The Other Side…

I’ve been thinking about posting for awhile.  The problem is that I have been struggling to put something together.  I sometimes feel like my thoughts swim, but don’t form into a sensible paragraph, much less a blog post.

Tonight, I found my inspiration.  Do you watch Long Island Medium?  I guess GP and I started watching her a year ago.  It was easy bedtime watching.  A great show to not have to worry about keeping up with the weekly drama of a show.  Of course tonight was the season premier.  Since it’s Mother’s Day and I refused to make dinner (okay, I do this most nights anyway), we ordered take out, and snuggled up for the two-hour special.  Of course I cried several times, especially hearing of the stories of special daddies losing their lives in tragic accidents, kids gone too soon from brain tumors or accidents, and mothers not being there for their children due to illness and mental illness.  This breaks. my. heart.  If you know me, you know that I DON’T cry.  It’s not that I don’t have emotion, I just don’t show or convey it well.  But this show just strikes a chord with me.

If you know you wouldn’t be here tomorrow, how would you live your last day?  If you knew that I family member that you loved only had a limited amount of time left, how would you spend it?  When you die, will you be proud of who you were? 

I often think about two people who have passed to the other side (as Theresa would say).  I think about my grandmother, who is the only person that I have seen die.  I think about my family friend, who I often refer to as my cousin, who died way too young of a second bout with a brain tumor.  My sister often talks about signs.  When she’s trying to make a difficult decision or is unsure about something, she asks my grandmother for a sign.  My grandmother and my sister were very close.  She was the first grandchild, which my grandparents desperately wanted.  She often sees signs and meets people who she believes are sent to her from my grandmother.  It’s not that I don’t believe what my sister is saying, it’s just that I don’t see signs.  I often also think about the ways that these two influential people died.

My grandmother deteriorated quickly from kidney failure.  She had dementia and should not have been living alone.  If you’ve ever seen someone in this state, it’s much easier to think that you can move them out of their house than actually trying to do so.  I did not envy my mom who had to lie to her to get her to doctor appointments.  For several days, she drifted in and out of the “It’s time to say goodbye,” stage.  We would rush to the hospital, and she would put up the good fight again.  The night of her death, my mom, who had been at her bedside most of the time, went across the street to get dinner with my dad.  My cousin had arrived from out of town, my aunt arrived from out of town and we sat around laughing and telling stories to pass the time.  We laughed about grandmother’s sense of humor and  personality throughout the years.  All of the sudden, we looked over, and watched her sigh her last breath.  It was almost as if she was waiting for the light moment where her kids were joyful to go.  My mom was an utter mess that she couldn’t be there.  I feel guilty knowing how much it hurt my mom that she wasn’t there in that moment. 

My cousin had a similar weird experience.  She declined after having several headaches and dizzy spells after her five-year cancer free remission.  She didn’t tell anyone for a long time, and the only reason I can provide, is because I think she knew that she didn’t want to fight until the end again.  Perhaps she knew it was the end?  She was flown back to her home, and her parents put her in hospice.  It was horrible to see her breathing so hard, fighting to stay alive.  When you see someone in that state, you want to tell them to go.  Stop fighting.  Stop trying to be brave for us.  Stop putting your parents through this daily struggle.  Now, we know why she kept us hanging on.  The night that her brother arrived back from his military deployment in Germany, she died.  She waited for Mark to return.  She wanted to hear from him, his wife, and their baby.  Once she had said goodbye to everyone, she faded to sleep forever. 

So, religion or not, belief of not, how can people communicate?  How do people look for signs?  I think I don’t see them because I don’t stop to try to see them.  I also don’t ask for them.  This is something I’d like to change.  Perhaps it will allow me to stop and think.  Some time to slow down and question.  Do you look for signs?  Do you believe in mediums or communicating with those that have passed?  If so, how do you know?