In my last blog post which was my first in almost 3 years, I shared an abbreviated version of my journey over the last few years, four actually. Time seems to go by so fast and yet some moments seem to stand still.
I will admit, I was very nervous about sending out that email and being so vulnerable, I sat on it for two months. I was surprised to receive so many beautiful messages of encouragement and acknowledgment, thank you! It was also a reminder to not be afraid to share my story, it may help someone or provide some inspiration.
One of the messages I received after my last email was from someone who also lost a parent recently. They shared that my email brought up a lot of emotion even though they thought they were on the path of being okay. I understand that feeling!
My mom had a cat, her name was Precious Dumpling, she was precious and she was a dumpling. A family friend offered to adopt her and I knew she would live in a very loving home, they even created her own Instagram page. I received a message three years and 6 days to the date of my mom’s passing that she would be leaving this earth the next day. I cried so hard that evening and the next day. In a way, I was feeling the pain of my mom’s passing all over again. Knowing that Precious Dumpling was still alive after my mom passed away, was like part of my mom’s spirit still being alive. It took me by surprise that I was so emotional. Not long after I was listening to a podcast and the person hosting said, sometimes a new grief allows us to grieve moments from the past that we have not completely worked through, I believe that to be true. Grieving is a process and it is different for everyone, we are all unique, there is no right or wrong way.
There are many people and practitioners who have helped me and are helping me navigate life since my mom passed away. I know it is really hard for those who love me and are closest to me, to see me struggle with the deep darkness I feel at times. I know they want to see me the way I used to be.
Sometimes I have to allow myself some levity, such as, how many practitioners does it take to work through grief…as many as it takes…
In the last 4 years, I have experienced Burning Man, EMDR, Psychotherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hypnotherapy, Sound and Energy Healing Therapy, Sexology Bodywork, two Psilocybin Journeys led by a Shaman, Breath Work Meditations, Massage Therapy, Stretch Therapy, a Scribe, Body Talk Therapy, even guest spots on podcasts were therapeutic.
I learned many years ago after my divorce and during the healing process, a practitioner can only provide guidance to the extent that they have experienced life themselves. Their level of education from a schooling standpoint or letters behind their name does not make them more capable in guiding a person to a better state of being. I want to work with people who have survived life’s turmoil and thrived or are working towards thriving, they have first-hand experience that life is not logical.
I recall after my second psilocybin journey, one of the participants shared with me that they wanted to get back to who they were before all of their unhappiness. I shared my perspective which is, you will never get back to who you once were. You are working towards a new version of yourself and if the goal is to be happy again, you may be working towards a happier version of yourself. I have also wanted to return to the past and happier times and then I think, why, I will never be the same.
Making the initial phone call for my mom to start the interview process to see if she would qualify took every ounce of my being, “hi, my mom wants to apply for an assisted death, what are the next steps”. When my mom was approved to have her assisted death, I returned home to be with her, we sat down and selected the date, that is a very strange experience. I said to my mom, we are going to make the last three weeks of your life whatever you want them to be. We ate all of her favourite foods and visited with people she wanted to see one last time.
My mom had treasures that she had collected during her life, and I would ask her, what do you want me to do with this or that, her response every time was, “it doesn’t matter, I know you will do date right thing, all I want to do is spend my remaining time with you”. All that mattered to her those last three weeks was, quality time.
Those last weeks with her will forever be priceless to me for so many reasons. As hard as those last weeks were, I was given the gift of quality time with my mom, it has shifted my view on life completely. There are so many things that are no longer important to me. I’m so blessed, I have people who love me and I’m thrilled when I get to spend quality time with them, I have a warm bed to sleep in, food to support my body and money in my bank account to buy what is necessary to sustain life, that is all I need.
Life is a constant ebb and flow, it could be a picture, a scent, a song, a quote, whatever it is, can suddenly stir up emotions. I’ve had many moments and still have moments where I’m out somewhere and something brings back a memory, I was taught to not show emotion in public, probably like most of us as children. I’m a work in progress, learning how to feel and honour the emotion in the moment rather than ignoring it.
A practitioner I recently worked with said to me “you’re always doing your best and where you are right now is OK. It’s part of the human experience. Take your focus to the emotions and state you want to be. Daydream about your upcoming happy, feeling-strong moments”
I’ve probably heard those words many times from many people, they are finally landing.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words.
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