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by Judy
October 11, 2015

It’s been a little more than three months since my mom died and so many different threads of contemplations arise. When someone dies who you are close to, and especially I think if one is older, like myself, one is quietly plunged into reflections with an acute awareness of the limited time we have on earth. I find that without really trying, there are repeated themes recycling in my thoughts; thoughts on death, aging, being alone, on what has value, what I want to do and how I want to be. And who are we? How is it we can function on so many...

by Judy
September 27, 2015

On the 23rd of September was Yom Kippur, the most holy day in the Jewish religion – the Day of Atonement – and also as it turned out, the anniversary of my mom’s death three months ago, I lit Yahrzeit memorial candles both for my mom and dad. The candle burns for 24 hours through the night.

I woke up on the morning of the 24th at 6 am. It was still dark but the warm glow of the two candles that I had lit in honor of my mom and dad were still burning brightly and I felt such a sense of peace and stillness as if...

by Judy
September 13, 2015

As I stay close to my experience since my mom died about two and a half months ago, I am acutely aware how this grieving has its own course to follow, can’t be rushed and is always different. It is different each time a loved one dies – it’s different from day to day and is different, not similar, to anyone else’s grief although of course there are similarities.

When my father died at a relatively young age – 62 years old – it was very sudden. I was twenty-nine years old. He had a heart attack and I came from California to be with him...

when the table turns: endings and beginnings

by Judy
August 30, 2015

I am distinctly aware of the table turning in my life and open to it happening. For the past two months since my mom died, I have been living in my mom’s home – sorting through her “things,” dealing with all the practicalities of business and grieving my mom’s loss knowing that she lives forever in my memory and in my heart. I have also been spending time with Pat, my mother’s most lovely Aid, who came to love my mom and know everything there is to know about her life here.

Pat in some ways is a direct link to my mom – the mom of the past...

when the table turns: the things that matter

by Judy
August 16, 2015

I didn’t know what it would be like to go through my mother’s clothing…so many beautiful and familiar clothes that she had worn over many years and still so many of the clothes were so modern. She never dressed like what one would imagine an “old” person would. Her clothes were brightly colored – sometimes quite elegant and sophisticated and sometimes quite hip and young. She had always loved clothing and often dressed quite casual, but always with a flair – eye-catching earrings, colorful scarves, inexpensive but fun necklaces. She could wear...

by Judy
August 2, 2015

It’s been a little more than a month since my mom died. For a while there has been a well of tears just below the surface of my being – always ready to gush out – but more recently that has more or less subsided. It really is an ever changing kaleidoscope. I never know what will arise in consciousness at any moment – memories, images, sadness, reflections…sometimes even joy.

One thing that struck me after my mom died: She really was reviewing her life over the past few years. She was lying in bed so much and had a lot of time to think…to...

by Judy
July 19, 2015

It has now been a little more than three weeks since my mom died…it feels much longer. I still remain in my mom’s apartment down in Florida surrounded by her art work and the beauty that she created in her home.

Losing a mother when they have already lived a very long time – 99 years – isn’t necessarily easier than losing a mother when they are younger. I was amazed to be talking with her accountant who told me he just recently also lost his mom of 99 years in February and it’s been really hard for him. Yes, I had her longer than most, but...

whenthetabletuns

by Judy
July 4, 2015

I knew this day would come…my mother dying…and after all she was 99 years old and more than ready to go. I was relieved that she died so easily and still I wanted her just a little bit longer. No doubt that would always be the case. I had been with her “nonstop” for three years and before that, off and on, with the 'on' getting longer and longer, for another three years. It was like a love affair where I no longer always knew who was daughter and who was mother – we were both and neither.

Five days after my mom died, as I woke up in the...

When the table turns: the long good-bye

by Judy
June 21, 2015

The last leg of the journey – that’s what I am on now with my mom. It’s been six years since my mom lost her independence after going into hospital with a restricted aortic valve and I have recently brought in home hospice. My mother is not recovering from the cold she caught three weeks ago. She is drinking and eating almost nothing – just doesn’t have the strength anymore. She is so very tired.

It really is a shifting landscape of feelings, responses – swings between beautiful tender raw moments and then the agonizing moments of agitation...

by Judy
June 7, 2015

Recently I read Dr. Oliver Sack’s autobiography called “On the Move.” I had never actually read any of his previous books although I knew about them. It still amazes me how close we can feel to another individual who we have never met and yet through their words and heartfelt vulnerability, they become part of our lives. They become our “friends.” Also this is a doctor of neurology who managed to connect very deeply with his patients out of his curiosity and very human care. And he shared his findings, through his writings, with the whole world -...

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