Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Story before the letters’ Category

These words were written on a shaving mug that my father used for mixing the lather for his morning shaves.  At the end of his life there was very little pleasure left and so, he was tired of life. 
How do you suppose our lives might be different if one day we all woke up and decided pleasure is the point?
     Daddy had cancer for 2 and a half years.  With mother’s death we had almost no preparation time.  I say almost because although she appeared healthy, she had been dropping unconscious, subtle hints for a while.  My capacity for denial is larger than most people’s.
     Growing up I always sensed that my father would pass away before my mother.  And my mother, well, I have to say, it never occurred to me that she would die.  Not really.  Even with her subtle hints, even with the mothers of friends passing away — not my mother. 
She had always been here.
Always.
Surely she would always be here                     always.
            Surely.
            Always.
Or at least for another 10 years                      at least.
She was simply too beautiful to die – wasn’t she?
Well, little one of great delusion – no, she was not too beautiful to die.

Read Full Post »

Three days after her passing, I began a spontaneous writing of letters to my mother that would last for several weeks.  For the funeral I was put in charge of the music, and we were having difficulties about the music choices and who would perform which music for the funeral (it can get very taxing when a musician dies.)    In our family, if you are in charge of something, it means you are in charge of listening to everyone tell you what you should do.  The music became the place everyone funnelled their emotions and there I was in the middle of the war.  So I wrote to her.
     It was 4 am, the morning of the funeral when I began the first letter.  Several pages and sobs later it as 6am when I finished.  I did nothing else to resolve the conflicts giving it all up to fate or whatever/whomever takes over when you give it all up.  By 10am with no more effort on my part everything was worked out and all of her students got to make the contribution they wanted to make.    
    Most of the letters are published for you here.

Read Full Post »

You can see it in their behaviour sometimes months before they die, sometimes only days before.  They stop creating conversation – can’t be pulled into ideas or thoughts about the world – getting ready for the transition.  My mother did some of that before we even knew that she was ill.  But in the last moments of her life, she staye connected.  Her consciousness was brave, present and alert, connected.  And I begin to wonder now if there isn’t a different way to die.  A way that maintains the energetic connection.  A way that lifts some of the veil between the two worlds.  I don’t know — I’m just curious.
     She was born on what astrologist Gary Goldschneider calls “The Day of the Blissful Wizard”  She carried a gift of many synchronous, magical and beautiful qualities through the lives of hundreds of people.   Her power combined with mine was pretty fun at times.  We could bring in telephone calls, create great performances, career opportunities, blow open heavy doors…oops!
     I notice now that anything we united on, we accomplished.
My mother died as she had lived – soft, magical and full of love.
My friends, clients and colleagues meet my mother in articles and photographs now and I notice that I still ask, “Isn’t she beautiful?”  and they say, “Oh my god! Yes! She’s gorgeous!” — and that is the other right answer.

Read Full Post »

When Daddy died we were all so strong – just like him.  As my mother quietly and seamlessly slipped from this life, we all softened.  My eldest brother sobbed like a little baby crying for his mommy.  It seemed to be harder on the boys than the girls.
     In the room, as she lay dying, her energy was only love.  She could not speak, yet I could feel her words on my heart.  In the room there was only the largest, roundest, biggest sense of love.
    I have loved and I have been in love and I had thought that I had loved at times and I have actually loved at times and in this experience I realized that none of that was it.  This was the big love.
    Like any human being, my mother had her opinions and prejudices.  My mother was also full of love.  With 9 children, 16 grandchildren and countless voice students – she had chosen the path with the biggest heart.
     There was another quality in the room that night.  My sense of it is that wherever the source of the river of love comes from – through here – in those moments it had found a pure channel of delivery.
     “Life is connected.  Only consciousness divides.”  I read that once – and have experienced it several times.  In that room, on that night was my most complete experience of that truth.

