I will be staying with my mother for a few days from early tomorrow until Wednesday afternoon. I feel very anxious about the visit for several reasons. It is always strange going back to the home I lived in for a brief time as a teenager; that is, before going to university and moving out for good. But this visit has extra complications and emotions attached. It will most likely be the last time I stay in that house, where my mother has lived for almost 30 years, because she needs to move somewhere without stairs. Her health is deteriorating due to heart failure and lung fibrosis, so I’m not sure how much worse she will be since I last visited in early February. I speak to her a lot on Facetime and we text, but such mediums are limited for knowing how someone really is. Also, Mum is stoic and independent to a fault, and thinks she’s protecting people by not giving them the full picture. It is hard to know quite how well or otherwise she is until I see her. She has relatives nearby but we’re not a close family, so I don’t get much information from them, even though they visit my mum regularly.
In addition, my sister is driving us all (my mum, me and my niece) to the grave of my other niece who died of cancer in 2019, age 34, both to leave flowers for her and to scatter my dad’s ashes (he died in 2015). To make this extra surreal and potentially painful, my niece’s grave is where my mum’s final resting place will be, when she succumbes to the heart failure. We will all be aware of it but of course it will be left as the great unspoken. How on Earth does one even begin to make conversation along the lines of ‘one day we will be visiting you here’? You just don’t. But it will be on everyone’s minds all the same.
I know my mum won’t really be in the grave, just as my niece isn’t, and my dad is not the ashes that we will be scattering. Wherever their spirits are/will be, they’re not part of the Earth, just as none of us alive today are our physical bodies and the dust they are made from. We are the spirits that inhabit them. When our body returns to Earth, so does our Spirit return to the place from which it came. I can’t begin to rationalise that because the mind cannot understand it. It is the ‘peace that passes all understanding.’ We cannot think about it logically, we just KNOW, with deeper wisdom, that this is the case; our Spirit is eternal consciousness and will fly free, as it is our true nature.
Remembering such truth is of course far more tricky while in the presence of your childhood family. Was it Ram Dass who once said ‘if you think you’re awakened, go spend a week with your parents?’ There’s so much wisdom in that statement. Our parents trigger us, remind us how far we have to go, as well as, positively, how far we have come. Throw in old age, sickness, and death, and that’s about as triggered as you can get.
I am ready to go. I hope it will be a positive, precious experience, and a reminder of the fragility of this Earthly life as well as the enduring power of Love.
I will be back. Thank you for reading. Many blessings x