Today marks one year since my sweet mother "crossed over" (her words).
Her life and death were an example of the magic that can unfold when people are able to have open conversations about death.
Really, since my father's death in 1983, the flood gates opened and throughout the years we speculated about death, as she witnessed many of her friends and family go before her.
Mom lived with me and my family in New Zealand for the last two years of her life which was a miracle in itself since a traveller she was not.
We frequently talked about whomever going first giving the other one signs from the beyond. As she was dying I reminded her of this to which she replied weakly, "If I can figure out how to . . ."
And that she did. I'll share one example in honour of her anniversary of going to wherever and whomever caused that luscious smile to come over her face at her last breath. (and then she had more lovely colour to her face in death than she had in life-- like the Divine painted on the canvas of her)
This picture is from not long after she died when a couple of friends came out for a walk.
One of the friends sent me this photo after she left with the simple question, "Do you see anything here?"
And there. Right on the left side I immediately saw my mother, young, looking away.
Early in the 24 hour labour when she announced her dying we spoke of a variety of possibilities that might happen. Would her family and my recently deceased brother come to see her home as she had witnessed with loved ones?
Mentioning to her that some people with near death experiences have said that you get to pick the age you want to be when you "cross over," I asked her, "Mom, what age do you think you'd like to be?" Exhaustion setting in she wearily replied, "Oh, I don't know, I guess this age."
It was clearly taking too much energy to ponder while she was in the labour of dying and our conversation about such things waned as we got down to the business of her being as comfortable and comforted as possible.
I'm not sure you will see her young self in this photo. I've shared these younger photos of her so you can imagine her thick curls and high cheek bones.
Make no mistake that is my mother in those clouds.
And I reckon it was her way of telling me what age she settled on.
This experience is also a reminder to keep our head up and eyes open.
I'm so grateful my friend caught this image, but it beckons one to wonder how many little hellos we miss along the way when we are caught up in the mundane.
(you can read the story of her beautiful "crossing over" HERE : scroll down)
Mind you, beautiful is still hard.
It was our life's pleasure for her to be with us for her life's final chapter.
I love you and miss you Mama!
(((I feel your peace)))