My mother-in-law, Lillian Langholt, passed last Saturday, August 21. She died at home, with family nearby. My mom, dad, husband, and children were at her side constantly for her last three days while she struggled with the process. We gave her love, soothing words, and Reiki as much as we could. Hospice was brought in to offer additional support. It was very hard to tell the kids that Nana was going to die. We held each other and cried after we told them. When she passed, it was somewhat of a relief because she was not actively struggling anymore. The funeral and the rest of the week happened quickly, but felt like time was moving slowly also. I guess that is the nature of such things.
My kids are doing well. They are grieving in their own ways. My oldest has been a little short-tempered lately. My son had been chewing the inside of his lip and it got swollen and infected. I took him to the dentist. He also cried in his sleep one night and I held him in my bed, giving Reiki to help him. He didn't remember it in the morning. My youngest daughter had some potty issues - some accidents that were uncharacteristic of her. We understand. We know it's a process that will take time to heal.
One thing that I know has been most powerful from the experience is that my kids will always know the value of what you do for family. No matter how little or much my mother-in-law needed us, we were there for her. There were no questions. We were there. Every day, as long as she needed, until it was round-the-clock and even then. We were there. My kids didn't want to leave her side, even when she couldn't acknowledge their presence for more than a few seconds at a time. They saw, lived, and understood that this is how a family cares for each other. I am moved and grateful for the opportunity to instill this value through our actions.
There is yet much to do in terms of logistical follow-up that will take probably close to a year. The house, all the stuff in it, leftover bills and accounts, paperwork. Many projects await, and we are dedicating a portion of each day to starting to work on it.
We are also grateful that Evan had this time to be able to devote to caring for his mom, as I mentioned in previous posts. Perhaps now he will be in the right alignment for the perfect job and him to connect. Divine timing. He will never have the guilt that would have come from needing to work, not having vacation time, while his mom needed him. He was there. It's a blessing.
Interesting was that the night before her funeral, I was online and a friend who I hadn't talked to in a while suddenly intiated a chat with me to tell me that she was in labor. I wished her blessings on her birth experience (she had a healthy and beautiful baby boy later that evening), and was truly thankful that the perfect timing of her chat was there to remind me that life begins anew, even as one life is over.
And due to the series of events this past week, I've had the opportunity to do some thinking about life, death and transition. I've come to some conclusions that I would like to share. As always, it's a work in progress, as life is a journey of learning. This is where my thoughts have landed me:
The soul is a part of Source - we are ONE - our soul is our God aspect. It is housed in the body so we can experience life, but not separate - ever -from Source.
The feeling of being separate is an illusion so we can experience life in physical form. It's a gift.
Meditative practices tune us into the awareness of ourselves as One, but we have to be grounded also, so we can experience life in this body we are gifted with as long as we can.
Physical sensations are not available to the spiritual aspect of ourselves. This is the gift of life:
to sense,taste, touch, love,
relate to others.
Embrace this gift and you show appreciation for it.
live, learn, love
this is the meaning of life (in my humble opinion.)
So LIVE. Embrace the gift of life in this physical form. Death is a separation from the physical form. It is not the end, but it is a separation from the chance to live in this physical world. One can live a balanced life by experiencing and appreciating the beauty of life we feel through our earth-bound five senses, and also sensing and appreciating our Source-selves through meditative practices that help us renew our awareness of this connection. For me, Reiki does this and is even more profoundly meaningful for me because it allows me to help others feel it too, and I can facilitate their opportunity to receive healing energy when they are receptive.
Life ends, life begins, God bless life. Amen.