One Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year mark of my blog and the anniversary of Beethoven’s 246th birthday.  (See my first blog, Music Therapy.) I have just finished watching, “Immortal Beloved.” Again. This year, I shared some of it with my son.  You’re never too young or old to learn about Ludwig.

A whole year has gone by since I started writing about natural caregimmortal-beloved-dvdiving, and so very much has changed for me. I wouldn’t know where to begin, so I won’t. I don’t want to look back – I am facing forward. What I do understand though is that many of us put our focus on things that don’t really matter, things that seem to give us pleasure, but in the long run, are inconsequential. I’m glad I spent time with Mom, even if it did mean forsaking a lot of things I might otherwise have done. I received far more than I gave up.

As she would always say, “People are more important than things.” Amen.

 

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Who’s got the REAL Spirit of Christmas these days?

I can remember waking up on a December morning such as this and thinking, OMG only two weeks until Christmas! I haven’t gotten the tree, or bought presents, or decorated the house yet!

 

Andrea and Christian

Andrea and Christian

I am so very glad that I don’t feel pressure to do those things anymore. Not because my dear mother is no longer here to share the making of Plum Pudding, or sing the Hallelujah Chorus with me, but because Christmas is or should be for children, and mine are all grown up. The spirit of Christmas is for all, and the exchanging of thoughtful gifts is nice, but not when you have to go out and spend your bonus money or full paycheck to make other people happy! Am I being ‘grinchlike?’ Probably. But I have enough holiday spirit in my heart to fill more than a sleigh full of memories.

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I believe that the heart does go on…

“Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on.”
—–Celine Dion, Excerpt from Titanic Lyrics

It comes to me that I should tell you a story. But it is a true story.  Honest.

Recently, I have been meeting people who have lost a parent, often a mother, and who can’t seem to get past the

overwhelming sadness of their loss. Perhaps they confide in me because I seem to be functioning well (although, don’t get me wrong, I have my moments of tears). And oh yes, I do miss my mother. But Mama always said, “There is no death,” and from that day back in 1963 when she revealed to me her previous experiences with it, I have truly believed her. (See my other posts: A Little Background, Photos and special Memories, Long March Home.)

She would go on to say that death is an illusion – much like the horizon, which no one ever seems to cross. She told me that, “If our departed friends could speak to us, they would assure us that they are now, just as we are, enjoying life, peace, harmony and blessedness, and that there is no need for grief and sorrow.”(1)

So this is why I have to tell you this story. This happened to me yesterday, but it is only one of dozens of incidents that have occurred over the past weeks. Continue reading

The Firewalk

I’m looking around my home, now filled with all of my mother’s remaining furniture and items that we’ve just retrieved from a storage unit. I feel as though I have just moved into my own home again, and there is not a room in my house that has not been affected by the acquisition of ‘more stuff.’

In my mind’s eye, I ‘d like to live a Zen-like existence: bed, table, chair, laptop and phone. Of course, that is an oversimplification, but in today’s culture I believe we are all getting fed up with the care and grooming of all the things we bought when we thought we would live forever.

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The Parable of the Twins

I just returned from a walk down to the lake, here in my home town.  The sun was shining brilliantly and the surface of the water was glittering like a thousand diamonds. Claudia pointed out some herons, which I wouldn’t have noticed on my own.  It was one of the first times I had been out for a pleasant walk since my mother died.  
As we sat down on the dock and put out feet into the refreshingly cool water, we talked about many things, and I learned so much from her and her experiences.  We spoke about life – not death, except that many of the myths about the dying process are as fictional as those about birth.  We laughed, we shared, and in the words of Rick in the film Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Claudia told me about a conversation she had read in German about two babies in the womb and said she would find it for me in English.  Thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I located the excerpt from Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Your Sacred Self.  I am excited to share it today, because in a sense, I am going through a re-birth of my own in a world full of possibilities.
* * * * * * *

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”

The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

–  from Your Sacred Self by Dr.  Wayne Dyer

My mother passed peacefully into her next experience last night.

ADRIENNE COURTNEY PRITCHARD URBAN
1927-2016

I held her as she took her last breaths at home. She was surrounded by beautiful music and lots of love.  As a friend remarked, that was about “as close to heaven as you can get here on earth.”

She kept a copy of the following quote from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London with her important papers…a reminder that she would always be with us. She’d want you to have it too.

Thank you, Mom.
Rest in Peace.

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow in it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.”

Henry Scott Holland
1847-1918
Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral

https://stpauls.org.uk/death-is-nothing-at-all-6692.html 

 

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” says the White Queen to Alice.