Tag Archive | grief

An Atheist and full of peace

It’s so interesting being on this side of a belief system. To go from absolute Mormonism to atheism has been a complete surprise to me. I would never have thought I would feel this way at 51. That’s what I love about life. Just when I think I’ve got all this figured out, my experience shows me something I didn’t even dream about.

I’m surprised about how happy I am without having faith in an afterlife now. I’m surprised how much ownership I feel now for my feelings, behaviors and choices in my life. I’m surprised how peaceful I feel not knowing what happens to life when death occurs. I’m surprised that for ten years now, I haven’t even had an inkling urge, thought or desire to pray to some voodoo magical man in the sky for help, assistance or comfort. Not once. It’s something I don’t even think of and every once in a while I remember that I just don’t go “there” anymore. I don’t feel like a victim that needs saving in any way nor do I believe in the most foundational way, that there is any circumstance where I think something “out there” could possibly help in any circumstance.

I’ve come to swim in the certainty of science, as far as we have come.  I love the open ended answers that it brings. No absolutes, not really, and an openness that things can change with new information.

I love not believing in magical thinking anymore. The confusion and game of “what is the answer” is gone. Having to guess at a possible answer to a prayer is now, thankfully, removed from my existence and it feels so good. The mental and emotional effort that was focused on  wondering, anguishing and searching for truth for answers from above; for begging forgiveness and beating myself up metaphorically for not being spiritual enough, obedient enough, and humble enough to figure out the answers I was missing. It took precious time from me. The greatest value I have in life is time and so much of it was used up by a belief system that kept my focus mainly on how my life’s choices affected the ripples of eternity!!  No pressure there…GAADS!!  My behaviors and motives always had that question at the forefront, and now I wonder what true contributions could I have made to the planet, my community, my family and my education and career if I could have been less focused on magic and more on the reality of living on this planet, now,  with all these beautiful people around me, knowing this is all I get. Sure would have been nice to let go of all that thought baggage that religion brought to my  belief blueprint.

Now that I’m here and a belief in a god seems ridiculous to me, I am amazed at how grounded this mystical thinking still dictates this society. It’s as if, since I have found the freedom in letting those beliefs go, than why doesn’t everybody else? If I can do it, then surely so can everyone else, right?  LOL!!  Not necessarily.  In fact, it’s hard for me to find any one, especially a woman, who doesn’t believe in some kind of voodoo mojo, whether it’s Christianity, or some modern belief flavor of the month, energy voodoo or otherwise. It’s all bullshit as far as I’m concerned but to each his own. I know of what I speak as someone who went from being a Christian Mormon to a belief that there is a Universal energy that is in my favor and god is in all things, to now realizing that I’m made up of the same particles of stars and that energy changes and one day my energy will change with my death and my energy will be released back into space or the earth, depending where my body goes.

The thought that my mother is gone forever, never to be reunited again used to cause me great sadness, grief and despair. I remember consciously agreeing to believe that she lives on, so that I could live with some comfort of that knowledge. Now, however, I don’t believe I will continue after this life is over and thus, I will never see her again or be reunited. Yet, I do not feel despair or great sadness. I feel a great sense of gratitude that I was born in a time that I got to experience the beauty, love and grace that she brought to my life. The full gratitude of the gift that she was, is even greater to me now knowing that it’s more probable that consciousness ends in death. How blessed I was to have such a beautiful, loving mother in my life. How ripped off I was that she only lived to be 68! How tragic it was that she contracted some mysterious fatal disease called CJD and that it took my mother from this planet. What beautiful memories I get to have of this amazing woman and feel the love she poured on me everyday of my life. I still can live that love and I try and honor her by loving those around me in the way that she so gracefully taught me.

Here I sit, pleasantly aware that I once thought peace and atheism were mutually exclusive and now, much to my surprise, I live a life where those two worlds are constant and claimed. Who would have thought? Life is full of delights and I’m so grateful that I exist to discover them for as long as I can.

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My daughter and the Open Road…

A mother only allows herself to feel  loss if she gifts it to herself. I find it is only for a short time that I grant myself this luxury this morning. My first born, my sweet daughter left this early morning to find new adventures in a new state, on her own, taking a road trip to explore with her courageous heart. I am so proud of her for listening to her inner voice that says to go  and find more, see more, learn and experience what this world has to offer. I envy her strength and the trust she must have in herself. She travels to a place she has never lived, no one she knows, to seek a job that is unknown and yet, she drives forward.

