December, 1999. I had just returned to Belize City. I went with my mom to Guatemala for a routine surgery and she died three days later – totally unexpected. It was a simple biopsy. We would be in and out in no time and I was excited about Christmas shopping with her. I went with her and came back without a mom. One day, in one of my dark moments, I was curled up in a chair in the living room thinking about how lost I felt. I didn’t want to die but I wasn’t sure how to live. The sun rose and set each day and somewhere in the midst of the world continuing to revolve, so did I. And, somewhere in the midst of that and the years that followed, I found a connection to her spirit. I would eventually have moments with her that were unexplainable. There have been many but here are three amazing things happened after my mom passed away that have stood out over the years. They have helped me in dealing with the loss of a mother.
Stop … Like My Heart.
As we were driving around making arrangements for her service, we came off the main bridge in downtown Belize City and turned right into Water Lane, passing the home of my grandfather. People were walking, riding, working and talking on street corners as if life were just carrying on. Baffling to me.
Did they not know my mom had passed away?
What are you doing out here?
Talking and acting as if nothing has happened.
Did you not get the memo?
HELLO! My mom passed away.
Cease and Desist from all activity!
STOP … like my heart did when she died.
It was TOUGH.
It only took 10 whole years for me to be mostly ok with her passing on. Only 10!
Poetry in Motion
If you’ve ever watched a Medium episode with Theresa Caputo or Tyler Henry, then you understand how spirit nudges you and guides you often, if you believe that stuff.
Unbeknownst to me, my mom had gone to a funeral many years before and found a poem on the back of the program that apparently made her think of her own mortality.
She so loved this poem that she brought it to her sister (Tia) telling her that whichever one of them passes first, the surviving sister should share this poem with the children of the one who passed on. And, my mom wanted them to agree to do it three months after the passing. Tia agreed and put it away in a bin and carried on with her life, completely forgetting her promise.
One Big Crying Fest
Belize City – March, 2000. Somehow Tia ended up in her closet sifting through boxes and bins and lo and behold she came across the poem, almost exactly three months after my mom passed. You can imagine how awe struck she felt when she stumbled across the poem. I wonder exactly what that moment was like for her knowing she had to have been guided to the bins and boxes that held her forgotten promise.
She called and asked if I could take her to my mom’s grave.
As we sat in the car, the story unfolded and tears flooded my being… a sense of loss, love and comfort all interlaced into one big crying fest. The poem basically speaks of moving on, to cry if you must but not to hold to grief too tightly. It spoke of limiting the time spent at the grave site for only the body is there but the spirit is free. It was what I needed to hear. Not only did it give me comfort but it was a glimmer of hope that her spirit lived on. Always was, is and always will be.
Letting Go and Moving On
She wanted her children to be ok with letting go and moving on. We were to come to her grave if we saw fit but we were free to choose and she hoped we’d choose happiness and joy. It’s as if she was still there in deed. As a mom, that’s how she was – always supportive and always wanting us to be happy.
I held on to that poem for 14 years but lost track of it in a move I made but the impact it had on me will never be forgotten. It was my first of many experiences with her after her transition. The connection I feel to her was still there. Sometimes the signal seemed low but mostly it was there.
6 Months and a Puppy to Smile Again
It took 6 months and a puppy for me to really smile again. Two years to fully focus on a new love, the arrival of my son, and 10 years to forget to write her annual poem. It takes time.
It’s now 18 years later. Some days, like yesterday, it still feels surreal. I was talking about her and how she was and felt fine in the moment. As soon as I got home, the emptiness found its way back to me. Before I knew it, tears were washing down my face in the shower. It was a harsh reminder that the sadness can still grab a hold of me no matter how much time passes. Disorientation often accompanies it.
I’d try to convince myself that she was here.
I did have a mom.
She did exist.
Dealing with the loss of a mother was not easy.
Mostly though, I’m ok.
When I sit and recall special connections like these though, I’m reminded that she is never far even though it may feel that way sometimes.
My Pity Party and Shannon’s Dream
Fast forward to some years later… I was having a moment. Anger ensued. I felt like my mom died and left me.
She left me.
How could she just pass away like that, knowing that I was still here and needed her? I had already had my son. My brother and I were running the business she left behind. I remember thinking that she hadn’t reached me out to me again, like that time with the poem. It’s hard to rationalize this feeling of abandonment even though in my higher consciousness I knew that not to be true. It was a pity party I was having and no one knew but me, or so I thought.
A couple days later I got a call from my friend Shannon. My mom took many of our friends as her own kids, especially if she saw they were good to us. Shannon is the wife of one of her other “sons”. It was so fitting that she’d choose Shannon. She’s a natural story teller and what better way to send her direct message to me.
Hello From The Other Side
Shannon had a dream and a message for me. She said she saw my mom in a car waiting and was so excited to see her. She went up to my mom, ecstatic to see her. “Ms Jean, how are you? Where have you been? What are you doing here?”, she asked. My mom smiled and told her she was fine and all was well but said “Can you give Jeannie a message for me?”. “Sure”, said Shannon. “Tell her I said hello. Make sure you tell her you saw me and that I said hello”.
