Death is but a gateway, to where to, I am not exactly sure. As someone who talks to spirits, I only get tidbits of information from the other side. I try to comfort my Mother with reassurances of what I know from talking to the dead and from others who had experiences of connecting through the veil. My Mother and I have had some unusual conversations. From what happens to her soul when she take her last breath, to funeral arrangements and how she will send me a sign from the other side. She says she is ok with her ashes being buried with my dad, even if they didn’t always get along in this life!
My mother is almost 92 and in the past few months and it has been very difficult to watch a rapid deterioration of someone I love deeply. She spends all her time at the nursing home in bed with undiagnosed stomach pain. More tests to be done to find the source but she says, she is ready to die. She says, she has no fear of death.
I know that she is not totally tethered to this world anymore. I quietly walk into her room and sense the changes from last time I was there, before announcing myself. She is blind and hard of hearing. She always responds with “What’s new?” She just wants to hear a familiar voice and is happy someone came to visit. She is forgetful sometimes and repeats a lot, but I have learned patience.
Instead of thinking of this as a burden, I think of it as a gift. I learned to slow down, breathe, listen and be fully present, like being in a contemplative pray full state, when I’m with her. Soon I know, all I will have is memories. With that in mind, I try to go as often as I can. As a medium, I know our loved ones are always watching over us, but its not same as someone physically with us. A hold to hold or a smile to brighten our days. Even a medium grieves as someone they love, slips away.
“of all the mysteries of life, perhaps death is the strangest reality of the human experience” Song lyric by switchfoot called- Slipping away.
I recently read a fictional story that began with three sisters discussing their Mother. Their mother had spent the 3 weeks grieving over the death of her husband and avoiding friends and social events. The daughters wanted their mother back to ‘normal’ and they needed to find a way to do it. No talk of they felt about their dad’s passing, the goal was to fix Mom now!
I was so angry, even though this was a work of fiction. I had to really think about why this bothered me so much. I think some of us do try to rush through the grief process, to get back to ‘normal.’ Most people don’t want to talk about death, or know how help those who are grieving in a healthy way. I know from personal experience, family members all grieve differently and life is never the same again. A change has happened. This is true not just for not loved ones, but for friends, pets, health issues, divorce or job loss, you grieve for what once was. It takes time to come to terms with your new reality.
My youngest son passed away at the age of 19. It was unexpected and his death changed the lives of many who loved him. The death of a child is different than that of a parent. It’s been many years now and I still think of him everyday. I used to keep myself extremely busy around the important dates such as anniversary of his death and it exhausted me. I had to find a new way to cope. I gave up planning anything, I just go with the flow I have learned to ride the grief wave. I don’t know when it will hit, usually a week before the anniversary of his death or sometimes a month before. I don’t recognize it at first, why I’m suddenly feeling so blue. Then I say ” Hello grief, my old friend” Then one morning, I will wake up and that deep sadness has slipped away. Time doesn’t heal wound completely. It’s an acceptance and I have grown for sure in a good way. We do a have choice how we react to what life throws at us. Life takes us on roads we rather avoid but there is dening it, its an adventure. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction!
Unlike that book of fiction, I did find talking to people about my grief was a great healer and I did go to grief counseling. I have a wonderful friend who phoned almost everyday for many months to see how I was doing. It helped her to too, as my son was like one of her own children. My advice, if you are experiencing a loss of any kind, seek help. There are people willing to help and to listen. I am one of them.
As a wedding officiant, one question I ask when discussing a couple’s ceremony is, “Are you going to write your own vows?” Alot of times this question is met with silence first, then a brief look is exchanged, followed by disappearing smiles as fear envelops them. And 80% of the time they reply, they would be too intimated to stand in front of everyone reading something so personal or they don’t know how to write their vows. It is overwhelming and there is enough stress with a wedding. Or English is not their first language and they feel this a barrier to communicating.
I have to say, I love to hear the vows couples write themselves. It brings everyone to tears. I understand how hard it can be to stare at a blank page trying to write something heartfelt. Then your afraid you will become a nervous wreck, standing in front of a room full of people and expressing your feeling to your beloved.
The one thing to remember is, you only have focus on the person your about to marry. Blocking out everyone else. Your vows need not be long, a few sentences, a special memory, the best thing about being in love with them and why you want to spend your life with them.
I have had people send their vows to me to read over, mainly because English was not their first language. To be honest, because it comes from the heart, it’s always perfect. I only suggest a few changes to sentence structure for it to sound better, but it always surprises me. Trust yourselves. It’s ok to shed those tears men! It is after all, a day you want to remember!