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quietly plunged into reflections

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 different levels at the same time? Everything comes under scrutiny.

And along with these almost subterranean reflections, I discover shifts occurring that are subtle but real.

For example, something is shifting in me in relationship to death. It was always very frightening but I am finding now more acceptance of its inevitability. I think this is very much influenced by seeing my mom’s acceptance of death after she had lived a very full and long life. She was not afraid at all; on the contrary, she was looking forward to it. She saw death as a place of peace and I can understand how after living a long life (if one is so lucky) doing and experiencing a lot and also suffering losses, one could be ready for that unknown place beyond our body, emotions, thoughts and senses. Also particularly the last six months, my mom was suffering quite a bit. Her body did not have the strength anymore to hold her up and it was always a traumatic event when she had to get out of bed. On so many levels she was ready to go. For a long time, she didn’t want to leave me, but in the end she let me go. She had to and she did it with so much love.

So I can actually imagine being in that place my mom was…and that is new for me. In a sense death as a reality is becoming more real, not on an intellectual level, but in a much deeper place. I can’t say I have total acceptance yet, but I am closer.

My life in general these days is good. I am happy to be alive and enjoying simple pleasures like being with old  friends, taking walks with my iPod of gospel music that always uplifts the spirit…writing…painting…reading…and continuing to do many practical chores. I notice that even amidst the joy, something can trigger me, like looking at the photo of my mom, where she looks so innocent, and I can easily start to cry, particularly if I am speaking to another person.

We are emotional beings and these emotions seem to have a life of their own. The other day I went to a new doctor and in telling her about my situation, of course it came up that my mom had recently died three months ago and sure enough, I got emotional when telling her. It really was beyond my control. Even when in general my life is going well, still it is difficult to tell “strangers” that my mom died – just the fact of saying it aloud brings on emotions. When will that change? I do not know. It seems to come from left field and it’s almost as if I just have to let it happen, let the emotion flow through me and then it’s over. I think about my mom in that way and how very emotional she could get at times and really sob like a child and then very quickly it would be finished. She said she had no control over it and I understand now what she meant. We function on so many levels and one of them is the emotional level and yes, they can be controlled but sometimes not. We get triggered and as human beings emotions are part of our make-up.

Sometimes I feel like a scientist studying myself. I can examine this emotional being and am very aware it’s just one aspect of myself and very much part of being a human being. There is something quite miraculous about being a human being with all the emotions, thoughts, senses, input from outside and inside and spiritual connection to the infinite in whatever way that reveals itself.

I am also aware that this missing of my mom, which is really this deep love, does not go away – the edges of emotion get softer but the missing or the love is forever. That is something to understand and accept and actually we would not want to stop missing or remembering or loving. That is also part of what it means to be a human being fully alive, fully cognizant and present to the whole gamut of feelings and for that there is also a kind of marveling at who we are and what this life is about.

 

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