It was a few days before Moms funeral that I spent a few hours at a place in Rothenburg, called the Lotus Garden. It was a beautiful place to just be and to relax, trying to calm my mind.

Little waterways run through the small park, creating natural habitats for birds, insects and goldfish. There are plenty of sitting areas nestled into corners to enjoy a Latte from the cafe at the edge of the park. I did after I walked the small park, taking in all it’s artifacts such as the gazebos, the large Gong, and the presence of Lord Buddha honored with several statues. I loved the energy of the place and perhaps for the first time since arriving I was taking a deep breath.

While walking through the park, I reached a small red footbridge that crossed a waterway. It was lit up by beautiful sunshine that is not all that common here in Germany compared to my home in the states. I was surely going to soak it all up and charge myself with warmths and glow. I stood for a moment when something extraordinary happened and a dragonfly landed on my hand. I knew immediately that it was a sign from Mom and that she had come to comfort me.

I miss you very much and I cannot convey the pain that I feel. A bystander in the past, I have given my condolences to others, coworkers and friends who had lost a parent. My sentiments were always heartfelt and sincere, I knew their pain, but never in a million years could I have prepared for how intense this pain is. You just don’t know from an outside point of view until you experience it yourself. My heart bleeds for everyone that still has to face this some day. With no parents left, it also became apparent that you can feel like an orphan at any age.

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

At the beginning of life

Picture of little Mom and her Mother. Her life was just starting. I sometimes look at her, this little, and brace my heart for this poor little innocent soul that had no clue of how strong she would have to be in this hard life that was already laid out before her. How could her soul ever have signed up for so much pain? And how could mine had signed up to witness and see it all. I believe that our souls sign up for different lessons and maybe she needed to experience the many faces of pain and loss. Of what it means to start over and over again. Maybe my soul needed to experience what it means to love unconditionally regardless of how much time was wasted and how challenging of times there were. We had ten month that mattered the most. Ten month compared to a lifetime, and all I can say is that it is not enough.

I know that many things were never in my control to change, but I will forever wish that her life could have seen more sunny days and that we could have shared even more together. I miss you so much.

Posted in Death, Loss, Mom

Be still my heart

It’s only been last Friday that Mom was buried, but in a way it feels like an eternity learning about her death. There has been such a long, lingering pain that dates back so much further than September 28th the actual day of her passing.

October 1st, I boarded a plane, on the way to Germany, knowing full well I was too late this time and would not see her alive again. I arrived on the 2nd of October and said goodbye to a closed casket that later in the evening disappeared from my view in a Hearst, driving into the darkness.

Mom wanted to be cremated and all of the closer family knew that we better not put her in the ground with all the worms as she occasionally mentioned it in her serious manner when it came to that subject. I guess she needed to know that she was to be taken seriously and that she meant every word. All of us knew….

The urn would take about ten days to come back and there was a weekend and holiday in that timeframe as well. There were times I energetically connected with Mom, when I felt her presence and when she sent me a little sign like a dragonfly one day. (I will save this for another post soon.) Over the next days, I would always see that Hearst driving away with Mom lying live-less in her casket, going for her last ride. And the driver that nonchalantly just waived goodbye as if he was leaving a party while all of us stood in our grief.

Many of times my mind wandered to the crematorium and tortured myself with pictures of what the actual process might look like. It’s absolute horror when you are grieving and yet your mind loves to just add to the misery. It’s awful. Would I be able to accept her being gone, would it finally sink in that that person just is no longer? Would I get my closure or would my mind continue to torture me?

I wanted to know and yet I didn’t. On Monday I found out and received an official certificate of when and where Mom was cremated. It was very hard to see that certificate with her name on it and my heart hurts anew.

4th of October 2019 at 16:14

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

Our last walk together

Last Friday was Moms funeral and it was time for her to be laid to rest. Nearly three weeks had passed since she feel asleep for the last time and many of us were looking for some sort of closure, for a new way to emerge so we could go on. For myself, I don’t think I have found that path just yet. There are daily reminders here in the house and things that need to be taken care off.

Mom was with us the entire time during the service and she even brought a smile to my face at the end of the service, especially on this difficult day. Upon entering the church, Mom’s picture from her 80th birthday was displayed next to her urn, surrounded by a reef of flowers. Below were additional flowers from myself, her sister, and her four children, my cousins.

I woke in the morning and felt strangely calm. There was a peace, a stillness within me that felt almost strange. At some point I thought I was numb to the pain and perhaps my soul was protecting my physical body. Whatever it was, it was nothing like I had expected that the day might be like. I had feared the nosy gazes of onlookers that I remembered from my childhood during Dads funeral. Days before, I even had a bad dream that I had fallen carrying Mom’s urn, dropping and shattering it. All of these and more worries were gone, disappeared the day of Mom’s funeral, October the 18th.

