What a Diffference a Year Makes

No, this won’t be a year-in-review type post. Just remembering where I was, what I was doing a year ago today, Christmas Eve. I was here at my home, living in a blur world.

My mother’s in-home caregiver had called me hours earlier, telling me that she thought my Mom was dead. I had just gotten home from the grocery store, and had opened the rear hatch of my car when the cell phone in my pocket rang. I sat on the rear bumper of my car, crying, as my husband drove in, returning home from a night shift. While I was on the phone with the caregiver, the fire department showed up at Mom’s house. A paramedic went upstairs to check Mom’s body while I waited on the phone.

Then came the confirmation: yes, for sure, Mom was dead. Next came the shock: she had left a note behind, mentioning that she was now in a better place. My world stopped.

Yes, life with Mom was at times a challenge. But we also had our good times as well. For all the difficulties, when your mom dies, it puts your knees to the dirt. I could barely think about Christmas. I don’t even remember wrapping presents that night or opening them the next day.

I remember calling my brothers, sharing the bad news. Hours later I spoke with my older brother and asked him what his travel plans were; assuming that he was going to fly to our parents’ house to deal with Mom’s body and everything else that needed to be dealt with in the immediacy. There seemed to be some major disconnect in his brain because he didn’t see the need to hurry and take care of things. He seemed to mention something about the home caregiver doing this or that. Not her j-o-b! Her job just ended.

blue christmas light

So, I spent Christmas Day trying to be at least the tiniest bit present for my son. I hopped onto the computer to find a flight across country, and found a red-eye the day after Christmas.

The next few days, I was a zombie. Having buried Dad only 10 months earlier, I called the same funeral home and dealt with the same, kind, people.

Mom’s body was taken by the state’s medical examiner because her death was not run of the mill. I had to sign paperwork so the funeral home could take custody of Mom’s body. Then I went through all of the paperwork with the funeral home.

At the same time, there were 2 seven-year old cats who needed new homes. With my husband allergic, our taking them was not an option. After trying to contact a slew of no-kill shelters, and dealing with one certified whack job, I “lucked out” and found out about a shelter who was about to hold an adoption weekend event; and they hoped to have room for the cats after the weekend. As it ended up, a family friend was able to take one of the cats, and the shelter took the other (who was adopted within 2 weeks).

christmas lights

So, after a whirlwind trip dealing with Mom, the funeral home, and the cats, my time had run out and I needed to return home for my husband to return to work on time. Zombie state was moving out for grief to fully move in for a while.

A year later, the grief has done a fairly good job of moving through. Once in a while it comes back, but fortunately doesn’t stay too long. It’s been here and there today, visiting and then moving through. And from where I sit, that’s what it’s all about: moving through. It’s perfectly ok to be sad, to cry, to grieve, as long as it can keep moving through.

About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a creative 20 year old son, a former merchant ship's deck officer, and a wife. To feed my creative side I take photos. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family. My most recent adventure has me navigating a very challenging Kundalini Awakening.
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19 Responses to What a Diffference a Year Makes

  1. Thinking of you! May the happy memories take you through these difficult times. 🙂

  2. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Susan, I’ve been behind on my blogging and just had the chance to read this. I hope this year’s holiday was peaceful – perhaps a time to reflect on the good times. And may your 2014 be filled with healing, love and light!

    • Thank you so much. Christmas Day was actually a peaceful and enjoyable day with just me and my son and husband. Spent most of the day in jammies until we sat down for an evening dinner. Thanks for the 2014 wishes. Right back at you there!

  3. Hi, Susan. Thanks for sharing this heart-felt story about last Christmas and how you focus on letting yourself move through feelings of sadness and grief that visit from time to time. It’s a good reminder that no matter how low we feel sometimes, we can move through those feelings to better feeling ones. Best wishes for a health, happy, and prosperous New Year. Love, Bob

  4. Thanks Bob. As I’ve been learning, we all experience emotions, and we are designed to do so. But being able to allow them to keep moving through is key. Have a wonderful 2014!!

  5. Aussa Lorens says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I hate that these things continue to occur around the holidays– I wish we could just all get a free pass for a few days so that we wouldn’t have to deal with the pain of the memory with the return of every holiday. I hope that this year was a lighter and more peaceful holiday with your family.

  6. janonlife says:

    Thanks, Susan for sharing those memories. It was my first Christmas without my Mum, too and yes, anniversaries and special days just pop up from time to time to remind us there’s still more emotion to deal with in there. I arrived home last night from a Christmas across the country with my kids and got up this morning expecting to head down to Mum’s care home, before remembering that this year there was no one to visit there. Strange, rather sad, but OK.
    I hope it was comforting that your mom left the note that she was going to a better place. Depends on the circumstances,of course. I hope so much when my time to move beyond arrives that I will be able to convince my children how much I’m looking forward to the next great adventure…

  7. Jan, sorry to hear it was also your first Christmas without your Mum. I am glad my mother left a note, but I go back and forth between being relieved that she’s gone and upset that she went by taking a bunch of pills. She was becoming more and more confused, and the hard part was that she didn’t see it. She didn’t know why she needed someone at her house 12 hrs a day and didn’t understand why she was dangerous behind the wheel of a car.

