Coping with Grief and Loss
I was back in New Orleans, it was two months after my mother passed at our lake cottage in New Hampshire. Something woke me up at 4 a.m., and I couldn’t go back to sleep, despite the calm and coziness of my husband and two cats breathing steadily next to me in bed.
I got up, fixed a cold coffee and went up to my office to “catch up” on work. But all I could manage was a good, long cry as the sorrow rose up in the semi-dark.
I’d been stoically maintaining as much as I could muster. Now that we’d buried my mother, we were now fully focused on my husband’s cancer, his odds and his plan of treatment. But my Soul made time for weeping, in these wee hours before dawn.
And what’s extraordinary and wonderful are the words of comfort and love and grace that came through. If you have endured a loss, I truly hope these simple, pure words help you.
Here is the first message that came through:
“Oh my Darling, Angels were everywhere, waiting with open arms. You knew. I flew.”
To let the person you love go, is the most difficult experience of being human. If you can imagine your loved one, free of pain and suffering, a being of pure light and joy, surrounded by everyone they loved, then DO. Because that is what beckons from the Other Side.
Incidentally, we were certainly not raised to believe in Angels. Throughout my mother’s church-going life, which ranged from Ohio Methodist to Ocala, Florida Presbyterian to Contoocook, NH Congregational I don’t think any discussion of Angels ever went beyond placing something winged at the top of the Christmas tree.
But as I became more steeped in the world of Angel communicators through my podcast, HOW TO CONNECT WITH ANGELS, I dared to share a few books and amazing stories with my mother. She came to believe in the power and purpose of Angels in our lives. Her experience deepened from calling them “Sheri’s Angels” when something wonderful and miraculous happened, to sharing with me in her last months that she often felt a comforting presence at her left shoulder, when life felt too exhausting to continue.
(Of the 80+ interviews I’ve done, this is one of my very favorites.)
In her last years, our mother collected pretty Angels with a passion. Here is a photo of her bedroom window at our beloved lake cottage, where she was able to gently pass away:
Some of you followed our journey with granting mom her last wishes. She’d clearly expressed that she wanted to be at Lake JoSylvia - in the cottage where she’d summered since her teens.
Over the course of 75 years, raising four children and losing a husband too early and remarrying briefly and loving on the mess of grandchildren and great grandchildren who traipsed through with wet sandy feet… being at the Lake meant EVERYTHING.
Some of you may be familiar with mom from my book, It’s Too Late to Quit, her tenderness for her treasured New England, shown through in her exquisite watercolor painting, and the story of how we launched her art career with a solo art show.
RELATED: SHERI’S MOTHER’S DAY INTERVIEW WITH SYLVIA, SHARING HER CHAPTER IN THE BOOK, AND THE EXCITEMENT OF HER FIRST SOLO ART SHOW AT 92.
SO…it was early July in the This Our Year of Pandemic when the mission suddenly became to spring my mother Sylvia from lockdown at her assisted living, set up hospice and assemble family (also on lockdown) from around the country.
Our magnificently spirited and talented, eternally beautiful little mama was losing ground precipitously. She was dying and alone and painfully struggling to breathe, losing to pulmonary fibrosis, her oxygen-depleted mind to paranoia and panic. Her hospice nurse - who could only visit mom once a week in assisted living because of COVID - called and rang the alarm - mom needed hands on care, her family close by and likely morphine to help her ease to the Other Side, stat.
And let me tell you, over 40 people moved heaven and earth to make it happen. Thanks to her agile hospice team and the fierce determination of her family to do the right thing, my mother landed in her piece of heaven to go to heaven, just in time.
She had four, huge, glorious days. Here’s a little video of mum with her chardonnay, celebrating. Her nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are outside the sliding door, waiting their turn to sit masked, at her bedside.
I truly believe that witnessing and supporting my mother’s passing allowed our entire family to experience the power of working with our Angels, made manifest.
I also believe that these words of grace, love, comfort and hope came through my pen, not just to boost my weary and weeping spirit, but then to be shared with you, and for you to share with others, who are grieving. Thank you.
“My darling, remember our agreement - that you will never forget how much I love you.”
That remembering is terribly important as we may be suffering feelings of abandonment.
You must, MUST remember that Love NEVER dies; that your beloved on the Other Side loves you more than ever - unconditionally.
“My darling, I am still here. Look for me, tucked inside your heart, holding the abiding light of my love.”
Have a virtual place to go where you can reconnect to the love you exchanged with your loved one. Spend time with simple happy memories. You are literally building your physical, neural and spiritual pathways to healing and joy and connection to your loved one. This is what we get to do - evolve. Pain is mandatory, suffering is optional.
“My darling, we know you feel more alone than ever. We lovingly insist that is not true, as we wrap our wings around you.”
In our sadness, we isolate. We withdraw and fall silent when others speak. We have nothing to share and life is terrible. So, we push away the love and outreach from others. Of course we do. All I want to add, is that deep in your lonely heart, there is an invite you can extend to your blessed angels, to feel held in absolute understanding and love.
“My darling, so you know, I fought to live until the gloves came off to make way for wings.”
When our Loved One loses the battle to live, it is comforting to understand that their Soul was guiding the way, and that the release into the Other Side is beautiful beyond words.
One of my favorite books about transitioning is “Angelic Attendants: What really happens when we transition to the Other Side” by Julie Ryan.
“My darling, if my passing reminds you how precious life is, that is good and true.”
It’s piercingly sad that my mother is no longer here to share our joy at the sunset on the lake, but how I take it in now, appreciating every sliver of light, is in honor of her. And love all the gorgeous landscape of life even more.
“We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake… “ -Francis Bacon
“Darling, know this - Death freed me to love you even more magnificently.”
When the human suit drops off and the Soul ascends, the personality and relationship difficulties fall away. Loving from the Soul allows light to shine unconditionally toward the Other. We can lose all the old grievances. The old dialogue may be running on a loop. Shut it off. Tune into the Always Loving You channel.
RELATED: “Love in a Swing Coat” How you, too, can realize how you were REALLY loved. And feel it, once and for all. And let go of the old resentment. The self-inflicted wound. The unrealistic expectations.