Chapter 16, Anniversaries

Calli's Journal August 24, 2016

Today marks two years….I have thought a lot about how to describe the last two years. First off, I decided to make a pros and cons list.

Cons: I don’t get to interact with her physically.

Pros: My mom isn’t in the proverbial pit with me. It’s not the blind leading the blind. She can see much more than I can.

If I could wave a magic wand and have my mom return back to life, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it because I believe this was the plan for my family from the beginning. I want what I think everyone wants. I want to feel happy, I want to love and be loved. I know that having my mom on the other side of this crazy earth experience increases my ability to experience both joy and love ten-fold.

When it comes to my relationship with my mom, I do not focus on how long it is going to be before I see her again. I keep her alive. Keeping her alive in my world is an act of presence, faith and courage. There were moments soon after my mom’s passing when I thought it might be easier if I would just start focusing on forgetting her rather than keeping her alive. Meaning, believing that I will see her when I die, but until then I need to get on with my life as if she were gone. I could honestly just be a certifiable crazy person who has an imaginary friend in the form of my mom. They say death can do crazy things to people.

I don’t believe I am crazy. Perhaps the crazy idea is that we are supposed to shut ourselves off from the people who have preceded us in death.

My journey of figuring out what God’s role is in my life is exactly that, a journey. Growing up, I believed that if I followed a certain list of instructions, God would then grant me my desires. I don’t believe that anymore. I believe that I sat down with Heavenly parents before I came to this earth and mapped out my life. I chose what I wanted to experience here. It is how I explain the idea “why do bad things happen to good people?” “If there was really a God who loved us He wouldn’t let such horrible things happen.” Because God loves us, he lets “horrible” things happen. He didn’t send us down here alone. He sent us down here together. I believe we are all going back, regardless of what we did or didn’t do. We came here for experience, not to prove ourselves worthy of something we already are and have. God’s love for me cannot increase or decrease, so why would I spend all of my time trying to become worthy of a love that cannot change? I believe that God allows me the opportunity to experience the things I desired to experience. That looks like not saving my mom from cancer, not preventing me from being hurt and feeling alone or afraid or any of the other things we pray for deliverance from. We set our lives in motion by coming here. God is not withholding anything from us. He provides us with his grace. His unending, unearned, unchanging love. Which in turn allows us the opportunity to experience things without being totally crippled by them. I love the children’s book The Little Soul and the Sun, by Neale Donald Walsch. Again, we are all in this together,including those of us on this side of the veil and those on the other. . . . We can only put our energy in so many places. What we water grows. My thoughts are the water. I have spent a lot of time watering my relationship with Heaven. Consequently, my relationship with my mom has grown. It is strong and it is thriving.

Calli's Journal August 24, 2017

It has been three years since my mom passed away. This year has been full of all the feels when it comes to her death.

Following my mom’s passing, if I felt like the reality of her being gone was too much, I would often chant over and over again to myself, “I am okay, I am okay, I am okay.” Following one of these chants I heard her in my mind say, “I am not okay with just okay, I want you to be happy, and I will help you,”

My mom was a problem solver: I am very much like her in this regard. About a month ago I was thinking about my mom, and I realized that when she died something very deep inside of me broke in a way I had never experienced before. It was almost like for the past three years a part of me had been on a constant adrenaline rush, trying to find a solution for what had happened to my heart. If I kept going and kept looking, then the adrenaline rush would continue, and I wouldn’t feel the complete impact of her loss.

As I said earlier, this year has been full of All the feels. When I and my family have expressed to people on many occasions that her passing has been one of the most beautiful gifts, it is true. It genuinely has been a time of so much learning, loving, continued grace and beautiful experiences.

For me there has never been an experience like death that has shown me that I am not just human. My soul knows there is no separation. My mom has told me three different times that she is not going anywhere. She is never  leaving me. It doesn’t matter how many years go by, or if my life is going so beautifully that it would seem like I didn’t need her, she’s never leaving. This knowing and me trusting is what have made the last three years beautiful.

I do believe in a God that is loving. I also believe that love is all things. It is not just nice, kind, comfortable, it is all the feels. I have heard many times that our lives are like on big tapestry, each color representing different experiences. In my opinion losing someone so close to us adds a lot of colors really fast. It changes you permanently, almost like an accident that would cause someone to walk with a limp for the rest of their life.

I think that most of us, from the time we are young, are often told to not get dirty, to try not to break things, and often if something does get dirty or broken, it can be fixed or replaced. Losing my mom can’t be fixed or replaced for my human self. So I have been forced to feel all the feels, to experience things I never had to before. It has created a permanent change in me. It has made me more compassionate, tender, and mature. It has given me a depth that I didn’t have before.

One night I was surrounded by some women that I love dearly. I was expressing at that moment how much I missed my mom. As I was talking with them, I realized that in some ways I wanted to keep myself separate from all the other people who had lost their moms. I had seen what happened to other people who had lost their moms, and they did not appear to be okay. I did not think that I could do it like they appeared to be doing it. I was not going to belong to the” lost-mom club.” As I was expressing this to them, one of them said:” Well, I am in the lost mom-club. Do you not want to be connected to me?” It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be, I was scared to be. I think one of the most difficult things to do in this life is to just be with each other in pain. Not having a solution for it, not being able to fix it, just sitting and being with each other in moments of intense heartache. I fortunately or unfortunately have learned how to just be with intense heartache. For me simultaneously there is also soooooo much love.

I am part of the “dead-mothers club.” This was the scariest club that ever existed to me. I did not believe that I would survive. I have survived and way more often than not I am so much better than okay. I love my mom, I feel her everyday. I have created a new relationship with her that is precious to me. All of this kind of happened by default. I didn’t have a choice but to figure out how to reconnect with her. Today as I reflect on her being gone for three years I am grateful for all the feels that happen on this beautiful earth.

Love you, Mom

Calli's Journal September 16, 2019 (Lorna's Birthday)

Happy birthday, Mom. Life seemed so predictable before you died. It turns out predictability really is for the birds. Most days when I let myself really think about you being gone, it feels like a really long dream that I can’t seem to wake up from. It is not necessarily a sad dream, it is just so far from what I ever imagined.

When you first died, I felt like I was thrown onto the frontlines of a war I never ever wanted to fight. Every year that goes by, it does get easier. I get more and more used to life without you in the way you used to be. I no longer feel that I am fighting in any war. I know that you are and will always be with me. I miss the ways in which we used to interact, but I love and am  grateful for all of the ways that we now interact. I love you forever and consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to get to be your daughter.

Calli's Journal August 24, 2020

6 years…. I’m so thankful that I can still see her in my mind. I’m thankful that the image I see is of her laughing. My dad, siblings, and I believe that her ability to love, watch over, help and protect us is much greater now than it ever could have been if she were still here. One of the most amazing gifts is watching my dad continue to parent us kids with her. It is a beautiful thing to behold. I am thankful everyday for my mom, for the ways she is still a part of my life, my kid’s lives, my friend’s and families lives. It is truly remarkable.