mom Eve in Iceland (she’s 93, in 2012) groovin’ on the bakaloa (drying codfish)
A word about loss: It happens.
Even though we think we’re prepared, when the death of a close loved one occurs, we’re never actually ready to give that person up entirely, not entirely. Even though we may tell ourselves that that is soon to come, over and over, or how glad we’ll be that that person is no longer suffering, or how much better off they’ll be, somewhere else than here–the bottom line is that human love forms intricate web-like weavings in our hearts that, when yanked out and away, hurt like hell no matter how well we think we’re prepared for the end of someone’s life on earth.
That’s the beginning of the period called grief. And there’s no remedy for it except–let it happen. How long or how much it happens, depends on each of our spiritual well-being, and is different for each of us. Even spiritual giants grieve. Maybe in a different way than a person who has no firm belief system, but each person, man, woman and child, suffers loss in their own unique way.
Just as love itself is like a wave that washes over us, soothing us, combining us in couples or tribes, empowering us, sometimes knocking us over, yes that, too–when another person goes deep into our heart chambers, memories, melodies, scents, flashes of instances, long or short, good and bad alike get squirreled away in the most intricate of our heart chambers, like storing nuts for a cold winter. So of course it takes time, nothing but time, to heal the heart-and-soul scar left when the person behind all these psychic “nuts” gets yanked away from us.
We may tell ourselves, “She’s in a better place,” but the real truth is our grief is about US, not about the person who’s left us.
So, having thought of myself as one of these proverbial spiritual giants, ha!, I really wasn’t prepared, not at all, for how deeply my loss would feel. Eve Mary, my mother, left the Earth-realm eleven days ago, and only now I’m able to think about her without a huge tidal wave of emotions wells up my eyes, churns my guts, bestirring my mind and telling my comforting beliefs to “Shut the hell up! I miss my mommy!”.
Usually, I’m the one who’s telling a distraught friend how to practice stilling disruptive thoughts, focusing my energies, and laser-tuning my spiritual strengths to the highest positive point on the upliftment-mountain I can possibly dream up.
Naw. The past eleven days have been … deeply sad, deeply relieved, deeply reflective, deeply–deep.
Now that I’m over the worse belly-bawlings and chest-heavings I’ve ever experienced in my life (none ever came close), the kind that ripped open my heart and spilled out my little-girl feelings at the calloused feet of my oh-so-grown-up opinion of how “centered and together” I am about this death-thing (even of my own “Creator” herself, she who carried me in her womb for nine months) now I’m hear to share and admit, and never forget, ever, that yes, I am indeed an ordinary human, just like everyone else.
No matter how spiritually fit we may think we are–we ain’t.
True, I have been an active, gun-clenching solder on the front lines of an active war between life and death, concerning my mother. I’d been in the front trenches, surrounded by the blood and guts, piss and shit and vile bile and poisonous-infectious wastes of watching the slow demise of my super-strong mother go on for the past year and a half. That’s way different than someone far off “hearing” about the troubles someone goes through. I was here, every step of the way, holding mom’s hand. Watching helplessly from the sidelines, from the very beginning of what turned out to be her long drawn-out ordeal, her duel with the grim reaper. A struggle that of course would inevitably terminate with mom’s death, one way or the other, I knew, but what happened was the opposite of sudden. And for me, looking into death’s inevitability has been, besides the certainty about mom’s final outcome, one day, it has been anything other than “normal.”
So now she’s gone. And I’m left with me, my, and mine. My feelings. My life. My close relationship with Mr. Death Himself.
Guardian of the People
For the past sixteen months I’ve had little else on my mind except my mom’s miserable new circumstances called “ill health.” My vigorous, do-everything mother, an invalid! Impossible! Yet, miracle of miracle, I managed to finish the book I’d been writing the several years previous to mom’s health crisis (an accidental overdose of her own medications took her first to a hospital spinal-surgery room, then to a nursing home, where she was bedridden from the blood clot that crushed her spine and left her paralyzed). Now my completed book is being shown to publishers by a magnificent literary agent (thank you Universe!) and I am ready to plunge head-first into my next creative project, a trilogy that’s already written, just needing to be edited (which to me is 90% of the writing process itself).
But this post isn’t about mom’s death. That’s too … profoundly sad for here. Indeed, it will probably take me years to process all that I went through helping my mom to cross over from an independent woman’s thoroughly satisfying life to … the other side. No, this is about RE-BIRTH. Maybe Mom’s (because, as a good pagan-mama, a Lithuanian-Catholic who traditionally (and often) announced what she’d like to come back as in her next lifetime, Mom told me on many occasions that she thought coming back as an oak tree suited her, comforted her even. But no, here I’m talking about MY re-birth, as I re-group, renewed, refreshed, re-invigorated, feeling stunned to have survived having been to the frightening maws of another person’s death … and realizing I have the strength and the will to come back with the message I’d received while helping my mom.
You see, it fell upon me to walk my mom into the very arms of God.
As one of my friends said, “Ah, I know that your teacher helped you.” I looked her right in the eyes and said, “No. My teacher wasn’t there. I walked Mom to God on my own power.” I didn’t have the heart to honestly tell my friend that the job of one’s teacher is to teach, not to actually live each person’s life for them. I knew my friend meant well. Some people just have to call upon their teachers, their intermediators, their Saviors, their Gurus, their different Divine Names to do what they don’t yet feel they have the power to do themselves.
