Dancing in Heaven
Mother’s day has come and gone, but I will never forget the day’s events. This past Mother’s Day is the day my mom left her physical body, and this physical realm to be with my dad. Her journey lasted 14 days because even though her mind and heart wanted to be with my dad, her body was not ready to let go. There is nothing like when children are faced with the loss of both parents, and then the finality of that reality sinks in after all is said and done. Arguments and hurt feelings fade into the background as the adult children left behind struggle in an attempt to comprehend the final days of their mother’s life.
Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Advancement in modern medicine prolongs lives well into the 90’s by dispensing pills and replacing hearts, kidneys and lungs. However, your body withers as it gets older and is a constant reminder you are not able to function as you once did in your youth. I think my mother realized that her quality of life was not as it should be and decided to forego doctors and let nature take its course. She choose to transition out of this life with minimal medical support.
So, I phoned my sister and told her about mom’s wishes. She booked a flight from Florida and arrived the next day. Her plane landed in the morning. We talked on the ride home. I filled her in on recent events that led to mom’s decision. We both called my brother and told him.
We decided to enlist the help of hospice. I asked mom several times, “is this what you really want?” “Yes,” she said. Her decision put me in the position of being a mediator between daughter and granddaughter; who were angry mom had given up on life. Anger is wasted energy and toxic, so I tried to facilitate closure for both.
Once mom was discharged and we arrived at the assisted living facility, we were bombarded by a whirlwind of a team of nurses, doctors, pastors, social workers and aids. Each had a role to play. Mine was the coordinator; to direct, watch and ensure mom’s journey was dignified and peaceful. For 14 days my sister and I made the trip daily to support our mother. We spent each day talking to her, touching her, making sure she knew that we were there for her.
I was lucky, I had a year with mom and we resolved a lot of feelings, good and bad. We yelled. We made up. We had fun. We explored our feelings and we talked openly, exposing my inner child. I apologized for my impatience and she accepted and understood. With the death of my mother, between the three brothers and wives, she was the last of that generation. When you think about the profound effect it has not only to family but to the world, a generation with a wealth of information lost, only to be remembered in the hearts and minds of sons and daughters left behind.
I had a second loss this week, one I was not expecting. My first cousin died of a stroke and massive bleed to the brain. He was the second oldest, one year younger than myself. I was the first born, and he was second. We were a team when we were younger. As we grew up got married, and had children of our own, the bond was still there. Like many, we saw each other less and less as years passed. Family gatherings always filled with laughter and tradition as we joked with each other.
I believe death is rebirth, our body is a vessel and our energy is released and set free when we die to be reborn again in a non-physical body. I believe there is a world within this world. A world mostly unseen, and filled with the energy of billions of souls who have gone before us. Some of us are lucky to have found our purpose in this life and leave knowing we have contributed to make this universe a better place. And still, some have not found purpose and still struggle with “why am I here?”
When I think of my parents, I see them as bright energy, together embracing and dancing. Why? This is how they met. They both loved to dance. Watching them together on the dance floor was like watching two souls become one, moving with fluidity to the music.
If you mom or dad is still alive, hug them and tell them you love them. If they are not, pray for them.
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