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 Inspiration, Life, Loss

The lessons of The Valley of loss

Yesterday was the church service for my aunt who recently passed away. It’s hard to believe that I just saw her last Saturday, and although she wasn’t well then, in reality she had been sick and bed ridden for years. Nobody saw that this would be the end. She was suppose to be released from the hospital on Monday, but that day turned out completely different. I even sent a message that day hoping that the transport and everything went well. Tuesday I got a response that she had fallen asleep forever.

Sitting in church and although different, much was so familiar and alike it was with Mom. Here I was again and everything resurfaced. Both, Mom and my aunt were close to the same age, both with the exact same illness. It was almost eerie how similar everything was as the same trauma unfolded itself all over in another person. It was almost as if I was given a change to be here for her while I didn’t make it in time for Mom before she passed. It was as if I was given this scenario, to experience it from that angle and to know that I would have equally felt as helpless being here or not. Perhaps it was to let go of that guilt, of those haunting feelings.

Just a short time ago, I stood here myself, putting Mom to rest. Still affected, being a part of the family, but with a little more distance, I stood at the sidelines while we were singing some of the same songs from Moms service. Everything was so strangely familiar, as I felt every emotion, every moment on a complete new and more intense level. I saw everyone, immediate and extended family sit together afterwards for coffee, talking about everything and anything, almost as if nothing had happened. It was almost as if life immediately resumed and the sadness ended with the church service. Just the immediate family, her husband (my uncle) and her sons still carried a grief about themselves that begged to get this over with and to return to silence in the hope to find some peace and relief. I found it challenging for myself and I was glad that I had opted out of meeting after the funeral. It was obvious how hard it was to just carry on, to be good company, to pick up with the motto “life goes on,” and move forward so quickly. I could see my uncle and cousins in The Valley of loss, pushing grief and pain aside for a better time to deal with, because now, on front of everyone wasn’t the time to do so. They performed and this was something that had to be done, something they had to get through. I didn’t want to do that to myself as I had opted out of the get together afterwards.

The Valley of loss… how often had I been there myself, during times of pain and loss. Walking trough that valley, running from it, afraid of that horrible place of pain. A place that’s dark and gray, a place full of despair where no one can hold your hand and help you trough. This is a place you walk through alone, naked and vulnerable, and only after running from it several times, did I finally find the courage to stay and embrace this place with all it’s pain. I wasn’t hiding any longer, I no longer turned my face not wanting to see, I was no longer afraid and I just faced it without resistance, no longer fighting back, allowing it to break me open, and wide open… it did. Maybe fear and all that was still a part of me, but none of that mattered anymore and there was something that was greater than that fear.

In return it allowed me to feel at an elevated level, to see even more the delicate balance that is life. I saw the value of the “Two wolves”, and understood the meaning that everything positive and negative has a place in our life. That we wouldn’t experience joy if we never experienced sorrow. That we never enjoy the warmth’s of the sun on our face of we hadn’t felt the cold of the darkness. I learned about opposites and that one is not better then the other, that each carries positives, we just need to see. I learned more in-depth about my life’s lessons I thought I had long learned already. I found them integrated at yet another level and with even more powerful meaning. I have no idea if more levels of the same lessons will follow, if I need to experience anew that it is pain that molds us into who we were meant to be, but one thing is for certain. I no longer have to run from The Valley of loss and I have learned to embrace it in all its complexity, heartache and pain. I can’t say that I’d look forward to see it again, but I know I will, eventually and that’s not the point. I know that I can and that I can take away the lessons that devastating landscape has to offer. And with that….yes….life does and will go on.

Posted in Life, Loss

Grief

I learned that grief is the longing for love. I learned that grief is the longing for security. I learned that grief is the longing for trust. I learned that grief is the longing for existence.

I learned that grief is the path of love. I learned that grief is the guidance for darkness trough light.

I learned that grief doesn’t leave. We only learn to journey through it and open our hearts to love and joy.

I learned that grief is a book with answers to living our truth and purpose here on earth.

I learned that grief is the map of self awareness and self knowing.

I learned that grief protects us from being seen, heard, felt and loved for who we truly are.

I learned that grief calls on us to heal, awaken and reclaim our feminine wisdom and power in the presence of love, joy, gratitude and compassion here on earth.

I learned that grief reminds us of how we destroy ourselves when we let ourselves be the victim of grief.

Grief has been the journey of reclaiming my truth while honoring and loving myself and others.

Grief is the doorway to the light.

~Sarah Moussa

Art: Sophie Wilkins

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 Life, Loss, Memories

Moms favorite hangout

I ended up at Colmberg Castle the other day. It was one of Moms favorite places and where she celebrated her 80th birthday. It was last October when just her and I got to sneak away one more time, to this place she adored so much. She even managed to stand, holding on to the castle walls while leaning over the edge. I was so happy to witness her joy when she was watching the deer down below the walls. She loved this place and in this moment anything was possible.

