Posted in Death, Family, Loss

Flight towards Heaven

Heaven got a new angel today and I am remembering my uncle in Germany who was recently hospitalized due to Covid. My aunt (his wife) is also in the hospital and on a ventilator now. What a said time, really any time to lose a loved one, but especially so close to the holidays. My heart is heavy and a wish for his children, my cousins comes to mind over and over. “Much strengths” my heart reminds me of the feeling of loss and grief and what a difficult and hard journey it is. Today I remember his spirit and the last time I saw him, telling stories from his youth, trying to show off his new motorcycle, riding it a little too swift and wiping out in front of an audience. I will hold on to those stories as they bring smile and put aside the tears and the sadness.

Looking out the window this morning, after receiving the bad news, the sun came over the ridge, resting on my frozen fence. The frost was lifting and rising towards the heavens. I stood and just watched. To me it was symbolic of his spirit rising to be with the other angels already in heaven.

“When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world by keeping it alive in yourself.”

~Patrick Swayze

Death is final, such a strong emotion. Ruthless and unforgiving, your memory remains but you are just no more. It takes your last breath and time and time it takes the breath of us who are left behind, missing you, trying to find hope and a smile in the memories you left behind.

Rest in piece my uncle. Your spirit lives on forever.

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

On this Day

Another anniversary, another painful memory. The last one in the cycle of one full year without you. Holiday, birthdays, special occasions, things have been different and surely not the same without you, Mom.

One year ago today, I carried you to your final resting place next to Dad. After many years you were finally reunited with who has always been the love of your life. It was a beautiful service and I remember it in a way as if only you and I were there. Everything was on auto pilot and I had my own pace. I didn’t hear or witnessed much around me, the things I worried about prior to the service merely fell to the wayside and lost their significance. None of it mattered in that time and in that place. Carrying you out of church, we almost lost all the proceeding people behind us, and gently I was asked to slow down to allow time for others to follow. I was in my own world. With you. This was hard. Setting you down on the side of the grave. Letting go. Of you, in the physical sense of relating to you in the urn I was carrying.

Today on the anniversary of your funeral, I remember that day and all the emotions that were felt on that day, the days prior, and the days that have come and gone. I am thinking about our beginning and the time when you carried me during your pregnancy. And I am thinking about the ending and me carrying you for the last time to rest for all eternity. I am thinking about your dash, the little line between the date you were born and the date you left us. How you lived your dash and all the times you were alive.

Today I howl with the wolves remembering you. May my heart always be kind and forgiving, never holding a grudge because of foolish pride or the ego. May my mind be fierce and aware. May I be conscious of all the special things, the miracles, and blessings that constantly surround us. May I never take life for granted and always make time for the people in my life. For I have learned over and over that I may not get the chance to do so another day. And may my spirit be brave in the face of adversity and never forget to get back up. May the warrior within me, like yours, never stop fighting and remain united in spirit, courage, and integrity….always.

Posted in Death, Mom

The day off….Numbness

The day off – September the 28th, the anniversary of Mom’s death. I dreaded this day, but now I’m not really sure why it gave me so much anxiety. Of course it’s a painful day for me, the anniversary of her leaving this world, but perhaps it was more of the unknown that had me up in arms. I didn’t know what I’d be thinking, or how I’d be feeling. Would everything change all of a sudden? Would I cry non stop? Did I want to be left alone? Would I be unapproachable?

It takes me by surprise to think that this was the reason, knowing that I usually don’t care about the unknown. Knowing that I usually go with the flow. I’m not one that needs to have everything under control and over the years I learned to roll with the punches as they appear. Maybe this one was a expected one, one that I saw coming. Perhaps it was something different all together and all I knew was that it was the anniversary of a terrible day in my life, a day that happened one year ago.

For days now I have had the most terrible tension in my neck and shoulders. You know the one that gives you headaches and makes life miserable. So bad in fact that I actually took a muscle relaxer because the pain got too intense. And I’m not a pill person and have a high threshold for pain. I prefer and much rather handle issues in a holistic manner, with essential oils, but it got so bad that I needed it to be gone or at least ease up a bit. Walking became painful and I even skipped my work out. I even exchanged the pillows in my bed for an extra firm version to add support. I guess I pleaded my case and have made myself believe that I needed to take this pill. And to be honest I didn’t even think clear enough for the use of a homemade remedy and just grabbed the pills. Ughhh…

Anyways, I felt better this morning and it paid off. I’m glad because I surely wasn’t going to take another. During my cup of Joe, I remembered a sweet lady I met during my walk yesterday. She was having a garage sale in the neighborhood, the annual neighborhood sale in my community, and yeah I missed it. I surely could have tried to sell some of things instead of just donating. A little extra money is always helpful, but as long as my stuff is finding a good home with someone less fortunate, I’m ok with that too.