  8. Ann Koplow says:

    I really appreciate this post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

  9. BigLizzy says:

    Susan, my sweet friend,

    What an interesting re-cap of where you were one year ago as compared to now. Thank you so much for sharing this poignant journey, honey. It is so fascinating to me how people choose to end their incarnations. Whether intentional or not, every death is a suicide. We choose when to pop out. No, the choice is not made by the ego-based personality in the body who is often clouded by the detritus of living and emotion, but the larger part of us who remains on the Other Side and calls the shots–the higher self.

    It’s something to celebrate when a soul graduates to exiting a life, although there is no question that it’s painful and often devastating for those left behind. Those remaining behind struggle mightily with the choice. We do. But, you know in your soul that your mom is still around. She’s having a blast with her soul group and planning her next incarnation. She is fine.

    It sounds like you are healthy and processing the loss in due time and are realistic about the process. As I’m nearing 50, I think about death often. Not because I fixate on it or worry about it, but because this life has been really tough. I wonder what is coming for me or actually how it is coming for me. I actually love to ponder the end because my soul is not afraid of my demise. My ego, well, now, that is another question. LOL! I push my ego around alot and do so by thinking about death. Well, thank you for this wonderful exploration. I truly learn so much from you, honey.

    • Thanks for coming by and for commenting my dear, sweet Lizzy! I first began to think about death when my father was diagnosed with cancer back in about 1988. Around that same time, his next older brother died from a cancerous brain tumor. Thankfully, from what I know about it now, I am not scared, and I even look forward to it eventually… when I’m done with what I need to get done here.

      One of the advantages of knowing several people who can do the medium thing quite well, is that I’ve been able to check in on Mom a number of times to see how she’s doing. When you’ve lived a life where you’ve hurt the ones closest to you, the life review is not all beer and skittles. One of the last times I checked with her, she was doing work and referred to it as purgatory. From what I know, she goes through her entire life and experiences every interaction, feeling the emotions not only from her perspective, but from the other person’s as well. With her bipolar behaviors, she is now experiencing how it was for her 3 young children to experience her, when she was exceptionally high and low. From what I was told, she’s also going to school and learning about healing. Then she comes to me when I’m sleeping and works on me. Eventually, she’ll get this all done and her light will shine as brightly as possible.

      I’ll be 50 this fall and I’m wanting to celebrate it, big time!!

      • BigLizzy says:

        Gawd, babe. I just LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! We’ve had a very similar journey. You crack me up: “Life review is not all beer and skittles.” Hahahahahahha!!! I can well imagine the work your mama is doing now.

        My mom was mentally ill to the highest and I believe she was bi-polar. I say “was” because I have absolutely no contact with her and haven’t had any for over a decade. I soooo relate to the words that you share here about the damage done to the children. My twin sister and I still suffer from our mom’s rage-histrionics-sullen-withdrawn legacy, or, at least, we are still, all these many years later, processing it and healing as much of it as we can.

        I love that you check in with your mom. I’m a physical medium, or, so I’m told, but I very much resist it. It’s all tied to trust and being murdered for my “curse-gift” in multiple lifetimes. I have great fear around my own “curse-gift”, but of course, am super fascinated by it and other people’s experiences with psychic abilities.

        Right now, I’m manifesting kidney distress on the right side and can’t seem to figure out if it’s “me” or someone that I might be channeling. Sigh. It’s so friggen’ hard to be here, friend. Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed in the morning.

        So, when you say that you are looking forward to your transition when the time is right, I am so right there with you. When I am done here, I will turn my head toward death and open my arms. I will embrace it and feel the relief of letting it take me. I know this.

        Big LOVE to you, sis. I am almost certain that we have a relationship that travels beyond the physical and have been great friends for a long, long time. All my love, sis.

  10. “It’s so friggen’ hard to be here, friend. Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed in the morning.” You took the words right out of my mouth, literally!! Lately, with energy speeding up and with my releasing so much, I’m exhausted all the time. I’ll do a little Matrix Energetics around your kidney and we’ll see if it can’t become happier.

    • BigLizzy says:

      Awwww…baby-girl!! IT DOES FEEL BETTER!! Thank you so much for the assist, my lovely friend. I’m continually amazed by the unseen forces and how much “help” there is in the universe. I am not alone. There is so much help around me; we all have it. Susan, I’m eternally grateful to the blogging world for bringing us together (again!). You are ma sister and friend. I’m so, so blessed. Thank you….a million thank yous…

  11. mollytopia says:

    I’m so sorry to hear your mom passed away – during a holiday makes it so much worse. Uggg. But it sounds like you’re in a good place. I hope your holiday was much merrier this year. Happy New Year!

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