My Mother wasn’t afraid to die.
She had a “near death” experience when she had her first cancer surgery to removed one of her breasts. She said during her surgery she had an out of body experience… During the surgery her spirit lifted to the top of the room, she could view what was happening below (herself on the table being operated on) and she also witness something key. Our long time family Doctor, and family friend had unexpectedly stepped in the room during surgery (now chief of staff at the hospital). Upon seeing the Doctor the following day and telling him…he was at a loss for words.
My Mother told all of us that during that surgery she was comforted by my brother Lenny who appeared to her and (who had been killed that year by a drunk driver) she said he told her “everything would be okay and that it wasnt her time.” She said he was there with her, she could hear his voice….see a vision of him. She didn’t care who believed her…she knew it happened and it gave her comfort.
When she came out of surgery she told all of about this experience. She was so adamant about it; that it was hard for anyone to doubt her. She said she was no longer afraid to die.
The whole thing broke my heart, listening to my Mother (my best friend) reach a place in herself where she would be okay to die…..They had given her less than a year to live…..and hearing her talk about my brother, who I missed so desperately. It was all so horriable.
When my Mother did pass it was the hardest thing I have ever been thru in my life. The night she finally stopped fighting, the hospice nurse had called and asked me to come say good-bye to my Mother. Eventually everyone left the house that night, except for me and I picked up a photo album and despite knowing she was in a coma… I still decided to look at the photos and talk to her about all the happy memories of my childhood. Our family, camping, Marching Band….etc.
During that time I asked her to try to move her had if she could just hear me…so I would know she could hear me…..she moved her had for the remaining 3 hours I was there….Before I left the house that night I asked her to please somehow let me know….to let me know she was okay, when she was gone. I told her that I would always take care of my older sister (her one request of me) and I then asked her to let go….”Mommy, please let go….I promise I will be okay. You have suffered for so long…please let go.” I knew in her heart she was holding on for me…… She died in her sleep later that night.
In the wake of her loss I found myself in so much pain, I was unable to function. How was I going to take care of 3 small children if I was unable to take care of myself? I was devastated. I wasn’t sure if I could continue on.
For weeks after my Mother’s death I ate almost nothing, didn’t care what I looked like, rarely bathed, wouldnt answer the phone, didnt do anything normal…just cried….Sierah was 3 at the time and the twins were 6 months old. I finally, after about 3 weeks made my way to the store…only to leave the store and forget my groceries. I went back and got them…. cried all the way home. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to continue….I couldn’t get it together.
When we got back to the apartment, Sierah ran thru the hallway door ahead of me. We lived in an upstairs apartment and the hall was kind of dimly lit and had wide open stairs……I was holding two baby seats in my arms, trying to struggle thru the door. Sierah reached the apartment door as I reached the bottom of the stairs, she got to the door and I said, “Wait, Mommy has to unlock the door…” She turned back around, turned the door handle and the door flew open… in my jumbled, grieving mind, had I forgotten to lock the door?….
Just then, a breeze flowed down the stairs from the open doorway above and I swear it was like it somehow penetrated every pore of my body…..I knew in an instant it was somehow my Mother. I could feel her inside of my soul, lifting my spirit, I could smell her perfume, it was as if my body was a sponge and I could feel the air rushing straight thru the very essence of my being….I was almost unable to force out enough air to breath…….it were as if time had stopped…..my Mother was somehow inside of me mending my broken spirit. She was right there, right with me……some how, some way.
When the breeze stopped I realized Sierah had gone into the apartment and I had sat down the babies car seats. I was froze, almost unable to move. I picked them up and slowing went up the stairs. It was as if I could feel strength inside of me building…….she without question, had somehow given me strength to carry on.
The remainder of the day I spent doing things I had not done in weeks, cleaning, actually cooking, bathing, playing with my children……etc. I knew I was going to be able to get past it and I would find strength within myself to carry on.
That evening I tucked Sierah in bed and read her a story. As usual I got into my bed and this was the first night in weeks I hadn’t cried myself to sleep. Only to be awaken at about 5AM by Sierah standing next to my bed patting my arm. She was saying, “Mommy, Mommy…..wake up.” I swung my feet out of bed and took her hand and lead her back to her room…I said, “Get back in bed, you need to go back to sleep”, tucked her back in and gave her a kiss. She said, “But Mommy…..Grandma Neumann was here…..” I paused and said, “No baby, Grandma Neumann is in heaven…..” She said, “Mommy, Grandma Neumann sat on my bed and sang my A B C’s with me…….” I began to cry….she said, “She told me she loved me and to tell you, everything was going to be alright.” I crumbled….I dropped to my knees and laid my head over Sierah’s heart……I said,”Oh Mom”…tears rolling….”Thank you…”
For what it’s worth, I DO believe.
I believe my Mother somehow came to me that day…. mending my broken soul so I could continue on with my life…for myself and my children. I do believe my Mother came to my daughter that night and delivered a message to me, thru her, that I wouldn’t of believed, had it been sent any other way.
It was her way, of fulfilling my last request. To this day, I have no fear of death. I know that I will again see my Mother…..and all of the other people I have lost. At this moment, as I write this…I know my Mother is with me.
She always has been, and always will be.
I do believe…