Dad, top right…
March 31st, a special day, your birthday, and also a day I’ve had to celebrate without you for as long as I can remember. How I wish that I could wrap a present for you, to pick out something special or hand make something for you. How I wish that I could hold you tight and hug you while wishing you a happy birthday. So many years have gone by since you left, and still the pain of losing you cuts like a knife and is so strong, especially on days like this, when it all comes back up. Can you believe that Mom is already gone for 6 month? Some days it brings peace to know you both are reunited, and other days it just simply hurts and I know those feelings will never go away. I dearly miss you both.
Happy birthday in heaven Dad.
Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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