Pansies are for Thoughts
Pansies are for Thoughts
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day my mum drew in her last breath; as relief and new life exhaled upon mine.
The few years leading up to May 15, 2016 were long and often felt solitary as support and compassion were hard to find. Some people disappeared, others waved wands of positive platitudes, and even professionals seemed to seek safety in the shelter of bypassing the ambiguous awkwardness of dementia's grief; a grief that starts as the essence of a loved one slips away slowly, and long before their body takes a last breath.
But then a shift happened. Often disguised as strangers sent from where synchronicity resides, earth angels began to appear.
They sat alongside, holding space yearning to be held. No offerings of toxic positivity, no judgement. They simply sat and bore witness to what can’t be bypassed, and that is Grief. I feel blessed, because many of these once strangers are still active in my life.
The pathway of the “The Long Goodbye” not only changes the person with dementia, the person providing their primary care is also changed. It's impossible for either to emerge from the journey the same as they embarked. Both are transformed.
In a moment of lucidity before her last breath 5 years ago, my mum’s eyes opened, bluer that I’d seen them in a very long time, and for a moment she was back. Her eyes looked deep into mine and she said “I’ve lived my life, make sure to take yours back”. A page turned and a new chapter appeared.
My mum is never far away; she continues to show up in so many ways and I know it’s her. Sometimes it's a scent from an unseen source, other times it’s an African Violet that blooms on a significant day. I hear her Scottish voice that often warned "Don't be staundin' greeting o'er me when I'm deid or I'll be back to haunt ye" (translation: "Don't stand crying over me when I die or I'll come back and haunt you")
Today I’m able to celebrate the 5th anniversary of my mum’s physical death with the joy of release, as it marks the day her suffering and my grief came to a beautiful and simultaneous end, all in one full and complete breath.
"Everything that happens to us in the world passes into us. It all becomes part of the inner temple of the soul and it can never be lost." - John O'Donohue
Lorraine Cowan is a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant & Ceremony Officiant who creates and officiates Rituals and Ceremonies for Life's Passages.
Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant
Authorized Wedding Officiant (Quebec)
Ordained Metaphysical Minister