Updated: May 15
I am sharing my thoughts on love to honor my mom’s passing and to perhaps give you comfort or touch your heart in a meaningful way. I am beginning to understand how love and death can beautifully co-exist. How can you prepare for the loss of a loved one? I don’t think you can but I am excepting that death is part of the cycle of life…. we are born, we live and we die. My perception, feelings, and thoughts about life shifted on that very sad day… 2.4.2019. At 12:36 pm I thought my heart was going to stop beating when my moms did. All I could think about at the end was how could I absorb some of her pain, and if I could have traded places with her, I would have. At that moment, I knew I was experiencing unconditional love. I don’t have children myself, but I assume this is the deep sense of love and connection that parents feel toward their children.
When mom passed I felt like a cosmic shock wave ripped through my body, leaving a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon. I sat with this giant-sized emptiness and asked myself, "what can I do to get rid of the pain?" I am an action-oriented person, but there is no action that can change what I am experiencing. So, I am pausing and just letting things be for a while. I am very familiar with the stages of grief because I have done my fair share of research in and around behavior and I can tell you first hand, there are no shortcuts. I am feeling them all and not in any particular order. I keep thinking I am stuck in a horrific nightmare but my emotions reminded me that this experience is not a textbook simulation… this is real.
I am trying to practice self-care to ease the pain and I keep saying to myself "be patient, have compassion… be patient, have compassion." My efforts to self-soothe are helping but I still find myself stuck in patterns of thinking which at times upstage my ability to move forward. Some days I feel like I am trapped in a pinball game, bouncing from one bumper to the other without any direction. This lack of direction is unsettling but I know I must push forward. I witnessed my mom's courage in the hospital and how hard she battled to win the war that was raging in her body. We called her the warrior princess and her mantra was Rising Stronger. Despite my sadness, I know I have to live the same mantra and I know my mom is encouraging me to carry on. I feel her warrior spirit urging me to take it one breath at a time. The road through sadness to healing is going to be rough and it will take time, but I know my mom will be with me every step of the way. When I hit barriers and roadblocks I will stay anchored in faith, I will lean into hope and I will choose to move towards love…. not fear. I will focus on all the positive memories I had with my mom, and I will continue to seek gratitude in all things… even death.
Death/loss has a way of slowing you down and I am looking at life differently. I encourage you to live each precious moment with bold intention, don’t miss an opportunity to spend time with the people you care about, say I love you often, and take every opportunity to get to know the heart of the people you love. Regret is powerful so live your life so you don’t have any. I choose love by honoring my mom with this love letter. I hope what I have written moves you towards love as well.
Love Letter to my Mom
Love is that deep stirring that is felt in your heart and soul… it is intangible yet palatable energy that connects us all. There is no greater force on this planet than love. Love has given me the capacity to share the joy and the pain in life with others. It has taught me the importance of being open and vulnerable in order to experience intimacy. It has helped me put into action words like compassion, understanding, and grace. Love gives me patience when I am empty and inspires me to extend kindness beyond my own understanding. Love fuels my desire to make someone else’s life more important than my own. Love doesn’t judge, it leans into understanding, empathy, and acceptance. Love is expressed in words but it comes to life through action. It appears as a smile, a touch, an act of kindness, a hug, a helping hand… all given without measure or expectation. Love sometimes shows up in the form of a deep sense of loss, like a pit that has no bottom. Love is helping me feel my sadness and emptiness while reminding me not to get stuck there. Love has opened me up to gratitude. Gratitude that has bonded with faith to give me hope in the darkest hour. Love makes me miss my mom beyond words but it is also leading me to a place of acceptance and peace. Love is shining its warmth on me so that my fears in time will become a faint whisper rather than a roar. I know I will be OK because my mom’s spirit will live in me always and God's protection will forever be my coat of armor. Thank you Mom for teaching me to fall in love with life and not material things. Thank you for being an amazing mom, best friend, adviser, wing-women, advocate, and my biggest fan. Thank you for showing me grace, and compassion, and for always being there even when you were tired. Thank you for helping me not take things so seriously and for reminding all that you touched to love life with child-like abandon. Thanks for being all that love represents. Visit me in my dreams and I will see you on the other side. I love you to the moon and back.
“May your spirit dance in the waves and your soul join God and all your loved ones in heaven.”
Billie Ann Rodrigue 10.5.40 to 2.4.19 – She was 78 years young. Thank you to everyone who loved her. May a piece of her be planted in your heart forever.
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