A couple of weeks ago I was on the beach with a group of wonderful ladies at a spiritual retreat. The group leader asked us to put forth our intention for the second half of 2015. She said that we have 6 more months left for this year and “what do we want to do about it?”.. And I thought to myself, 6 more months? It just started. My son died on June 14, 2014. The second year has just begun.
I hit all the markers. All the ‘firsts’. The horrible firsts in my new normal. This is my new normal. The days pass and the sun rises and sets. The moon comes out and the wind blows and my son is dead. And no amount of magical thinking will change that. That is a part of my new normal. The realization that wishes are lies and dreaming is nonsense. And dead is dead. It may seem an easy idea to grasp, after all, we are surrounded by death. We are told that everyone poops and everything dies. The hamster, the dog and grandma. But this is a different type of death. I have read that it is because it goes against the natural order of things, so the mind refuses to accept. Refuses to acknowledge, refuses to believe and you would think that would help, but it doesn’t. Because in all the denial, in the back of my mind, I always knew the truth. My son is dead.
But can I tell you what helped, though?
Because the point of this blog is to address to myself and to others struggling with nightmare (and the rest of you who just read this to silently cheer me on.. I hear you.. I feel you..thank you) what helps. What is the point? How do we survive? Why should we even want to? I’ll tell you why: Because we are still good moms.
Let me explain: I go to acupuncture every week (it helps with literally everything) and the ladies there who, while they speak English, it is not their first language and at times we struggle to communicate on certain things but never on this topic. One day, the lady was putting the needles in and she told me a story about her beliefs and her traditions. In Buddhism, they believe in Reincarnation and Karma. She told me, in no uncertain terms and with all the infinite kindness that a little Buddhist Chinese lady can have that by grieving as hard as I was and by being as sad as I was and by holding on so tightly to the pain, that I was hurting my son in the spirit world and giving him bad Karma for the next life.
Mrs. Lee explained to me that once our spirits leave our bodies and return to the spirit world they are still connected to the people here on Earth. And by my deep sadness I was holding my son attached to me. He was connected to me through my sadness, inhibiting him from enjoying the peace and beauty of the spirit world and furthermore, by keeping him attached to me in sadness I was actually messing up his Karma for his next life and giving him less of a shot at reincarnating into his happiest form. Wow.
My idea of motherhood and being a good mom comes from a place of deep sacrifice. Now, if you read my earlier posts, you know that I hold myself in contempt for being wild when my son was young. I have never truly forgiven myself for not living up to my standards of what a good mom should be. And now I am being told that by again, by selfishly wallowing in my sadness that I am restricting his happiness in his spirit form? Geez…The paradox here is that in order to free my son I have to accept my sadness and stop dwelling in it.
In order to be a good mom to my dead son I need to SACRIFICE my sadness.
(I’ll say that again)
In order to be a good mom to my dead son I need to RELEASE my sadness.
(One more time)
In order to be a good mom to my dead son I need to TIGHTEN UP and be less sad.
Or as Mrs. Lee puts it, “Breathe in Smiles, Breathe out Sadness”.
I don’t know how I am going to do that but I am sure as Hell going to try.
Because although my son is dead, I am still his mother and I have to be a good mom.