Dreams Before I Wake

For weeks, mom and I have traveled together in the timelessness of the great and loving mystery. At the apex of our paths divergence, when her spirit ascended, I smelled the distinctly clean aroma of cedar oil which she had been anointed with thirty hours before.

In the week since her passing amidst the comforting silence of the night sky, the rough stones of our sacred journey continue to tumble themselves into brilliant polished gems.

Now, I am expected to move back into a world of everyday realities that have temporarily lost their significance. Everyday sounds are jarring, and movement occurs more quickly than I seem able to handle. Exhaustion comes in waves so powerful, that during some conversations it is difficult to tell if I am dreaming or awake. This is the aftermath of my mother’s death.

All around me energy swirls as life for others continues as it should. People say they understand. I don’t see how that could be true. If it was, I would be allowed to catch my breath. I would have permission for a few days or weeks to savor the fullness of other worldly experiences before moving fully back into the mundane.

Well intentioned relatives and friends talk to me about potential decisions well beyond my capacity to consider. Give me a little credit. I know. I need to establish an income stream. Yes, I understand the necessity for tasks to be completed and issues resolved. Haven’t I proven I am responsible? Do not doubt me now.

Please, just give me a moment before I return to earth. I promise NOT to get stuck here. My body needs to release the burdens it has carried, my mind an opportunity to grasp the loss that has been sustained, my emotions to settle back into an adrenaline free state, and my spirit allowed to come home. I need time, to remember fun, friendship, and what is good in life.

The heart needs a reason to continue. Allow me to consider what mine, next may be.

I float on the stillness of sacred waters, softening the tough outer husks of seeds that have been waiting in my pockets for three years, and four months less three days. If even half of them sprout, a few take root, and only a couple of them blossom, I assure you my days will be filled with far more than I can now possibly imagine handling.

For all this time, those seeds have been kept safe and protected within my heart. Every now and then they were brought out, cherished, and considered before returning to their dormant state. Now, with conversations and new lessons from mom, ideas shared with friends new and old, and the blessings of love received from family …. well, you do the math. I may not be ‘fine’ in this moment, but I assure you I will be. All that and more.

In the belief of all that is possible. Blessedbe.Beth

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About blessedbebeth.com

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker focussed on aging well and promoting positive end of life experience.
This entry was posted in eldercare caregiving rowing baking midlife enlightenment, Life, love, mindfulness, Resiliency, soul, truth and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Dreams Before I Wake

  1. lapetinaa says:

    No one can be expected to return to a “normal life” right after losing their mother. You gave up three years of your own life for the care of your mom, which you did SO magnificently. You take whatever time you need to mourn and process the grief and sadness. Other things can wait. I know that you will be okay.

  2. It takes time, and you are right to insist on taking your time. It is a slow journey back from the depth of grief. Some days are better and some are worse. They say one should not make big decisions in the first year and I agree, except sometimes you have to do some things sooner. It is good to take the time when you can for healing. No one knows another’s grief. We each just do what we can do day by day. God bless you. This has not been easy.

  3. globalunison says:

    Hey Beth! I am blessed to have found your blog – my learning process always goes on with the help of your blog. I always love to hear from you! I hope your mum is doing well!
    Have a good day!
    -Naima.

    • Thanks Naima, I hope she is too, I am sure by now her journey is finished. I like to think about her having a feast that includes music and dancing, now that she is united with those that have gone on before. So nice that you are thinking of me. Z

  4. JudyK says:

    Beth, the well meaning relatives and friends are there to keep you grounded, not to take away or diminsh any mental capability on your part. Often in times of stress we might not think clearly and that is why we have relatives and friends to keep our feet planted.

    Take care of your body and mind. Regards, Judy

  5. Shelli says:

    Beth, healing occurs at its own pace for each individual. People say they understand because they have taken similar journeys but each one is unique. In an effort to offer comfort or be helpful, people say things not to doubt you but to feel like they can do something. Clearly, no one should doubt your ability to handle it or to reach out if you need help. xxooo

  6. Terre Mirsch says:

    Beth,
    What you are experiencing is all too common in our culture. Following loss, well meaning friends and family encourage us to move on and reestablish our life, long before we are ready to do so. You so eloquently write about this experience. With your permission, I would like to reblog your post on our site so that others can hear your perspective directly. You remain in my thoughts and prayers as you journey (at your own pace) through your loss and grief.
    Terre

    • Terre, Your words are both a wonderful validation of my experience and an honor. I am honored to be ‘re-blogged’ on such a helpful site. I thank you for your prayers. The journey continues. much love. z

      • Terre Mirsch says:

        Beth, Thank you for allowing me to repost your blog- I plan to do so with tomorrow’s posting. I hope that you continue to find Caring with Confidence helpful during our grief experience. When you are ready, you may want to read some of Leanne’s previous posts about the grief experience. This is a difficult time and transition. Learning more and hearing the stories of others may be helpful throughout your journey. Take care, Terre

      • Will do. Looking forward to learning and hearing more. thanks again.

