A personal note: when a mother dies

By Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, founder of Golden Willow Retreat
GWR@newmex.com
Posted 6/6/19

This column seeks to help educate our community about emotional healing through grief. People may write questions to Golden Willow Retreat and they will be answered privately to you and possibly as a …

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A personal note: when a mother dies

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This column seeks to help educate our community about emotional healing through grief. People may write questions to Golden Willow Retreat and they will be answered privately to you and possibly as a future article for others. Please list a first name that grants permission for printing.

Dear Readers and Community:

Thank you for all the questions and notes I received for this article and for all of you who take the time to read about emotional healing. My wife recommended that I make this article a bit more vulnerable and personal by sharing this last week's experience of my mother's death and the healing process that has unfolded since last week.

My mother, Edy Anderson, unexpectedly and peacefully died last week of natural causes. The minute I received the phone call, all the gears of action went into play on all levels - personal, family, community and professional. The frenetic energy of logistics flew in like a hurricane, all held in the ocean of love. Luckily many of the logistics had been taken care of by my mom and stepfather many years back of her wishes and what she would hope for when her time to leave this planetary plane arrived. Gifting the family with her wishes gave us the path in which to start to fine-tune those exact wishes to help with our healing path, as well as her ease knowing this was in place.

Logistics such as dates, travel, lodging, dissemination of information, obituary, funeral home arrangements, dinners (private, public and in-between) all came rushing into the void that has been created. While in the forefront were the grief, loss and the love that had brought me (us) to this poignant spot of honoring a parent, and the history of that experience, trying to be present, and starting incremental steps towards building a foundation to step into the future breath by breath. Luckily, my experience included the preparation by my mom so that many questions of what she would want were covered, allowing me to discern what I needed for my healing in this process.

As I observe over and over again, community and love rose to occasion making the insurmountable doable. Rivera Funeral Home aided with logistics and planning; the sheriff's department had traffic control; friends made sure that food and services were covered and staff members kept offices open and running while also reaching out. Availability without intrusion was like a sacred loving pact that ensured that the safety blanket of care and permission, food, housing, services, logistics and other details that can interfere with emotional moments were covered. The community created an emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual cocoon, allowing space and time for me and our family to walk gently and begin the healing process, rather than being demanded to run and soar immediately with no wings for such a flight.

When my mom died, a metaphorical safety blanket was removed from my conscious and unconscious world. This amputation is excruciating and yet due to community, family and love, emotional healing is happening rather than an experience that compounds wound and exasperates the loss, leading to trauma. Thank you all for the amazing support that continues to allow healing and give a level of safety in knowing we are all connected and can show up for one another in healthy ways, giving us the opportunity for the natural and normal healing process called grief.

I wish you well. Until next week, take care.

Golden Willow Retreat is a nonprofit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from any type of loss. Direct any questions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, founder of Golden Willow Retreat at GWR@newmex.com

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