She had turned into pure love.  Free of any earthly illusions her heart was truly free.  Free to love larger than most cultures and consciousness’ will allow.  I wonder what would happen if people loved that way all the time.  It was so beautiful.
     A sense of softness and magic filled every cell of me and expanded through every wave and current of my consciousness and then expanded even further.  There was no “me” anymore.
                                                        There was no anything.
There was really, only
                                                        nothing.
How about that?
And then after the nothing there was only softness and then the softness softened it’s way into everything.
And then she softened her way into everything.
Into me…
               into the floor
                                     into the walls                        everything
              into the family
                                      into the heart
                                                                    into our house
into everything in the house
into everything.   
                                     “How do you do that magic thing
                                       That makes you a part of everything?”  (from musical The Wizard)
My flat vision was repalced with depth and roundness and wonder.  The invisible threads of connection were profoundly obvious.
     When we arrived at her home I could see out the enormous dining room bay window – the beauty and perfection of her magnolia tree.  How she had planted it “just so” so as it grew it would fill the dining room window with blossoms by day and placed an outside light so it would shine on the tree at night.  It is a living painting framed perfectly by the bay window frame.  I could see not just the petals on the blossoms, but inside the infinite depth and layers that create one petal.  I was not just noticing how thick the bark is on teh tree, but that every fold an dindentation is a universe in and of itself.  Not just how deep the sky – but I was in the sky and on the earth at the same time.
     This sense of wonder lasted for several weeks.
Was that profound level of beauty and softness her daily experience of life?
That depth and that magic and that prfound beauty?
Was it always like that for her and was I just now seeing it?
                                         I have no way of knowing.
If so, I am the daughter of an even more extraordinary woman than I imagined.

Read Full Post »

Although went to college for acting, I happened to study at a college that was well known for their nursing graduates.  I recall a moment when I was listening to 2 nursing students speak quietly about a dying man they both were tending to.  As an outsider listening in to the world of nursing, it all sounded pretty horrible to me.  A few minutes later I was sitting along with one of them and  I asked, “What do you do when someone is so close to death and you already know that nothing you do will help them live?  What is the point?  Her answer was quite poignant.  “You just try to make them as comfortable as possible and create a little pleasure for them.”  Years later it would occur to me that that might be a good thing to do all the time instead of waiting until someone is dying.

Read Full Post »

Daddy was a big man.  He was a big man with a big voice – a big, loud, spontaneous laugh and splendid story telling ways.  He was a lot of fun.  Quick, strong, bold, big, decisive movements were the patterns of his being.  He walked with an east coast vigor and purpose as if he had the most important agenda in the world.  His was not an energy of self importance — but rather the crispness and clarity of a man of service and purpose.  He was a man of business.
     He could listen, sum up a situation in a few minutes and spit back the best possible action to be taken at that moment.  He wasted no time “dilly dallying” as he would call it.  Life was here, life was now and you had best get on with it.
     And so, for those of you following a similar energy pattern what I’ll say is at the end of his life he saw it a little differently.
     I sat on his bed 2 weeks before his death helping him sign Christmas cards and decorating them with red and green drawings of holly and evergreen boughs and he said, “This is fun.  You know, we never had time for this when you kids were growing up.”  I felt his truth in that statement.  To me it seemed inaccurate.  He was an extraordinarily generous man, a devoted father, and had spent plenty of time with us as we were growing up.  There were just so many of us and only 1 of him.  I imagine at that moment no matter how much time it had been — it seemed like not enough to him.
     We were not neglected in any way, shape or form (spoiled would be more accurate).  My mother had created a very magical childhood for us.  As our wild, busy household of eleven humans grew even busier and as the children grew into young adults things changed.  As they will.  I remember saying to myself, “But nobody sees!  They all move so fast and nobody sees.”  Sees what?  At the time I did not know, but of course, it was simply life.  I was worried that no one was seeing life.
    After Daddy’s death I would wonder how many millions of men there were in the world who had laid the tender corner of their heart on a sacrificial altar and had not been able to blend their drive for success and their desire for closeness with their families.
     Two weeks later, 10 minutes before the actual moment of his death, the strongest man I had ever known, weighing maybe 100 pounds now, motioned me out of the room.  He could not speak, but the hand motion was obvious.
     Moments later, I felt a pull to go back to his room and he was in the last moments of his struggle to stay.  In the instant his spirit was freed from his body, the energy shot straight up into the air, flew to the foot of the bed where I stood and shot a bolt of power and strength through my body.  From the top of my head, through my spine, my arms, my legs and all the way to the ends of my toes.  It was an electrical shock.  I felt the power and strength of his entire life inside my tiny frame.  It was one of the most awake moments of my life.
     Daddy lived with the biggest bang he could create and died precisely the same way.  It didn’t look like any death scene I’d ever seen in any movie or play and I became very interested in this experience.  The sadness and sense of loss, the reality that he was actually gone would come later.  Much later.  At that moment though, I was given a surge of life force and a different perspective of death.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: