Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Traveling


I was really moved to read Pam's posts about her mother who is ill. I am reminded as I read her post today of my experience during the last weeks of my own mother's life. She died suddenly one Sunday in July 2005. But in retrospect I could see that perhaps she had already begun to prepare for her death in the preceding weeks.

My mother had become frail. She was never a big woman but at 95, she had become like a bird. Her skin was translucent and nearly without wrinkles. She remained interested in reading but as her final days approached, she would gather all of her papers and notes around her as if she was trying to find something important in them. I would ask her what she was doing and she would say, "Oh I'm just reviewing things." I smile at that now.

There is a saying in the South that the dead begin to "travel" as their time nears. I've read about hospice workers who relate "visions" that the dying have. Some of the dying report visions of angels; most relate seeing deceased loved ones in the vision.

Some think that these visions are just reactions of the limbic system in a dying brain. Perhaps. But I think that the visions help soothe the dying person. And that there is more to this than science or medicine can explain.

My mother experienced a number of these "visions". A couple of weeks before her death, she told me one Sunday that she had the best time the night before. I asked her what happened, and she related to me, "I went dancing with your father." This took me aback at the time because my dad had died in 1985. Now I believe that she was reconnecting with my father who was waiting for her. There were several other instances in which she spoke of her mother and father and friends who had already transitioned to the next life.

And on the day of her death, I later learned that she told one of the workers at the home where she lived that she was in my kitchen. Her vision then was very strong and whatever prescient "energy" there is reached me because I had a sense of urgency to be with her. I wrote about that in another post.

I find these things comforting because I do believe that my mother was "traveling" beyond this life to the next. And maybe in doing so she changed and became an energy. I felt that energy in the days after her death and knew that she was still with me. While I now have memories of her, I don't feel that energy anymore and know that she has moved on and has transitioned peacefully to the after life.

Maybe this sounds crazy. But there are things that escape explanation. I believe that dying is as profound as living. And I am grateful for this experience that I had.

23 comments:

  1. Dearest Syd - - -

    Crazy - maybe . . .

    A beautiful experience - though sad - there's no doubt about this.

    Admirably,
    Anonymous #1

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  2. Beautiful writing. Thank you. This touches some of my great fears, and it is valuable to have such a wholesome and sustaining insight.

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  3. I went to visit Pam's blog to send good thoughts and blessings.
    I remember when they called us to tell us they did not think my gramma was going to make it through the night, my sisters and I flew back home. At the time she made it through, only to pass away a few months later. I am glad I got to see her in her better state of mind. My gramma a faithful church goer , took up to reading her Bible much much more after her illness progressed. She had me sit at her bedside helping to choose the readings she wanted for that DAY. I got angry inside, scared, and told her , she made me feel comfortable, I was happy to help her carry out her wishes and speak at her funeral. I do remember mother telling me shortly before she passed away , how gramma was going back to her younger days, remembering her daughter that was only 2 years old and drowned. She was having a conversation with her. Mother said it was as if her sister was in the same room sitting on the bed next to Gramma.
    I remember your post about you feeling the need to be with your mother, as I had the same experience when my father in law passed away . Ty for sharing and reminding us there are things that have no explanation or as you said escape one. Blessings

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  4. Syd...not crazy at all. Very true, imo. You know I do a lot of Hospice work as a caregiver and I have seen this so many times. For days, sometimes weeks before we will watch them make their preparations...have dreams, tell us stories...its a journey just like everything else.

    I have grown to view death as a beautiful process sometimes filled with hardship and pain, just as life is....but its all with a purpose, to reach the other side. I often feel that my job is as a midwife but at the ending of life, not the beginning.

    Thanks for sharing....your mom sounds like she was darling. "Reviewing things." :o)

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  5. I have witnessed some unexplainable experiences working with those whom are dying. Yes, I believe they are "traveling" and preparing for death. After my mom's death, I felt her very presence within my being. It was there throughout her funeral, until she was laid to rest. I think she was there to gently help me make it through those days. Yes, there are many things in the spiritual realm that can not be explained by man, or science. Wishing you a peaceful Tuesday.

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  6. Yes, there are things that escape explanation. It's the peace which passes all understanding.

