We were very close, my mother and I. She died two days past her 90th birthday. Her timing in life was not always great, but this time it was spot on. She would pass just a few weeks before Covid-19 raced around the globe. This means I am a little farther ahead on this journey of grief than many who have recently lost loved ones. I’ve discovered a path that is leading me through grief more effectively. The tool I am about to share is helpful for anyone, but especially for families with children. For some children, this will be their first experience with the death of a loved one. Early experiences of loss can be devastating. This tool is a simple way to feel more peaceful and connected with the loved one you have lost. For children especially, this can be invaluable.
My mother was a dedicated student of philosophy, world religions, science, and life. She had an insatiable curiosity which left behind more than 1500 of her ‘favorite’ books - from Plato to psychology, fairytales to brain research. She read them all.
During the days and hours before she passed, my mother offered words of wisdom that would transform my grief. My mother looked me in the eye and said, “Love is eternal. The power – the vibration – the energy of love cannot die.” I held her hand and I thought about the feeling of love – that feeling that is warm and safe, calm and reassuring. After weeks of home hospice care, her death left me gutted. It didn’t help that I knew it was coming. It didn’t matter that she lived to see 90. A life-time of memories did not make it easier. “It’s the pain of separation that makes us sad,” she had told me in the end. But this separation felt more like an emotional amputation. I thought I would never feel that love from her again. I was wrong.
I remembered the quote by Maya Angelou, ‘People won’t remember what you say, but they will always remember how to made them feel.’ I remembered what my mother said. “Love is eternal. The energy of love cannot die.” I thought about those words and that feeling of love I felt from her; warm and safe, calm and reassuring. I noticed I could feel her with me once again. I focused on where I felt that feeling of love in my body. I focused on that feeling of love every time I thought of her. The sadness and separation was soon replaced by the memory of her love and care.
Now, when I see her picture, I feel her love. When I miss her, I feel her love. When I go to familiar places we shared, I feel her with me. I know this is the memory she would most want to leave behind. Love. The love that never dies. Feel it. If you have a young person in your life impacted by loss, share this. “The feeling of love never dies.” A guide through grief can help you to find the other side, and bring their love on the journey.