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Posts Tagged ‘mourning’

Abuela

Some of you may remember reading my post on the 10th, called The Fathers. Well, just a couple of hours ago we got word that the grandmother in that family passed in her sleep.

We’re packed. We’re heading for southern California. We could not stay home. We probably won’t be there for the services but my daughter and I both feel that we have to be there to spend even a few hours with the family. Two day drive in each direction but we don’t feel right not being there even just for support.

Probably the next time you hear from me it will be from Yreka, California if we can make it that far tonight and get through the snow that is expected on the summit tonight. Wish us luck. Keep us in your thoughts.

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It was a beautiful spring day in 2009. My daughter, her boyfriend, and I had driven out to the coast for the first time since we had moved to Oregon a year before. We had spent a few hours at the casino and we were on our way home talking about going back to the coast again. My cell phone rang and I saw it was my older sister, Sylvia.

“Are you home?”
“No. We’re on the way home from the coast and we were just talking about how you would like it there if you came to visit.”
“Are you driving or is Tina driving?”
“Tina is.”
“Okay. I just called to tell you…I’m sorry I have to tell you…Carlos just killed himself.”

Again. Another brother. I was speechless. She had to hang up because the police were there and she had to talk to them. She asked me to call my younger sister and let her know. I did. The rest of the day is a blur. My daughter took care of everything and before I knew it, we were on a our way to the airport for a 6 am flight to southern California. We muddled through the week that followed. My daughter and I came home to Oregon. The next few months were filled with grief and memorial services in both southern and northern California and then spreading his ashes.

It was difficult for me to go back to see my mother because my brother had been staying at my mother’s house before he died. When I was finally able to return to my mother’s house, everything was fine; quiet; normal. One day, I was in my sister’s bedroom reading. My mom was in her bedroom and my sister in the kitchen. My nephew was in the dining room on the computer. He is autistic and is nonverbal and spends all his time in front of the computer watching videos. There was no one else in the house. All of the sudden, the bedroom door swung open, there was what I can only call a “whoosh” and then all was still. A minute later, I heard a male voice just above a whisper. It said “What’s goin’ on?” I looked all around. No one was there but I had recognized the voice. It was my brother, Carlos. I sensed him in the room for another minute or so then he was gone.

I wasn’t scared. I knew he wasn’t there to hurt me.

I told my sister later that night. She said she had felt him there before and our mother had often felt him and heard him until one day when she spoke to him telling him to leave because he didn’t belong in this world. After that, my mom hasn’t felt his presence anymore. I felt it and heard him. No fear. No threat. Just a sense of peace. He was there with me for that short two or three minutes.

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Snow Angels

I know this is a sore subject for all those in snowed under/in conditions but I came across a passage in a book I am reading that I had to share.

The book is Unforgettable:Short Stories by Paulette Alden. In the one story, Miriam’s (the main character) father dies. She thinks she has processed it only to find herself in tears every few weeks when it hits her that he is gone. Then one day in the coldest of winter (it takes place in Minnesota) she is swimming at an indoor pool. Here’s the passage that called out to me:

“And now she’s aware of a presence. She understands that she is being watched over, guarded. Or maybe it’s only the snow. It has the feel of snow–beautiful, silvery, silent, filling the air. This is what angels are like, she thinks. And this is what snow is like. How it falls and falls, how it blesses us.

You’re gone. I’ll never see you again.

But this time she doesn’t cry.”

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