“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” – Lemony Snicket
In 2012 my mom died in an accident. I was living in a different city and late at night I received a call from my sister telling me to come home because our mom was fatally injured. My mom was 54. I was never able to say goodbye or say all the things I always wanted to tell her. How much of my heart was hers, how incredible of a mom she was and how much strength I knew she had. I never told her that I always saw her as a very special human being. I could feel it, she was different. Her heart was massive and she would give love, food and shelter for anybody and everybody in need. She read a lot and studied a lot and knew about all religions and believed in all of them. She was very spiritual, very philosophical and deep. She was a spectacular writer and a visionary. She would be contributing so much for this planet that it crushes my heart to not have her here, in my world and in our world. It’s been almost a decade now and it just gets harder. I miss her more and more and it’s so painful. I wish she was here to see how my little sister became what she always said she would become – a neurosurgeon. I wish she was here to see me follow my dreams without hesitation – just like she taught me. And I wish she was here to continue being my mom and teaching me how to live in the present without needing answers or happiness from others – from the “outside”. As she would always say, to choose to be happy here and now is always the best choice you can ever make.
But it was so hard to take these words in. For so long, after her death, I approached life as I am in this world because of her. I would think my town was actually hers, my house was actually her house, my grandmother was actually her mother… How could I choose to be happy here and now? My heart was in pieces – as it is always the first to break. I tried to glue the pieces together, but I realized that it is best to shatter it completely and from there build from scratch – after all everything that we renew today is what will make us special tomorrow. And so I did.
With renewed heart I learned that wisdom comes from scars and not open wounds. That it is powerful and simple to love and humbling and complex to be loved. That it is comforting to believe in something – and to know that the reason to believe in something is more important than in what I believe. This heart believes impermanence and incompleteness are incredibly empowering.
Many of us believe in the idea that we don’t have any control of our lives and so we live repeatedly the same things all over again. Same jobs, relationships, grieving process, internal conversations, opinions… We are conditioned to believing that the external world is more real than the internal world, but going within had taught me that is just the opposite. What is happening within me will create what is happening outside of me. We live our entire lives seeing only the tip of an iceberg. The only “movie” we allow ourselves to play is the only thing we have the ability to see and we only see what we believe is possible. We match patterns that already exist within ourselves and we think the world is already out there ready to be lived, independent from our experiences. But I learned that when we are looking there are only fragments, and when we are not looking there are endless possibilities.