This time last year was intense for me. On New Year’s day last year, my mom called me to her bedside. Her chest heaved as she attempted to breathe. She wheezed with the difficulty of it. It seemed so shallow, her breathing, I couldn’t imagine that it felt satisfactory. I tried to stop imagining how terrifying it must feel to never be able to get a deep breath.
“I’m ready,” she whispered.
Instantly, I knew exactly what she was referring to. She was ready to die. She’d made it through Christmas, something we never thought she’d do; she’d made it to meet my baby girl, something we weren’t entirely sure would happen either. And now, after more than a month of overlap with both of them on the planet at the same time, and with her realizing with each passing day how little she could do with my baby, her new granddaughter, and with her struggling for each breath, each swallow, each poo, she was just fucking done. Who could blame her? Certainly, not me.
“Call Bridget,” she said. She was referring to my friend and mentor, her shaman.
This was a rally cry. This was not a joke. This was similar to pulling the eject cord. And so, it began — the march to the end. By February 24, 2012, she was gone. But those six and a half weeks between January 1st and February 24th were brutal — absolutely fucking brutal.
I looked back through my blog archives recently. Sometimes it’s nice to do, to look back and reflect. And I was staring at the dates along the left column/timeline widget on my website, which sometimes is still all new to me, and I thought… Wait a minute… I published nothing from December of 2011 to March of 2012? That can’t be right. Nothing?
And then I remembered: No, I didn’t. I published nothing because I was such a wreck. I was in agonizing pain everyday. I wanted to save my mother by helping her die more quickly. I felt like an animal because of that. I didn’t want to talk about it, much less write about it. I thought if I wrote about it, if I truly told people how I felt, that I would alienate them… That no one would understand and that people would judge me.
This type of thinking is so foreign to me now. For now, I intentionally share the depths of my soul BECAUSE I know that the deeper I go, the more I share, the greater the risk, the more profound the connection. I have nothing to fear by simply being myself. I’ve finally learned this.
Did I come about this understanding by losing my mother? Maybe. I know that I have learned much via her loss.
Are there some people who won’t understand/connect? Likely. But I’m not inclined to care at this point.
The only thing that matters now is that I keep on keeping on… Share my heart, share my soul, share my journey with any and everyone who cares to connect. For in the end, that is what it’s all about — this journey we call life. Connection. Soul to soul. Heart to heart. Journey to journey.
With love. With joy. With pain and sorrow. In the end, you get to choose the one you want to dominate your path.
I choose JOY. Because that is what my mother would have wanted. And that is what life is all about to me at this point. Joy. I hope it’s the same for you.