Rain had been in the forecast off and on for the day, and the final word was that rain might fall in the hours after everything was over with. I think Mom had other plans as it came to that. The service was beautiful, a celebration of life for a woman who hadn’t always had the easiest of life. A life that was filled with tough years, a non existing childhood, a war, the loss of a soulmate, and pains many should not experience at such a young age. She was a strong, tough women, a fighter until the end, until hope disappeared and her quality of life was clouded and gray.

The inside church service concluded with a song from Westlife “I’ll see you again” that I had picked for Mom. After that it was my turn to carry Moms urn to the graveside. It was the hardest part of the service and I hugged and held her so tight. I was glad to walk ahead of everyone, for nobody to see my face and the pain that must have been all over it. It was difficult to set her down, to let go of the urn and to step away from it. It felt so final…so very final.

As soon as we arrived at the grave, ominous looking clouds started to form, swirling around overhead. I knew Mom was here and I loved that she made her presence known. At least to me and I’m not sure if anyone else had the same feeling. The winds picked up and the big tree at the end of the cemetery, next to the cross started to sway back and forth. There was rustle in the air as fall leaves were dancing through the sky. It was beautiful. Next the thunder was rolling, just as I thought it couldn’t get more beautiful. Such a sad occasion and yet I stood with my face up towards the heavens, smiling up at Mom, thinking it was beautiful. It was really quite strange, and all I can say is that I felt as if she was comforting me in these difficult moments, putting on this amazing nature spectacle she knew I could appreciate and recognize her being here. Now the lightning accommodated the thunder, the dark clouds swirling, and the leaves rustling in the wind. This went on for the remainder of the service.

After singing our last song, I stepped forward to the grave to say my goodbyes, to drop dirt on top of the urn that was already lowered, and to leave my flower bouquet with Mom. One after another from the family paid their last respects and stopped in front of me to shake my hand, say their condolences and wishes for me, or to give me a giant hug. Some of us had not seen each other in over thirty some years, but none of that mattered in that moment, that moment when we were reunited and shared this grief together. The heartfelt emotions touched my heart and one of my cousins hugged me so hard it initially took my breath away. It said everything, without words and it will forever stand out in my mind. Another hug came from another family member I had somehow angered unintentionally a few years back. We never quite reconciled, although I had tried, but here and now, none of it mattered and we were family once again. I was very thankful, grateful and moved. Lastly came a worker from the nursing home to lay down a flower arrangement and last greeting for Mom. I thought it was a nice touch and very thoughtful. That was until that very worker (which Mom never cared for her bossy ways) came up to me to say her condolences and hand me an outstanding bill that had arrived for Mom. Ha…really. It was the only thing I found rather tasteless and without any tact. That stamp to mail that bill must have been too much of an inconvenience, but oh well. It is what it is and I’m ok with it. Of course I have my own feelings about it, but this is so ridiculous, it doesn’t even deserve my energy, plus Mom took care of it anyways. Just wait until I tell you how. So priceless, so typical Mom.

Like I said she was the last one at the grave. After she handed me the bill, people we’re leaving. I had planned to stay behind for a bit longer. I looked at the skies and all the weather was still in motion. Straight ahead I could see the rain falling over the town Mom had spent her last year of life. It was moving rapidly towards me and would reach me in no time. Maybe it was time to leave as I started to feel big drops starting to fall. I made it to safety completely dry, but many did not. Within two minutes of completing Moms service and being handed the bill, it was as if the floodgates had opened without any warning. No, slower, light sprinkles, nothing, just Mom sending a message for the person that had given her so much grief at the nursing home. It was as she had the last laugh and I can hear her say something like “Don’t you dare worry about a measly bill of 7.50 euros on my funeral. What’s the matter with you.”

You are right and well done Mom 😉 I love you and miss you so much. ❤️

Posted in Death, Life

Flight towards the heavens

“Every Minute someone leaves this world behind.

We are all in “the line” without knowing it. We never know how many people are before us. We can not move to the back of the line. We can not step out of the line. We can not avoid the line.

So while we wait in line –

Make moments count. Make priorities. Make the time. Make our gifts known. Make a nobody feel like a somebody. Make your voice heard. Make the small things big. Make someone smile. Make the change. Make love. Make up. Make peace. Make sure to tell your people they are loved. Make sure to have no regrets. Make sure you are ready.”

Today was Mom’s funeral and it feels as if she left all over again. Sometimes I don’t know if she was ready, sometimes I know for sure, but surely I wasn’t ready to lose her. Could I have ever been?