My mother died last month. It was a beautiful June day – summer solstice. Daisies and butterfly bushes sent off a sweet aroma as dragonflies and butterflies danced on petals. Mom died unexpectedly after a brief illness and a surgical procedure that was supposed to be simple. A lot of different feelings bubbled inside me when we admitted Mom to inpatient hospice care. I couldn’t believe she would never be home again. She was the matriarch – the glue of our family.
I surprised myself by staying at the hospice. I knew she wasn’t staying here long and I wanted to be with her. I held her hand and brushed her hair and wet her mouth with chips of ice. She no longer interacted but she knew I was there – and I knew I was there.
Gentle social workers brought me information on grief and listened to my stories. Therapy dogs gave me furry hugs and someone made brownies. I sipped lukewarm coffee as I mindlessly thumbed through pamphlets. None of the words registered until one phrase popped out. “Healing takes place when you allow yourself to feel.” Wow. A Concept right when I needed it the most. It was then I realized that’s why I was staying in the hospice center. I could just sit there and feel and be. The human side of me cried a lot as memories of Mom wove their way through my mind. Silly memories. Wonderful memories. I cried when I needed to. Laughed. Smiled. Got mad. Cried some more. I opened my heart and felt it all.
It’s only been a few weeks but a sense of peace and joy surround me and flow through me. The love I feel from Mom and those around me is palpable. Enormous. It is like no love I ever felt before. I am grateful. Thanks Mom.
~ Gina Shelton
You must feel to heal – connect the head and heart
Excerpt from “Living the 55 Concepts” by Michael Cavallaro and Friends.
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