I found myself going through my special memories the other day. Lately I have a need to organize, sort and review the many pieces of life that seem to find their way into my writing studio.
I reached for “Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul”, which I had given to Mom for Mother’s Day in May, 2007 and took back when she died in May, 2010.
In this special gift edition, there was opportunity for the daughter or mother to journal their thoughts about various subjects. As part of my gift, I wrote some thoughts to Mom including these on the subject of Loss and Healing:
Loss is always so sad to me - but I have learned from you that it is a natural outcome of life- although the circumstances are so different in every case.
The earliest loss that really left a great impact on me in my childhood was our cat, Peppi. I learned with him that life could be taken ever so quickly and sometimes, without a clear reason. And, sometimes we don’t get a chance to say good bye.
Then, some years later you taught me to celebrate people while they are living--ie) give flowers when the person can see, smell and appreciate them. I think that’s one of the most valuable lessons you’ve ever taught me.
Thanks to you I tell people what they mean to me and thank them along life’s way. It also helped me in the greatest healing I’ve had to do - from June, 1999. You were instrumental then with your core strength and values--teaching me that life goes on and, in some cases, becomes even richer / wiser.
Maria” (May, 2007)
I had no way of knowing that my dear Momma would die in her sleep almost three years from the time I wrote these words. At the time of Mom’s death, my biggest regret was that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to her.
I remember carrying this regret into a Gestalt workshop with Mariah Fenton-Gladis several months ago. I decided to work on this as a goal throughout the three days.
Tucked away in my special Chicken Soup Journal to Mom, I found a letter I had written to her as a healing exercise at Mariah’s workshop in January, 2015. For the first time, I read the two letters together. On some level, I hope that Mom is able to as well as I share parts of this letter with you now:
I miss you each and every day since you left me. I still can’t believe you are gone and that four years has passed.
I never imagined life without you - you really were my life. I hope you know that and I wish I could have been with you at the end to say good bye.
I feel selfish as I was never ready to let you go. You always had such a healthy attitude about death and I know you were ready.
I can hear you telling me not to worry - that you are OK. Deep down I know you are.
I know I’ll see you again. Thanks for being the best Mom in the world. I wish you could have met Andy - you would love him. Please keep Alvin and Aunt Baby company until we’re all together.
Maria” (January, 2015)
This week a friend shared the loss of her mother-in-law and my thoughts and love go out to her, her husband and family. These times are unexpected, draining and can make us feel vulnerable and powerless around those we love the most.
Knowing my friend, her very presence will be more of a comfort than she will ever know… sending hugs, peace and love.
I also learned that a very special dog that I bonded with, after Aunt Baby’s death and before Andy’s adoption, died quite unexpectedly last week. I don’t know any details of ‘Louie’s’ passing but feel very badly for my friend who had been his ‘foster Momma’. I’ve reached out, sent my best wishes and respect that she needs time to process this heartbreaking event.
Mom’s strength and practical nature takes over when sorrow threatens me for long. I hear her telling me to ‘give flowers to those who are living’.
When we look around and see the number of friends and family, even complete strangers who would appreciate a flower or a kind deed of any kind, it’s difficult to remain in a state of extreme sorrow for too long...at least that’s how I think Mom wanted me to look at it.
So, today, I sent a card and money to a dear friend whose aunt has an upcoming birthday...I know my friend will select the perfect ‘smile maker’ for my surrogate aunt and that brings me joy. Oh, and I also took Andy Jordan for an extra long walk...and appreciated every impish characteristic he has...because he is all ours! And I celebrate you and today, remembering that tomorrow is not promised to any one of us.
Thank you for taking the time to spend here with me today.
This is a wonderful song I recently learned from Mariah and now I share it with you...
God Danced (the Day You Were Born) sung by Hot Soup.
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