If you’re not teary eyed now, don’t worry, I’m tearing up for both of us. It was my message that I was not alone. She had not abandoned me. She was close by and was letting me know.
No one knew how I was feeling or that I’d felt like she disappeared into thin air leaving me with only memories that often felt illusory. I cried and told Shannon how I had been feeling. It then made sense to her how adamant my mom was about delivering the message to me.
Hello! (from the other side).
It was important. I did need to hear from her… it was soothing even if only for a moment.
Dreaming of Tuesday
Later, my mom came to me in my own dream.
I had been marketing a property for sale. It wasn’t moving as I expected. I found myself feeling despondent. It felt like business was taking a downward spiral that was out of my control.
In the dream, my mom asked me if I could take some people “up the road”. In my country, this meant up the highway – one of the four that we have. She needed me to take them on Tuesday. I was concerned about the time because I was dating someone at the time and I didn’t want to miss his call. (Yes, in my dream I was concerned about my love life. Pathetic, I know. When I’m in, I’m in, what can I say?) Of course, I didn’t explain the latter to her – only that I wanted to know the time. She was a business lady first. I would not even fathom the thought of arranging her need around a phone call from a man. Even in my dream I knew better than that!
She said she was not sure of the time but just to make sure that I’d be available on Tuesday and I said ok.
Let Light In
When I woke up and got to work, I pulled the curtains, tilted the blinds and felt these words flow from my thoughts “let light in”. I decided I wouldn’t be sad. Instead, I chose to be expectant and to trust. The dream was so sweet and felt so real like I really did talk to her, I had to call my Tia to tell her. Our phone call ended with both of us toying with the idea that the property would sell and it was going to be Tuesday. “Hahaha”, we both chuckled away.
Growing up with our mom, we watched her turn regular visitors into repeat customers who grew to love her and whom she could get to watch her front desk and even answer phones if needed. She would take them to church, local events and they’d come back for more. As much as I often declare that I didn’t have the “people person” gift like my mom did, it became clear over the years that I had at least learned it. Some of our repeat guests included missionaries. One of them that has stood out to me since was named Mr Tibbs. That morning, I saw him outside waiting in his truck. We had a quick chat and he offered a prayer. He prayed that God send the man that needs that land… specifically saying those words. It felt good and far reaching. It brought a further sense of well being to me.
I carried on with my week and I left despair behind.
Tell No One of This
That weekend, I decided to get out of the city a bit and go inland to one of my favorite places tucked in the village of Burrell Boom. As I sat around relaxing, I got a phone call that I needed to come to the city for a quick meeting about the property. I was informed that some people had gone through the property and were prepared to make an offer close to my asking price. It was serious. If you’re in the business of real estate, you know words are just words. Period.
It gave me some comfort but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. For now, it was just words. So until it was a closed sale, I’d tell no one of this.
Tuesday morning just before midday, the buyer arrived and the property sold.
It was the day my mom told me to be available.
I was beside myself. I called my Tia to tell her and it was the best hahahaha we had, besides the other day when she told me she thought BFF meant Best F*cking Friend. THAT WAS HILARIOUS.
My mom had delivered a message directly to me this time. She’d even given me a day to be available and the property was “up the road”.
These are only a few instances I’ve had with my mom. Some are too personal to share but this gives an insight into the connection I’ve had with her since her passing. Losing her was one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure. In recent years, I became very interested in NDE (near death experiences), spirit, intuition, third eye opening and the like.
My Personal Experience that Rings True for Me
My whole belief system took a shift in 2009 and has been ever evolving since. Some will chalk these things up to coincidences or get into debates about it. I opt out of those. Lover, not a fighter… remember?
Or is this my first blog post you’re reading?
These are just my personal experiences that ring true for me.
Two weeks ago, two friends of mine lost their mom. I wanted so badly to share this to let them know of my experiences which I humbly share, knowing that it’s not for everyone. Instead of writing, I found myself with “writer’s block”. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring up any feelings of missing my mom, especially when I know I sometimes still have to convince myself she was even here.
Dealing with the Loss of a Mother Was Not Easy
My mom’s passing felt hard and dark. It was confusing and lonely and terrifying. I even moved into my brother’s room for some months. Eventually I adjusted and these experiences remind me that she’s available, like the dream I had where she messaged me on Whatsapp. It was her way of telling me she was that easy to reach – as if she were a contact on Whatsapp.
It finally got manageable … I’d dare to say easy.
The sun continued to rise and set for 18 more years. People continued about their lives even though I wanted everything to stop. It only stopped for me and even then, only momentarily. Now, I manage well enough, with a few random break downs here and there.
Dealing with the loss of a mother was not easy.
Mostly though, I’m ok.
Of all the amazing things that have happened since my mom’s transition from her physical form, there are none so great as having had her as a mom for 26 full years.
She was AMAZING. She really was.
Even If You Had a Twin I Would Still Choose You
I would not have it any other way even if someone said I could have a different mom for 50 years. I’d take one day only with her as my mom over any other amount of days with any other woman to call my mom. In the words of Drake in his duet with Rhianna, “Even if you had a twin, I would still choose you”.
The pleasure was all mine.