We didn't share our sad news on social media. We didn't tell too many people. In fact we forgot to tell a few. The truth is we were still processing my mom's loss that we barely caught our breath and Alice's (mother in law) time had come. She took her last exhale on June 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm in the Bethesda Hospital. Exactly 34 days after my mom's passing, and exactly 24 years to the day from her husband's death, Norm Milliner.
To me Alice was know as mum as oppose to mom. This was the way she would sign her name in her greeting cards so that we wouldn't get the moms confused. She was this short 5' tall, little bright blue eyed woman with spunk right till the end. Lived a long life of 93 years.
The day before Alice's passing, she gave me a gift, one that I will always cherish. I felt a strong urge to go to the hospital early on June 19th to spend some "alone" time with Alice. We needed to chat and get a few things straight for I knew that she had begun the journey of transitioning.
That morning Alice shared with me that she feared she did not have much time left with us, and that she was tired of fighting. She shared that she feared death itself, and did not understand it. She expressed that she was worried about leaving us behind, and especially worried about Grant (her son, my husband). Alice felt awful that her timing was so off, as my mom had just died. So many emotions, worries and suffering. I realized that I could give her my biggest gift, my blessings, and share some of my truths with her.
I took a deep breath and chose my words carefully. I said: "Alice, you are not responsible for your timing in death that is up to the creator (God). You were not able to participate in my mom's celebration of life with us for you were sick in hospital. I can tell you that we "celebrated" her life. We shared stories and lessons we learnt. My mom's passing was filled with joy and peace. There is NO grief for me. My mom is in a beautiful place with the angels. There is no greater gift, nothing that you should feel guilty about." To this Alice continued to repeat that she felt bad and this is too soon after my mom's passing. As this was always her way, to worry needlessly I spoke in a stern voice and said: "ALICE, listen to me carefully. It is what it is. Listen carefully, look into my eyes and SEE my heart...I have NO grief for my mom. My heart is filled with JOY and PEACE. There are no more excuses for you. If it is your time to go, then you must do so with grace not guilt or worry." We release you with love.
Alice had given us a few scares in the past 3 years of being rushed to the hospital by ambulance for breathing emergencies. I always wanted to make sure that she was at peace with dying, this was important to me. I would approach the subject. But she would ignore me, or give me that gazed look like I'm not talking about this. On June 19th, the time had come, and her heart was opened to discussing the topic, well time was fast approaching! I asked her if she'd ever given much thought to what happens after life. She nodded no and confessed that she feared death. I asked her if it would be alright with her if I shared some shamanic wisdom. To this she agreed. I shared: "From a shamanic perspective we believe there are 3 parts to the soul at death. The first is your body soul. We understand that the blood goes back to the ocean, the bones go back to the earth and the breath goes back to the air. In essence the body decomposes and mother earth takes your body soul back and everything gets recycled again. The second is your ego soul. This is the part of your soul that has all your dual traits; you know the good and the bad. Its the part of your soul that can often get stuck on the earth. The one that has attachments to your loved ones. It tends to hang around if it has some unfinished business. We mostly recognize this one as "ghosts". The third part of your soul is the divine soul. The pure, source of light, love energy. What is important is that all 3 parts of the soul transition. But often if there are attachments to loved ones the ego soul stays behind, and we don't want that. This is not healthy for you or your loved ones. It prevents your loved ones from moving on and living their LIFE!"
She looked at me with the sweetest look and a twinkle in her eyes and said: "Thank you for sharing this with me. I think I would like to take this perception, I like it!"
Worries About Leaving Us Behind
"Oh Alice, I believe you can reach out and let us know you are thinking of us! Let's decide right now how you will communicate with us. Some departed loved ones leave us pennies, white feathers, purple butterflies you know signs like that. Dad still sends me the Pileated woodpeckers. If I'm thinking of him, the next thing you know he sends me a Pileated woodpecker. How do you want to communicate with us?" She looked at me and said: "I want to be a cell phone!" That was unexpected. But the truth was that the last time she was in hospital we did a group chat with all the nieces and nephews on Messenger and she thought that was the cat's ass. It was decided that she would reach out by cell phone, and she did not disappoint, as a few days after she passed Grant was speaking on the phone with one of her good friends and the cell phone went all wonky making these strange sounds as if someone else was trying to connect.
I thanked Alice for our heartfelt conversation. I expressed that it was important that we were able to talk like this. The conversation was a true gift one that my mom could not give me at the end of her life. What a beautiful gift to be able to share wisdom, truths and love like this.
That afternoon Alice was surrounded by some of her beloved friends and family. She was in "high" spirits, joyful and energetic. Grant played the guitar and sang her all her favorite songs. She kept asking for "Three Cool Cats" and "White Sports Coat". Grant kept saying, but mom I just played that song. To which I would reply, so play it again! And he did. We enjoyed ourselves so much that afternoon, it was the first time we "truly" saw mum, her true nature, happiness, joy and beaming with LOVE.
We miss you Alice, rest well now, no more suffering, no more worries, only peace and love.