I stopped to have a closer look at her sale. We got to chatting right away and actually had a lot in common. From crafting, to essential oils, from tarot cards, to energy healing and who knows what else. I ended up with a cute little bag full of beads for future projects. I had $5 to spend but she was so kind and generous, just throwing things in, not even charging me for it. Plus the bag had a dragonfly on it and I knew Mom was there, working her magic again. We talked about my crafts and the Etsy store and I promised to stop by and bring a business card.

This morning I did, armed with a pair of my handmade Austrian Crystal earrings I was going to gift her, and a few of my crafts for show and tell. I was relieved she loved the earrings and they complimented her outfit perfectly with the same color scheme. She also fell in love with one of felted bags and I ended up making a sale. Yay. Long story short she works in the insurance business and I ended up switching the homeowners insurance for the house and the vehicles. Per year a whopping savings of $1700. Crazy isn’t it? Who knew and I really gotten ripped off prior. Magical how things work out at times.

On my walk I found more feathers and two pennies from heaven, both from my parents I believe. They knew it was a tough day for me and I know they worked hard with their interventions on keeping me distracted throughout the day. It worked, mostly and if I had to describe how I felt, I’d say that I felt mainly numb. This day is just a reminder about a horrible day that happened in the past. It doesn’t really feel more painful than any other, and the pain is always here, throughout the year, on every other day. It doesn’t require an anniversary to feel more intense, and I’m not sure that it can be felt at a deeper level than it is already. It’s evening time now and I feel drained and tired. I feel exhausted to be honest and my stomach hurts from a little mass that seems to get bigger. I wonder if it is an ulcer (which would probably be the lesser of the evils) and after a little trouble this afternoon it seems triggered. I know I should have it checked but it will have to wait for now and faith will have to carry me until I can.

Thank you Mom and Dad for walking besides me today and for the special souls that reached out to me, in person or on this blog. It truly meant a lot to me and I’m blessed to be surrounded by you, the light in my days. 🙏🏼

I made Mom a bracelet (picture above). A dragonfly, a feather, and her first name initial. I will wear it from time to time I think.

Posted in Death, Life, Mom

Remembering you – A letter to Mom

Hello Mom,

It is a year that you left us. A year the dreaded phone call arrived, you know, the one I was so scared off, for so many years prior to actually receiving it. Maybe you never knew because we never talked about those kind of things. One year ago, your health declined for the worse and my flight was booked. Soon I’d be there to hold your hand, to give you courage, and a reason to go on, to fight with you the fight for your life like you had done so many times before.

I remember the last time you were this sick and then miraculously recovered against all odds. Afterwards I was joking with you, grateful, but also comparing you to a cat with nine lives. You yourself made fun about it, saying that you were jumping off the grim reapers shovel once more. But this would not be the case this time and it would be your last fight. On September the 28th it was confirmed in that very phone call. You had passed away and you were on your way of becoming an angel. I was too late, and the last time I saw you in person and said goodbye, was with a promise to be back soon, to do whatever I could to take you out of the nursing home and bring you back into your own four walls. It wasn’t a forever goodbye, such as a goodbye to your life, although every time I did leave always held the possibility that I’d never see you again. That thought itself was scary enough and always weighed heavily on me. I prayed, and I hoped, I believed, and I pushed it away, not wanting to think about it coming true. But it did and the inevitable call came.

Today I believe it had happen this way and I’m not sure if I could have been strong enough to sit next to you, saying my final goodbye, watching you take your last breath. I know that it would have broken me even more, maybe beyond the point of repair, and I know that this wasn’t what you wanted for me. Perhaps in your final hours you bestowed your biggest kindness towards me, going off towards the light in silence and alone. I know you weren’t afraid in the end and you were looking forward to reunite with Dad. You knew I would find a way to go on and not be haunted by those final images of you being in pain, finally letting go.

A year has past since you’ve been gone. A year of coming to some sort of acceptance as I wander through the streets of loneliness, missing you more than I could have ever imagined. A year of trying to celebrate holidays and special occasions without you, trying to make it through and holding it together somehow. Family traits and values passed down, remnants of YOU, a strong woman, tough and resilient, who and what you always resembled to me growing up. I would have failed you during your last hours and I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together.