  7. Jane (Cormier) Daley says:

    Beth , You have gone through a lot in the past three years. (the ups and the downs) Three years that you will always remember and be forever grateful that you were able to be there to share them with your mom. Many people aren’t blessed with such an opportunity. You were both so blessed to have each other through those years. It takes time to absorb all of those memories and to start the new chapter of your life.You should take as much time as you need to process everything. You are so right when you say you need a moment before you return to earth .Just listen to what others have to say, store them, and then incorporate the things that you feel are appropriate for you when they are appropriate for you. (the key words are “appropriate for you”) Now is the time that you need to first start taking care of yourself and work through your sadness and the grieving process. Things will return to a new “normal” eventually. Thinking of you Jane

  8. ann russell says:

    Love & light coming your way
    And breath, lots of breath
    So Hum

  9. Mindy says:

    Ah, Beth, I had wondered what new gifts might be in store from your sharings in this next chapter now that your mom is resting. I am so delighted to learn that the sense of timeless travelling in the river waters that I received from the very few posts of yours at the end are continuing. What a gift your writing is. The seeds in your pocket, cherished, waiting… there is no rushing that. Life grows, seeds sprout, in their season. (Stealing from Clare: you can’t rush the sun browning your skin when sitting on the beach…!) Thank you for continuing to sow seed gems for all of us to read/receive. <3

    • Mindy, Isn’t it funny, we have so little knowledge yet of each other and yet in a strange way, I feel a soul to soul connection with you. How is that possible? … and yet of course it is! I thank you from the whole of my being for being able to enter the flow of this especially at a time when most would turn away. Not you dear Mindy. And Clare, ever wise Clare! Who could ask for better companions along the way. I look forward to reading more. until then. moment by moment.

  10. Andrea says:

    You are such a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing such tender emotions. Love you lots.

  11. Oh Beth, you deserve to take your time to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your life was virtually suspended for three years, though it was well worth it all. I love you like a sister and friend and pray that God gives you strength at this time of your loss. Lots of hugs!

    • Celestine, It takes many sisters to go through life, I am honored to have you counted among them. As sad as this is and as difficult she has left me with many new friends such as yourself to celebrate life with. Your prayers are appreciated and hugs sent back ten-fold. much love to you and your family. Beth

  12. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth, That is one beautiful piece of writing, Your mom will be with you on your boat and on your walks in the woods and on all your travels. Know that you both will enjoy these trips. Together you will always be, and that is a real good thing.

  13. Sherry Norman says:

    Beth, I’m struck by the visuals in your last blog. The photo of your Mom’s WWII veteran’s hat and flag – made me think that she waited so that she could have that moment at the 4th of July parade. What a great send off! And (I’m not sure you’re aware, but your blog came through with the VISA ad) the video of Nadia Comeneci at the 1976 Olympics (wearing #73!) reminding us that there are moments of perfection in the world. You have the ability to see it in the simplest things. T
    hanks for sharing and best wishes on your reentry – in your time. Let me know how I can help. xo Sherry

    • Thank you Sherry, I never know about those ads, but I am glad if they are there that they sometimes come this way you speak of. I believe you are correct about my mom, beginning with Memorial day, when my mom first received the honor for her service she deserved a healing of her heart grew and culminated in that July 4rth parade and our visit to Chief Caring Hand’s church in Natick. What a tribute to an incredible last year of life.

      The process begins to shift a bit today. I will keep you posted about what may be needed in the future. Blessings to you for your kindness.
      Z

  14. ijwoods says:

    Dear Beth, I can really feel what you are saying. I think that those who have cared for someone they love, like you did for your mom, over an extended period of time, up through their passing, are very blessed particularly when they do it with the love and awareness you gave. There is something holy about it. Not “holy” in a religious way but in a way that no other word seems to fit the sanctity of the overall experience. We recognize mid-wives for their capacity to help bring us into our physical world but we have not yet really recognized the capacity for the special compassion and consciousness of those who help us depart with dignity and love. You are truly of that class. And though there is a price we pay for doing so, with the utter exhaustion and months or years of grief, it all feels so worth it.

    • Ira, It is a feeling of holiness, and honor. Although it is something to be treasured and carried forward into all we do after, there is a sense of wanting to hold the miracles close a bit longer, when we can no longer hold the loved one we cared for. I thank you for acknowledging my accomplishments. Looking forward to next steps and great collaboration. z

  15. EllaDee says:

    Take your time Beth. Listen to your own heart & soul. You’ll not come this same way again :)

  16. Beth, sorry to hear of your loss. I wish you peace.

  17. Beth, I am sorry for the loss of your mother. That is wholly inadequate to express what I know to be true about losing a mother after years of caretaking. I will take the time to go back and read your blog chronologically. You express the feelings so beautifully.

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