How shall I start?
Here I am, trying to find a proper introduction for my article. Trying to find proper words that will catch your attention, but will also represent my thoughts and emotions. Now tell me: “How can I do that, when there is so much I want to tell you?” Well, I guess like always, I have to start at the beginning, but bear with me, and let me take you on this journey, hopefully it will be a new experience for you as well:
My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 13 years old, this was 7 years ago. At that time I did not really understand what cancer was, or what could happen if she did not get any treatment. I just noticed that my mom started to be really sad and unhappy. She started to shield herself from our friends, from her students, and kids were no longer allowed to visit our apartment and play with me, and most importantly, nobody was allowed to know that my Mom was sick. It was so strange for me, and why was everything so complicated? In my head it was so simple: you are ill, you go get treatment and then you get healthy again, so what was the big deal? I never ever thought, not even for one moment, that my Mom could die, that this illness could kill her. She was my role model. She was a mother and mothers do not go anywhere…
At first my Mom received chemotherapy, she participated in four sessions out of 10. She started to feel better, her tumor started to shrink, but she did not continue her chemotherapy. So a few months later I asked her:
“Mom, why did you stop undergoing chemotherapy at that time?”
She told me that she had felt like chemotherapy was killing her body, so she had asked her doctor:
“ I already took 4 sessions, my tumor is smaller, how many sessions do you think I still need?“
And the doctor told her that it does not matter how she feels or what is her progress, everybody is supposed to do at least 10 sessions, no matter what are the consequences. My Mom felt just like another fish in the ocean and she started to ask herself: Why do I have cancer and more importantly, what can I do to improve my situation? That was when she began her entire journey of self-healing through the power of her mind and her thoughts combined with a healthy lifestyle.
It was so amazing to see how she was changing, how she was growing, developing and how she was influencing her loved ones around her to become a better person even without them realizing it.
I know for sure that I would not be the person I am today, if my Mom had not chosen this unconventional path of healing.
She succeeded mentally, she resolved the conflict that had caused her cancer and she entered recovery phase. After 7 years, she was finally set free from this burden. She had been fighting with everything she had, to make it through. She never once complained, she never gave up, not even in her final moments, when her body was too weak…
My Mom died
I thought it was going to be the end of the world for me. It hurt so badly, because I love her so much. Where had she gone? Was she ok? What was she feeling? Could she see me? Was she afraid? Was she happy? Slowly, I received the answers to all of these questions. I started to feel her, over time I noticed different signs from her, I felt the power within me to continue with my exams and my life, I understood that I had not lost her, she was and is always with me, even more present than before, only now we have a spiritual relationship. I knew her so well, that every time I am in need of an answer, I just think:
“What would Mom do?“
and then everything becomes easier, as if she were talking to me.
She wants me to be happy, but in the true meaning of the word, and being happy implies a lot of work, but somehow I managed it.
Yes, my Mom died one month ago and I am a happy person.
I laugh, and I sing and dance and run and I dedicate all of these moments to her, I am living for her, because now she is a part of me. I am her work of art, her creation here on earth. I understood these things hours after her passing.
We had to start planning her funeral, which was horrible. I had no other duties to fulfill, Thank God, but my Dad had. He did not even have time to mourn his wife or to realize what had happened, because he had to arrange everything. My Dad and I were completely unprepared when my Mom died; she had been in the recovery phase, this was not supposed to happen, and my father and I had never actually talked about the possibility of her death.
This was my first funeral. I did not even know what exactly happens at a funeral, but I can tell you one thing, the way funerals go down has nothing to do with the deceased person. Funerals are for us, the live ones, we need them; not for the ones that have passed. I realized the selfish nature of mankind, as everybody kept saying:
“What I am going to do without Mariana (Mom)?”
“How am I going to come here again?“
And these were the reasons why people were crying. They were crying, because it was going to be really hard for them to get used to being without Mom.
But what about Mom? We are here to celebrate her life that she had, we are here to be grateful for the fact that we had her in our lives and that she inspired us so much. We are here to commemorate her and remember the good times and the bad ones that we had together. This moment should be for her.
If everybody had thought about her and not about themselves, they would have been smiling, because mom never gave anybody any reason to be crying and to be miserable. But it did not matter, we had to respect the tradition. Black at the funeral, despite the fact that Mom hated the color black, a big feast afterwards, even though Mom was a vegan, a priest that never met her talking for 2 hours. The only thing we had control of, was the location of the grave, and I know she loved that small church, we always saw it on our way back home.
Death – and our culture
There is one gypsy tribe from Rajasthan, that counts death in their families as one of the most happy events in their lives, while birth for them is an occasion of great grief. In our culture, it is quite the opposite. We celebrate birth and we mourn death.
So then what is life on earth? A blessing or a burden?
The Dalai Lama once said:
“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life.”
So, how many of us are happy? How many of us have actually accomplished the purpose of life?
|Mourning after the death of a loved one||Carina Toma||CC BY-SA 4.0|