Happy Birthday to my Dear Mother

My mother has been gone less than two years. She would have been 69 today. Death is so final for the living. And yet, it’s been one of my greatest teachers. I am far from an atheist and have no loyalties to any particular dogma. What I have learned through death is how important it is to give one’s authentic self to another. All the years my mother was here, I internalized her. I ate her up like one of those white wafers at communion. She is really inside me. She had a love affair with her own wisdom and it was one of her greatest joys to share that love of her ideas with me. All of her pain that she so honestly shared with me even when it made her look so scary. All the millions of miles we walked together along our memory lanes, trying to merge our stories. It’s all here inside of me. And yet, I understand it all better now that she’s not here in the flesh. When she’d say, “I’m not trying to criticize you, you don’t need to be defensive. I’m merely sharing my perspective.” I get it now. She was trying to get inside me with her perspective. And only after she passed over do I realize that she did her job- she has been internalized. I hear her crystal clear every day. I am so grateful I let her in. And even more grateful that she made the effort to get in. She wasn’t here in the physical sense when she was on earth, but she was always with me in spirit through the phone, that strange preparatory communication device for the soul. Maybe that’s why I still hear her so strongly – I had so much practice listening to her spirit while she was here. And while I’m not sure what happened to her spirit the day she passed, I have to say I don’t think it’s a figment that it’s still here. I hear her speaking to me from the other side, with wisdom that warms my heart and mystifies me. The other side of what, I’m not sure. From the time I was in her apartment and her voice directed me to which closet and drawer I could find what I was looking for, to now, when I hear her voice sharing what she’s learned after dying. “Your job here on earth is not to prove yourself worthy,” she says. “But to share the love affair you have with your spirit. Every time something moves you and warms your heart, that is your spirit wanting to burst out. Don’t hoard your spirit. Don’t protect it either. Let it out. Someone might need it one day.”