Four years ago, at this moment, an event was in the process of taking place that would change my life as I knew it. My mother was in the ‘birth canal’ on her way to her new life. A few months earlier while she was on hospice, we would have the most extraordinary conversations about what that might look and feel like. In the beginning she wasn’t certain and cried in fear, expressing that she didn’t want to die. My father had made his transition on April 3rd, 2008 and I know she missed him profoundly, but said she didn’t know if he would be waiting for her, along with her parents and brother who had preceded her. One night, we were watching the movie Beetlejuice and laughed in relief, grateful that the afterlife didn’t look like that. Maybe it looked like the Paul Simon song called The Afterlife. “You got to fill out a form first and then you wait in a line.”
As the time drew near, she would have what I considered prophetic dreams. One began when she was at the top of a water slide with a boy in front of her and a girl behind her. She told me in a little child’s voice that she was feeling afraid when she started, but by the time she was at the bottom, she was delighted “I was having so much fun!” And then she asked me what I thought it meant. “What do you think it means, Mom?” My take was that it was a foretelling of the next part of her journey. Another was of my grandmother either on or near a merry-go-round, holding a finger out for my mother to grasp. The third which was about six weeks before she joined him, she dreamed that she and father were walking on a beach, hand in hand. She gave him back the wedding ring that she kept after he died and set it on the nightstand, kissing it goodnight for the interceding years. Soon after, she noticed that the ring was gone.
I wrote about our hospice journey in my book called The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary, much of which I typed at her bedside. She told me that I needed to finish it so she could read it. I responded that she needed to live a whole lot longer, since there was more to go. Her encouragement was the impetus to complete it. There have been many miracles and ‘mom messages,’ since then, many involving butterflies. She had made the ceramic piece in the photo above, many years prior to her death and it now sits on my stove. At the moment, it is supporting a candle.
Tonight I said Kaddish for Selma Rose Hirsch Weinstein who passed on November 26, 2010. In that year, it fell on the day after Thanksgiving and this year, it is the day before. The holiday was subdued for me back then, as I called to tell her I loved her, knowing that the moments were ticking away. She hadn’t wanted my sister and me to come down to Florida. She planned to take her leave with all substitute caregivers by her side. Her live-in caregiver Claudia had the weekend off, her regular hospice nurse and aide were away as well. Although I will always connect the holiday with her passing, it is still a joyous occasion, since my spiritual beliefs tell me that she really IS in the company of those she loves who saved a place for her and she was no longer in pain. She is at peace and so am I.
In the Jewish religion, a candle is lit and a prayer offered the night before the actual day the death occurred.
This is the Hebrew transliteration and the English translation. Nowhere in the prayer is there a mention of death, but only blessing God.
Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba.
B’alma di v’ra chirutei,
uv’chayei d’chol beit Yisrael,
baagala uviz’man kariv. V’im’ru: Amen.
Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach
l’alam ul’almei almaya.
Yitbarach v’yishtabach v’yitpaar
v’yit’hadar v’yitaleh v’yit’halal
sh’mei d’kud’sha b’rich hu,
l’eila min kol birchata v’shirata,
daamiran b’alma. V’imru: Amen.
Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya,
v’chayim aleinu v’al kol Yisrael.
Oseh shalom bimromav,
Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,
v’al kol Yisrael. V’imru: Amen.
Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel — speedily, imminently, to which we say Amen.
Blessed be God’s great name to all eternity.
Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded
be the name of the Holy Blessed One, beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing,
praise, and comfort. To which we say Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and all Israel,
to which we say Amen.
May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.
To which we say Amen.
I know she has her wings~