Thursday, 13 December 2018

Podcast episode up: the question of embalming



This week's episode on The Death Dialogues Project Podcast shares a snapshot of what choosing to not embalm looked like by hearing a personal account.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Raw

photo by author
By Marlita Qadeer-Salvador who writes:
Writing the document helped me cope and get through the anniversary of her passing this year.  I am so thankful that I went through old notes and wrote because of your page. Happily surprised that you want to publish it. I hope it helps someone else, to not feel crazy or so alone.
November 10, 2014

The day was gloomy and overcast. 

The nurse told me to come, to hurry. I raced and weaved in and out of traffic. 

Trying to get there sooner, to hurry. 

Three exits away, I looked up at the sky. 

The clouds were moving fast and I saw a line of sunshine break through. 

The light beaming through the darkness was so beautiful and majestic. I thought of how it looked like a guide, a pathway opening up straight into Heaven.

I started crying and began to hit the steering wheel. “Please God, please, please, please not yet!” I was screaming and begging and pleading for more time.

We turned off the respirator the next day, but I knew then and still believe that the opening in the sky I saw, was when she left. 

It was too early in the season, for the bitter cold and first snow. 

But so many people came to the wake, despite the weather, and it was like a party-laughing, singing, dancing. The parking lot was so full, people parked on grass. 

She would have liked that.


November 2015

Can’t sleep and I cry all the time. 

I feel so guilty and regretful. I feel lost and there is no one who can reach or comfort me. 

Days fly by and I am not here, there, anywhere. 

Her stone is finally placed and I bring yellow roses, her favorite, for every visit.

I look up at the sky. 

I try to see anything significant in the clouds. 

I have no dreams of her. I am anxious for a sign. 

When I realize that my four year old is watching me cry. 

I say its just I miss my mom but love never ends and Lola is with the stars, moon, sun, and in the sky. 

We can still talk to her whenever we want...

My mother was faithful and devout. Her life and misery was “God’s will” and the suffering earned her place in Heaven. 

And even to the fucking end, my mother didn’t want to be late and fell on her way into church. 

She died from a fall on the church’s steps. A catholic church with steep, marble steps and no god damned railings!

I will not be a fool and I won’t believe or adapt for faith in a higher power anymore. 

And I want to be an atheist but I don’t believe in nothing after death, either. 

I can only get through the hardest minutes and moments by believing that love never ends and we will see our loved ones again

My mom’s youngest brother, passes a day after the first anniversary of her death.


November 11, 2016

When waves of grief come, they come hard. 

My birthday,thinking of her calls first thing in the morning and singing. 

Her birthday and Mother’s day. 

Her death anniversary and then Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Still can’t sleep and I have moved to the couch in the office. 

I just want to be alone.

The older woman’s arm I held onto yesterday while crossing the street, the women who struggle getting off the bus or leave the restaurant limping because it hurts to walk–I reach out to them, give them my arm for help, but really because I need to hold onto them more. 

It is the only way it feels like my mom is still here with me.

I am not going to hope anymore for a sign. 

Life goes on. 

People die all the time. 

I feel so stupid for still hurting this much.

And still, there are days I wonder why I bother.

Why go on. 

My mom’s sister passes four months later.


November 11, 2017

The heartache doesn’t come around as much. And that makes me feel bad.

My friend’s are losing their parents and I listen, sit with them, help them to not feel not so crazy or alone with everything that comes with such a hard loss. 

I want this. 

I feel capable because I am experienced.

I never want the beginning of loss, but I have to admit, I miss that time too. There was a freedom in crying and I was more in the moment.

I still have nights when I drink too much and stay up. 

But now– I search for someone to talk to. 

I reach out for company, for help, some contact and connection. 

Have to figure out how to be brave and do it sober, in the day time. 


November 11, 2018

Four years ago today. 

I don’t know what this day or year will bring. 

I’m going to be different and share flashes of four years grieving. 

I want to memorialize my mom and I want to honor my own complicated feelings. 

Our relationship was difficult and that's probably why it's been hard to get through. 

Or maybe this is what happens when you lose a parent.

I just write and I know it’s my way, to reach out. 

I hope my struggles and confessions can help someone feel less alone or less crazy. 

I hope this helps someone else write and reach out too.