I lay in bed for hours thinking of the first time I saw her face and the beauty that was in her eyes. Her cries softened when I spoke to her for the first time and this morning, her tears flowed with mine. We bond as women and feel the magnitude of our love for one another. She has always been free but to wave goodbye, knowing this will be a further distance for us both, makes me want to cry out, “Stay! Stay a little longer. Let me hear your beautiful voice linger with your song, a little longer”.

My wish is that she knows how precious she is and has always been. She’s a grown woman now but I see all the years of her life through my eyes. I welcome all her years with open arms. The ones that have been and the years to come for her. I have been honored to love her every day and witness the beauty that she is. She is kind. She is loving. She is an artist. She is the smartest person I know with an intellect that defies this planet. She is a pioneer in the VR world of computers and I believe her name will be known long after she leaves this world. She continues to make her mark wherever she goes and her love has left a mark within my soul that is everlasting.

Go forward my girl! I will gather my tears and embrace them as I witness your path. I will be here and cheer you on in all your adventures. I will grieve for a little while and embrace your open road.  I will continue to love my life in all its various ways and I will always be grateful that I get to be your momma everyday!

I love you unconditionally and feel that in return. Knowing you has been and will always be my greatest treasure. Thank you for the gift of you! I love you with all of me!

Death, a master teacher

When my mom passed away, it was a profound loss. As I felt the pain and the abyss of not having her here, I realized something that I had not before. I not only longed to see her, hold  her, kiss her and experience her but I felt the loss of having her see me as she had always done. No longer would someone look at me with unconditional loving eyes as hers. No more would I feel the warmth of her gaze and the way she saw me.

When we witness another, we are given the gift of expression. We can bring to life the emotions, desires and actions that drive us to express ourselves to the other.  It can be a hurtful and painful mirror of ourselves or a beautiful symphony of devotion and love. That was the mirror she reflected upon me, a mixture of a loving history, pure acceptance and joy. No one was like her. We are all unique. The realization is that, without her here, there is a loss that cannot be replaced. I do not get to witness her expression of love. I do not get to witness her anymore. Her face does not grow any older in my mind. She is eternally in my past. No new memories include her today. Friends I make today and my children’s  lives continue on without new memories of her. That is the reality of a death. That is the sting of the present moment.

So, we go on. We live our lives and create new memories and as we go along, we can reflect on the beautiful time when our expression could be received and witnessed by our loved one and we could actively embrace the gift of their presence. That is the beauty of life. That is why living now, in the present moment, aware and awake, that is our greatest gift to ourselves and to those around us who are our witnesses. For there will come a time, for us all, where our ability to witness and receive will end, for good.

There is a time for sadness, grief and darkness but out of the darkness of a loss comes the beautiful gratitude of having the opportunity to have witnessed one as beautiful as she. To have felt her love, even for a moment, stays with me for always. My heart delights that I was granted life and experienced the mirror she gifted to me. My hope is that those around me can see that reflection from me as well.

It seems our society doesn’t handle death very well. We look to chemicals to numb the pain or believe in fairy tales that life doesn’t end. To me this is dishonoring to those who are gone. The reality of loss, even though painful, can be embraced and infused into the experience of our existence. Coming through the darkness, into the light of gratitude is one of courage, acceptance and honoring for the beautiful one that once  took breaths with me.

My Mother

Tears flow freely today. Ten years, they say. It seems like a moment.

Where did you go? Where are the giggles of joy when I danced for you? Where are the beautiful hands that caressed my hair from my face? Where is the warmth of your embrace? Where is the heart that cried with me when all seemed lost? Where are those eyes that saw me with unconditional eyes? Where is the woman that inspired a forgiving heart?

As you watched me dance, I watched you dance as well. You took each step of life with grace, courage and determination. You danced with a beauty that I have never seen and you shared your dance with all of us. You turned, circled and fell to the ground and gently rose to your feet, heart open.

Love was your truth, it was your path. Life was your stage and you have always been the star. In awe I watched you dance and I am honored to have viewed your dance.

The tea grows cold now, without our chats. Soft eggs and toast are left untouched. The twinkle of joy in your eyes seem faded in memory.

But, oh, the essence of you runs deep, my mother. The power of your soul flows through my veins and truth. You will always be my star. Your kiss of love flows from my lips and I feel you. I see you. I touch you. Forever bonded with this breath, called life. Thank you for the dance.

May my love, blanket you with warmth as you rest.