The fact is that I don’t share those same views and I am not afraid to show my emotions. I don’t see them as a weakness and I don’t buy into upholding a front, a facade that hides and is made of steel. I am not afraid to say that it’s not the same without you, and that you cross my mind on most days. Special occasions such as your birthday have become times that are now harder than usual. Harder because they can’t be shared, harder because you are not here .

I find myself surrounded by the memory that is you and the time we did get to spend together. In the end you embraced me as your daughter and I think you even forgave me. You finally understood that me coming to the States was not at all to leave you behind, abandoned, and all alone. I was simply trying to live my life, to be responsible and strong, just like you, like you have raised me. How could I have realized the impact of such a decision.

Many dragonflies have sat with me this summer and my response is always a painful smile and a whisper that says “Hello Mom.” I know it is you and I remember how you came and sat on my hand shortly after your passing. I had just arrived in Germany and on a sunny fall day, you, a beautiful dragonfly, landed on my hand, sharing a couple of moments with me. I will never forget it, and I immediately knew you came to tell me that you were ok and made the transition to heaven. It was a message from you trying to put me at ease, lifting some of the burden and the pain I felt.

Mom, I don’t know how many times I have talked to you over the past year. Feeling that I never really got to say goodbye. Looking to understand, but never really feeling a sense of closure. You’re simply gone, no more, and it’s hard not being able to call you on the phone and hear your voice. Luckily you left me a few surprise videos, recording yourself by accident and a few times I’ve even managed to view a live picture and get a few seconds of footage, or a little video clip of you. Sometimes I even manage a smile. But most of the times it’s just torture and pain knowing you are gone. It’s a feeling of loss, a hole, something that can’t be filled and lives deep inside my heart. I know you are always with me and yet you are not. I know I love with the memories and although they are precious and priceless, sometimes they don’t seem enough and bring little to no comfort.

You have sent me so many feathers over the past year and I am sure it is because you see my pain. I know you are watching over me and perhaps it is for the first in a long time you are actually finding fulfillment to give me all your care and love. It was too hard for you to do in real life and I know you struggled with it. You just didn’t know how but I know it wasn’t because you didn’t care, but because of your own tough life and having to grow up way too early in a war. It was something you never learned and perhaps you have never received it yourself. Therefore you couldn’t pass it forward although it was something I needed above all from you.

I like to think that you are in a better place where there is no suffering and somehow I know this to be true. I am grateful you didn’t have to experience the current times, as I couldn’t imagine you in that home and me unable to see you.

I know that grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love and I have always loved you dearly. I miss you Mom.

Posted in Death, Loss, Mom

The Waves of Grief

Dear Mom,

I’ve been thinking so much about you lately. It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone for over 6 months. The first three month were the hardest as I cried every day and tears became a normal part of my life. It was just the way it was, normal to start my day with tears, end the day with tears, and fight my way through the rest of the day, fighting back the tears.

Slowly things got a little better and I learned to live with this new pain of losing you. A pain that would be with me for the rest of my life. The gaps between the tears got wider, and some days I even managed not to cry at all, to the point of feeling somewhat normal, and having adapted to you not being here anymore. That was until recently and a new wave has rushed over me, visiting me more and more frequent. I miss you so much as my thoughts and heart keeps wandering to you. I’ve been creating many homemade goods lately, and this was always something we could connect about. It was something that made you proud of me as well as left you astonished a time or too when I exceeded your expectations and imagination. A picture of us is in the space where I create from, and you continue to be with me all the way.

I find myself drawn, drawn to a home that was your home for so many years. I ventured out into the world, lived my life, accomplished great things and success, and now I’m tired and this life no longer fits. I continue to strive for less, a quaint life that entails much less, but also so much more. I’ve been out into the world and today I see it with new eyes. There is a hunger, a wanderlust to see more, but differently. I miss visiting you at the last place I can visit you, your final resting place with Dad.

In a way I am glad you don’t have to experience what is going on in the world right now. It would be so scary and I would worry so much for your well being. I am glad you are not locked into a nursing home that I couldn’t visit no matter how close I was to you. That would be awful to not being able to hug you, to spend time with you, not seeing you. Many are in those situations right now and my heart goes out to everyone during this tough time.

I miss you Mom and life will never be the same without you.

Posted in Dad, Death, Mom

Happy Birthday

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.

Your girl…

Posted in Death, Loss

Grief

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.

~Jamie Anderson

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.