    You've done a terrific job with words once again, Syd.

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  7. Thoughtful, thanks. My friend, M, who died almost a year ago spent quite a bit of time 'traveling' before she actually passed. The morning of the day she passed she asked her daughter to please lay out certain clothes because she had somewhere to go and wanted to look her best. I like to think of her that way; that she eagerly set off on her own path looking her best. I had a dream about this lady a few nights ago. I was at a dance and she and her partner danced over to where I was to say hello. She was happy and looking great.

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  8. Doesn't sound crazy at all. sounds familiar.

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  9. all that really matters is what we believe.
    i believe in your words about your mother. i believe in the journey after life.

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  10. Continuation Day is what I have heard it called. Transition from one life path to another. Not crazy at all to me.

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  11. None of it sounds crazy to me. Annie had traveled quite a bit and I loved talking to her about the mysterious things that took place around her. Death is too profound to really explain.
    jeNN

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  12. What a beautiful post. Every single thing you wrote resonated in me.

    One of the many gifts I have received in my life was a dream of my own death. It was a dream full of hope and indescribable love.

    Thanks for the blog,
    PG

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  13. I believe in the transitional journey. It depends on how open we are as to how much enery we feel from the deceased.

    I only wish that more people were allowed to die peacefully when their quality of life has completely eroded. Every day I hear loved ones demand the doctor "do everything" even when doing everything is extremely painful and of no use to the dying person. Everyone should have a living will.

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  14. WOW, this is amazing to me. I have always wondered what my own mother's last thoughts might have been or did she have time for a peaceful thought before she was shot. I think of the angst she might have felt in the breifest of seconds. I have heard the term "snuffed out" many times and it seems so fast when I say it and process it.

    How lucky and blessed you are to have these snapshots of your mother. I get to live vicariously through your memory.
    Hugs. Tammy

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  15. I'm relieved you had such good memories of your mom's passing. This was a gift still giving to you.
    I was loaded when my father died when I was 28. Because of sobriety, I'm able to be present for my mom as she ages backwards, and I hope she passes as peacefully as your mom did. Anyway, it's good to read your blog again. I've missed you.
    Chris A

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  16. I just love this Syd! I have never witnessed it, but I want to believe it to be true. So much hope and mystery about traveling to the other side. I hope Pammie gets a chance to read this.

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  17. Ahh, sweet mystery of life and death. What beautiful moments to share with us. Thanks.

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  18. Lovely post
    i love all that stuff.
    i use 'active imagination' to speak to people if i need to. I feel very connected to people living or passed. they seem very vivid if i bring the idea of them into consciousness.
    active imagination has been an invaluable tool in getting wise reflection on a situation or if i need to rehearse a difficult conversation.
    I prefer not to think of people sometimes as i can find their presence very intrusive. especially emotional or needy people.

    some people who i know i am much more connected to, do not have the same 'obvious' presence. i think this is because the quality of their presence is more subtle, not because i am any less connected to them. each person feels different you see.
    even if i read a strangers text, 'picture' forms in my mind of them. so it is something that just happens with everyone.. Whether I like I tor not.

    but yeah. one thing i do know is that all that stuff aint no fairy story :) hehe
    quite scary really. if all that stuff exists then I have to watch what i do as the 'ether' contains a record of everything, and everything is transparent so there is nowhere for me to hide. this realization has made me a much more accountable person than i was before this dawned on me one day..

    I find it quite weird that we are all hopelessly interconnected, yet we inhabit a physical world that visually informs us we are all separate entities.. Even weirder thinking there is only one 'person' really. Odd really :) I want to just be associated with the 'good' people, not the dodgy ones :) but I don't have much choice in the matter. :) its very ego puncturing :)

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  19. heartwarming story and an incredible photo...

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  20. Syd - wonderful reflections that remind me of some things I need to write out eventually...

    Thank you.

    Blessings and aloha...

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  21. Syd,
    I had the same experience with my maternal grandmother. I felt her energy very strongly one night right after she died (I was in a very troubled relationship at the time and very upset). I haven't since. I believe and hope that she's moved on.

    Love, SB.

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  22. OK Syd, you have made me cry twice in one night. But in a good way. Thanks.

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