You may scoff, but walk her to God is exactly what I had to do, at the very end of this journey I’ve been on with Eve. Mom, you see, was not keen on leaving us. First off, her ninety-seven-and-a-half-year-old, raised-as-a-healthy-farm-girl body was strong as an old fashioned indestructible fort, the kind that can withstand onslaught after onslaught of attacks by cannons, firearms and fire, even a lightning bolt or two. Must have been all the good nutrition mom pumped into her holy temple, all the fresh fish she ate in between the junk food she loved as well, because even after she accidentally caused blood clots to form (never use Coumadin, aka Warfarin! It’s a dinosaur drug and ought to be outlawed for eldery people to self-administer) she still managed to recover from “the worst bedsore we’ve ever seen,” said the nursing home staff. Learning how to walk all over again became Eve’s final life challenge, becoming mobile so she could achieve her insistent life goal–to die at home.
When the process began of mom’s soul separating from her holy temple, I was there to help her, relax her, comfort her, and show her the ease by which one can trust the Light of Eternal Love, and … help Eve walk right into that so-familiar Light when her body-temple finally released its tenacious hold on her so-stubborn will.
Great Beings, it is said and has been well documented (see Graceful Exits by my pal Shushila Blackman) have “control” over their will, and have been known to slip right out of their temples when they are ready. Easy as that! But not for us mere mortals, spiritual neophytes. Oh no. We have to wait until “it’s our time” or “Jesus comes for us” or “the body is good and ready to shut down” and the best of all, “When Eve and God are ready, and not a moment before.” All of these were heard by me during Mom’s final days, some said by hospice nurses sitting by her bedside along with me, or people offering comfort during this in between state that seems, no matter how religious or spiritual we are, a completely surreal time, when we are losing a close loved one. When the “veil between the two worlds,” the seen and the unseen, is gently (or sometimes, not so gently) pulled aside, to allow a soul to pass between them.
Now mom is gone. She’s become One with All. I feel her. I haven’t lost anything about her except, I admit it, I miss seeing her, hearing her voice. But time will heal that, too, as it does everything else. Now is the exciting stage where my hard job is done and I’m gathering my strength to lift myself off the floor, after having been knocked down by life’s natural happenings. Here today, right now, is where I’m brushing the sand and the dust and the glass shards off myself, and as I regain my firm footing, feel my balance in a world that’s been momentarily turned upside-down, I’m thinking how my life is going to be different in this next chapter.
can a person seem any greater than … a mother?
What am I going to take with me, as I unfurl my Phoenix wings, lift myself from the ashes of yet another fiery destruction I’ve lived through? This one is the end, the true ending of my childhood (even though I’m laughingly in my sexies, almost ready for my seventies). I’m already being called “the matriarch of the family” by our two kids, aged twenty-nine and thirty-two.
More than ever, mom’s final passage from this hardcore, real-life reality realm to the other, invisible, spiritual realm, has shown me that nothing, absolutely nothing, is what it seems to be. Nothing is what it appears to be. And once again I’ve been shown that the only thing I can trust, has been Truth Supreme and ever will always be, happily for us–is to believe in Love.
What about Love?
Love is what some call God. Love is everywhere, in everything, and we are all part of it. Witnessing my mom’s passage to the very core of Love has only confirmed what I’ve known all along, that we are all a part of It, this Light, this Love, what I call “the One.” Mom was just a “cell” within the body of this Love, she who had a certain strong farm-girl’s body, a certain personality, who fulfilled a certain role in mine and others’ lives. And now that she’s gone, her outer shell, that is, the force she was still is here, forever. She is still doing her cellular part in the Love Story of existence. It’s just that I can’t see her any more. But I can still talk to her. I can still ask her to help out, send energy to certain areas of life that need a little boost. I can still feel her presence. I feel her part in the entirety. Her leaving her body hasn’t changed any of that.
My wings are ready, I’m drying them in the sunshine of yet another beautiful chapter of my journey here about to begin. As I flap these beautiful, strong wings of mine, in preparation for the take-off that’s happening as soon I type my final “period” here in this post today … I feel the joy of knowing that I’m part of the Mystery, just as Mom is, too. She always will be, as I always will be. As each of us always are, have been, and always will be.
Indeed, things are not what they appear to be. So … what are they then? Things certainly aren’t what’s happening politically. Good God, No! And they aren’t what’s happening purely on a scientific level either (there are too many loop holes and loose ends for science to have all the answers). Everything plays a part in what’s happening. A giant dance is unfolding, with many players, many melodies. Our job is to … participate.
For me, for this spiritual warrior, I think it’s best to leave the Mystery of existence undefined, and just be sufficiently satisfied with with it’s not. Discovering what it IS, after all, is part and parcel of the Mystery itself. If we knew what “this is all about” … it would take all the fun out of our discovering its next round, its magical essence.
Stay tuned. The next exciting chapter in life’s magical mystery tour will be documented, as best I can, by this artist’s need to communicate with you what I’ve learned, and what I’m eager to learn next.
I send my love to each and every one of you,
your pal Lord Flea, aka teZa Lord