Posts Tagged ‘when someone dies’

      My heart looks for you everywhere.  When I arrive at the airport.  When I enter your house.  Looking in the dining room I see Regina – and for a second – my heart thinks she is you.  My heart skips a beat and a flash of excitement runs through me – only to be sobered by reality.
     My mind imagines that our grief over losing you is greater than your grief over losing your mother and I know that is not true.  I’m embarrassed at how little we knew about how to assist you through that experience.


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Dear Mother,
     Right now, everyone is gone.  It is evening and I sit in the living room in the middle of the sofa and I feel only a fraction of what you must have felt every time the troops arrived and departed.  There is a lump in my throat, a sadness in my eyes, a breaking open of my heart, a tingle in my stomach.
     And now, a curiosity enters my eyes and a sense of excitement.  So I imagine that sad moment would translate into freedom and excitement for you, too. 
     You were so brave.  I know that for you it was nothing, but to me you seemed so brave.  To let 9 pieces of your heart loose into the world for better things and sometimes for worse things. 
   And my first desire is to sit at the piano and play.  How can that be?  Are you inside of me?  I am happy to play for you – just remember, I don’t play the piano as well as you – I only stumble.
    I feel your stance, your nobility, your way in me as I consider it and so I know it is your desire.  So I will play.

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Take your time with the belongings of the deceased. do not pressure yourself to “handle things” and do not let anyone else pressure you to “handle things”.
Touch everything you want to touch.
Acknowledge everything you want to acknowledge.
Remember everything you want to remember.
Treat it all with love and respect.
You are not just cleaning out a house, or a closet. You are being given the opportunity to walk through a life. Treat it with respect and love.
One friend of mine has yet to clean out her mother’s clothing and belongings a couple of years after-the-fact. She said she’ll go visit her dad and see a scarf or sweater or something else of her mother’s and take it home with her. She said she can feel her mother’s energy when she wears those things and it’s a little piece of her mother with her.
How beautiful.
Taking home little pieces like that has made the change smoother and a little easier for her.

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“It is 1999 and both of my parents have passed away.  And there is nothing special about this.”   
In 1999, I wrote a book called “Do You Still Laugh?  Do You Still Sing?  Words and ways to ease your heart when a parent dies”   It is a collection of letters that I wrote to my mother shortly after she died from a quick and unexpected illness.   “I wrote” the letters is sort of an inaccurate statement.  The letters wrote themselves through me, and I just provided the pen and paper.  It was an extraordinary creative experience that changed my understanding of life, creativity, art and expression.

I’ll be publishing excerpts of the book here on this blog, along with audio excerpts as I have time to complete them.  If this blog gives you comfort after the passing of your parents, I am glad.  Please pass it on to others who may need it.  Just search the CATEGORIES to the right and you’ll find the things that are relevant to you.

In 1999, we published “Do You Still Laugh, Do You Still Sing” and sold a few copies in bookstores in Dallas, Texas, online and at various speaking events.  Then, I let it rest.  The hardcopy of the book will be available again soon.   Keep checking back for blog published excerpts and news on the hardcopy.  Peace to you, my friends.

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