So much, can happen, within the span of one year. It was one year ago today that my mother peacefully transitioned to the other side of the veil. I remember how she told me a few months before that she was excited to see what was on the other side ... and although the two days in which she was really dying were so apparently difficult for her, she did after all of it, pass so utterly peacefully. I will never forget how quiet it was - within me, and around me. And I felt her hovering there after she took her final breath.
There are strange details that I remember - the small dresser on which the television stood. It kept striking me as odd that there would even be a television in a room intended for people to die in. Would I want to watch TV if I were dying? Of course, we waited too long to take her to hospice, because we simply didn't know how much pain she was dealing with until she told us out loud. It is mind-boggling that she was able to shade our eyes from these truths. But she was always able to hide her true emotions. She was a Cancer, ironically, and I realized in my young adult years that she most likely didn't allow herself to feel her emotions because once the floodgates were open, she would never again regain control. And control over herself was a specialty - her advice for a happy marriage: "The art of compromise and knowing when to keep your mouth shut". I have used this advice in my own relationship, and every time I bite my tongue, I thank her for the advice.
My mom was always a wise woman, but it's interesting to me how her lessons continue to rattle inside of me - I'm like a dice shaker at the casino, vibrating at a high frequency most of the time, and every once in a while an old memory or lesson pops out. And I am reminded of Mom's grace. She was always graceful, but never thought she was. I suppose it depends on your definition of grace.
During the process of grieving, I kept having this sense that there is an unspoken protocol when it comes to the subject. But I didn't want to post a million photos on facebook, post statuses about how sad I felt, how much she would be missed. I did not make her facebook page a "memorial page". It took several months for me to write on this blog that she had passed. I was not ever looking for attention, but was looking for refuge. I had some close friends who had helped me through these times, and who understood me when I spoke of the animals I kept seeing (butterflies, toads, woodpeckers, small brown birds). Those animals meant MOM. I felt her for a long while after she passed. In some ways, I ended up feeling closer to her once she had passed away than when she was walking on this green earth. She was able to let go of the constricting beliefs she had built up.
I have always believed that we choose our life before we are born. I chose my Mom, and she chose me to be her daughter. I was a teenage daughter that opposed her, challenged her, frustrated her, worried her, and angered her at times. And when I became an adult and met my husband, bought a house, and got married, and finally produced grandchildren, everything changed. I know that I became who she always knew I was. The mother, the baker, the writer. And she supported me through everything, even during the times when I was slightly abusive. I can say this word today because now my own daughter takes her turn to abuse me too. Which is part of the process. My daughter, like I was, desires something to push against. She likes a challenge.
I think that in choosing my Mom, and her choosing me, that her dying so young was part of the agreement. Those dark nights are what help us to recognize the light of truth.
~In memory of my awesome Mom, Vicki Couturier~