Something extraordinary just happened and Mom is here right now. It’s evening time and I am sitting in her kitchen under the light, writing this post. She must approve of it and it feels as if she is smiling, remembering this beautiful moment spent together. The light above me just got noticeably brighter and not just by a little bit. I mean by a lot and this is the first time for the entire month that I have been here that this has happened. I don’t even know how I continue to write under the tears. But then of course I do and I don’t want her to go. I want her to continue to approve. I want her to stay.

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, Loss, Mom

Time…

It’s almost time, and Moms funeral is on Friday. Nearly three weeks have gone by since her passing and it’s hard to believe. Everything is hard to believe, in general.

There has been no real process to the time passed. Some days are easier then others and I try to welcome and process each one. There is no right or wrong, and no timelines of where one should be in this time of grief. I think one of the biggest things I struggle with is that there was no goodbye, no closure. It feels so different now to remember that there were times when Mom got on my nerves. When I dreaded the moment of her asking me when I’d come home. I struggled so much with it because I knew it was important to her, and because I had no answers to give her. I was so sick myself. I was trying to listen to my body, to give it time, to be good and patient with myself so I could get better. And I did eventually after many month. It’s crazy where your mind goes, questioning yourself if perhaps you went too much with the flow while someone else needed you so much. I know it’s just misery and the ego that wants to torture me and despite of what everyone has told me, yet it comes down to myself and believing for myself that I did everything I could.

It’s sounds awful now thinking that there were those times. Times when Mom got on my nerve and I feared her asking that question that tore my heart apart anew every time she’d asked. Now I sort through her things from the nursing home, touching everything she once held, feeling her touch and such a loss. Sometimes I think there has to be a note to me, something, her words, anything, but there never is. Would it help if she’d said that she understood, that she was grateful and loved every minute we spent together? Would that make the goodbye more final, releasing me of the burden and the pain, or would it make it only more unbearable? It’s just so hard when you don’t get to say goodbye, when you don’t get that sort of closure. Some say it will come at the funeral but I don’t think so. It’s just a process to go through, a ritual that is performed with our lost loved ones. I truly don’t know if being by her side would have been easier, for I would have never wanted to let go of her. I would have held on to her and perhaps my heart would have broken right then and there. But this….being left behind, is so hard and one of the most challenging things you will ever have to do in your life.

Posted in Death, Loss, Mom

A difficult Day

Monday was difficult for me. I felt it right away as I woke up. I can recognize the signs as I try to cheer myself up, distract myself, and sometimes I even manage. But there are others, I don’t. It always starts innocent and I don’t even realize what I’m doing, but when I do, it’s usually game over and I lose. Today I lost. I couldn’t get myself out of the rut. We can’t win all the time can we, and processing pain, dealing with it instead of distracting myself from it is actually healthy and necessary.

Today, I saw her everywhere in everything I did and it hurt to do it alone and without her. My distraction technique failed me today, and finally I gave in to the pain and let it run freely through my veins. I lit a candle in church for you today Mom, sitting there in silence between the sobs of my heart, while watching it burn down. I couldn’t watch it until the end, and the flame going out would have been too symbolic and painful for me. So instead I left just like I always did, with you staying behind, very much a part of everything.

The funeral is coming up this Friday and everything feels like such a long goodbye already. It’s been years actually and this final one feels so different and cold. It’s hard to believe, I’ve been here nearly two weeks already.

Tonight my heart is heavy as I cope and find the means to go on without her in my life. I know she never really left, and that she is always with me and by my side. And yet some days it’s just not enough in this sense.

Posted in Life, Loss, Mom

Calling your Name

As I sit and call your name, the silence is almost too loud to bare. I call with tears and a broken voice, crying out for help, but you never turn the corner to rush to my side, seeing what I need. It is you I need. The halls and rooms of this house you’ve spent so many years in, are no longer a home and emptiness is felt throughout.

As I sit and call your name, my calls go unanswered and while I see you everywhere, you are nowhere to be found. Of course I know that already you are watching over me from above, that you are bringing me signs to help me cope, and yet the pain of your loss is so great at times. I don’t like the memory of the last day we saw each other in person. It was Christmas Day, and I had to hurry, leaving you behind to catch a flight to the states. I got up late that day with no extra time to spare, and I did it on purpose, knowing that I would have lost it and broke down if I had too much time to say goodbye to you. Today I wished I had that time, and it feels cowardly now how I spent my last moments with you. I imagine everyone always wishes for one more talk, one more hug, one time to see each other and perhaps what I’m feeling is all normal now. I’m just tired of saying goodbye to every living being that had a profound meaning in my life, my children…the dogs included.

I wrote your eulogy the other day and it brought a sense of healing. I gave it to the pastor today and he commented on the many profound memories that we share. I wrote it in a lighthearted kind of way, although my heart was heavy at the time, but you had enough sorrow and pain in your life already. He liked the idea of your service being a celebration of your life vs. a final goodbye. We both have said goodbye way too many times and I much rather say and believe that “I see you again”.