My mom died on June 23rd at about 12:30am. It was after everyone left for the night except me, my uncle, and my mom’s favorite nurse. About 45 minutes after this photo was taken. joanne-handsI watched her take her last breath. I wished her peace. I cried like a baby afterwards. I miss her everyday.

I recently moved and carefully chose only a few material items of hers to bring along… but I have boxes of memorabilia and photos to go through. It’s depressing me that they are here. I kind of wish I got rid of them but I couldn’t let myself.

5 years ago on June 26th, 2009 we had a viewing for my mom. I read a poem. some people came… I saw my mom in a coffin. They had painted her nails this ugly grandma color. She would have hated it. I whispered into her ear that I was sorry about that. She told me what she wanted to wear in a text message a few weeks before. It was weird to help my mom plan her funeral. I’m looking around of that text… I’m sure it’s here somewhere on my computer… another post on another day.

I remember going to dinner after the viewing and my friend Polly kept getting texts and voicemails about Michael Jackson dying. I thought it was a joke, but I’ll never forget going back to the Ingwerson’s that night and watching every single channel have the breaking news bulletins that Michael Jackson had died. I couldn’t believe it! My mom was totally hanging out with Michael Jackson! How cool.

I just sat here and listened to a phone conversation I recorded 3 weeks before my mom died. I’m not sure if that was a good move or not. I noticed myself sitting here without the desire to really dive into my work at all and I notice there were hints of grief that were trying to break on through to the other side. I noticed what felt like pain waves around my body. I noticed I was having a harder time breathing then usual and that I felt HEAVY. These are signs that I’m feeling pain… what I do next with it is up to me. I could ignore it, but that never helps. Or I could let it through.

Letting pain through to the other side is always a scary feeling. You wonder if once you let it in if it will ever leave. The answer is yes, but you have to allow the pain to come in atleast. If you don’t, you could be pretending you don’t feel anything at all… which can have some serious side effects on other things around you in your life. Isn’t it worth it to just feel the feelings and get it “over with”?

Once the pain has entered and you’ve allowed it to be there, you need to sit with it for a few minutes… Let yourself feel the feeling completely. Let the energy of this feeling move through your body and chest… Breathe deeply… thank it for being here. It means you have loved and that’s not always easy, but it is definitely beautiful. And then ask it to leave your body. You can do other things to move the energy out of your body; doing something physical is helpful. Talking to a friend or therapist. Writing or doing art. Playing music… I’m trying on a new one these days. Acting out the feeling with hand, arm, leg and body movements. I learned this in a workshop I recently took with Catherine It’s a whole different medium for me. It’s like a dance. And it totally works. I literally just did it in between writing “medium for me” and “it’s like a dance” here in this post and I already feel like a piece of me feels different. The grief energy has shifted a bit already.

There are dates in time that just have so much energy attached to them. Not only is today June 26th, the day of my mom’s viewing 5 years ago, but I had to write the date today at least 10 times, and every time I felt like someone was pushing down on my chest. I’m thinking writing the date again and again was a trigger for me… what are your triggers (feel free to ask yourself this questions, or discuss if you feel comfortable doing so).