Saturday, April 7, 2018

THE END. IT'S A MYTH . . . LOVE NEVER DIES!


Photographs and videos of Matty, mediums I thoroughly enjoy as my past continues to be a bridge to my present. In moving forward in my grief, I needed to visualize what my son in spirit may look like . . . impossible to know as my eyes see the human being. However, my soul yearns for the spirit to spirit connection and that I can try and see as my soul is carried along with the human side of me, nourished by breath and Love in this human experience.

Golden Light . . . free, not earthbound.
I can imagine!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately Matthew, about how you may look in Spirit. I came across this GIF file the other day and it made my heart skip a beat. I believe this may be you. Fly free, fly high, soar my Sweetheart—you’re not earthbound anymore! I hear, I read that death is nothing more than a transformation of energy to a different dimension—Heaven. Look at the transformations this bird goes through! Infinite orbs of golden light—shining, twinkling, changing shape and size. Are these your memories, your personality and character traits? Are you held together by Love? Consciousness, the soul does not have a physical body, yet I can see you, through you, around you. You are here, then there. Are you everywhere—a thought, a breath, a scent, a vision of beauty, a sound? Looks as though you are spreading light? Is this how we feel you—does your Love leave a trail of laughter and joy, are you filling our hearts with comfort, our souls with peace? Your energy appears forceful, strong, determined. You are Light you are Love—you continue to live in our hearts, our souls, in the Beyond. We are connected, we are One.

GIF by Aesthetics C o l o r s
from Voice of Grief blogpost "Golden Light Forever'mor


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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When is GOD coming?



On a beautiful sunny afternoon, family and friends gathered at St. Raphael’s Church for Addy’s Holy Baptism. Churches, they look like princess castles to Addy Rose. She was dressed in white with a wreath of fresh flowers sitting atop her bouncy, brown curls, the picture of innocence. We gathered around the baptismal pool, sitting in pews awaiting the arrival of the parish priest and attempting to convince Bear that the pool was not for swimming. Father John makes his entrance and greets Addy first as this is her very special day. He shakes her hand and asks her what she thinks of this day. Addy looks him square in the eyes and answers with her own question “So, when is God coming?”

Our Little One got a good laugh from the crowd gathered. From the mouth of Babes, simple words yet if I listen carefully I can hear the echo of mine over the years. I was raised in a family with great faith yet I never had a personal experience of God or perhaps was unaware and did, was unable to discern. It’s a question I asked when my Dad was dying of Lymphoma, when a newly married good friend died in his 20’s, when my first marriage was failing, when diagnoses of incurable diseases and cancers afflicted family members. This question ” When is God coming?” started me on my spiritual journey: a quest to find answers to this question and others with a desire to gain knowledge about the time from breath to no breath and the in-between. I have always been drawn to the mysticism in my Catholic faith. I could feel the experiences of the soul in the shared stories of my youth and my own readings later in life. The connection to the Divine felt attainable; the goodness and compassion a model I could be guided to follow. Spirituality felt gentler to me than the fear exuded from the Old Testament of the Bible.

I had done my fair share of reading, questioning and seeking by the time Matty’s death occurred. My eyes had been opened, my heart softened and my soul was constantly nudging me to grow, to remember to continue learning. I was able to express gratefulness days after the accident even though my heart was numb—grateful to have been Matthew’s mother, to have shared living life with him. Grateful that I had a heart full of memories and then the thought . . . perhaps if the heart can hold onto the memory of gratefulness in such a dark time, then joy and happiness and awe and wonder and laughter and peace may simply be frozen yet held in a state of spiritual grace waiting for Hope to begin her long process of melting, loosening, dissolving the ice, releasing these emotions from my heart,

Grief and reflection are my peanut butter and jelly—they just go together as I work through the process. I’ve heard the following words spoken and written countless times, “I can’t imagine how you go on after the death of a child”. I’ve given them much thought over the years. First of all, it’s not a process I can reverse so my choices are limited. I’ve come to the conclusion that the statement is made simply from the human perspective. It’s filled with a mother’s worse fear and there is a dead end to the statement that fogs the road forward from view. Finding myself in this situation and choosing to move towards healing, the answer for me lies in the spiritual gifts the Divine has allowed me to see, to experience. Yes, I have finally had my personal experiences with God’s Love. I’ve seen without a doubt that Love never dies. Matthew not only lives in my heart but lives all around. He sees, he guides, he answers, his spirit helps in time of need. Trying to process such a gut wrenching blow without the experience of Divine intervention, without a belief in the Afterlife/Everlife, in the absence of a belief in the soul and a soul planned life would seem like an insurmountable feat. My answer to that former statement is uttered from the two halves that make me whole—my perfectly imperfect human nature sharing space with the spiritual that carries me forward and guides me to see that physical death is absorbed as an ending to the human me but acknowledged as a new beginning to the spiritual me. Beginnings move me forward, endings hold me in place. A new beginning allows me to rediscover my relationship with Matty, to know that the misery of an end is not what I hold in my heart. Love has helped me shed the fear of living a life with an ending. Love allows me to see Matty in spirit. His legacy of Love continues to touch the hearts of the many he’d touched in his earthly lifetime.

I’d been contemplating writing a blog post to go along with Addy’s question and like all words Matty inspired, this post has taken on a life of its own. I had experienced grief touching Bear’s heart the week before. Wednesdays are Gammy sleepover nights. I was in the parking lot of the grocery store lifting Bear from his car seat. We were at that eye to eye level moment before putting him down when out of nowhere he tells me. “ I want my Daddy come down from Heaven. I want to see him. I miss him”. A golf-ball size lump filled my throat, I could not speak but knew he needed an answer. I was trying fervently to hold tears at bay and began pleading with Matty, with God for immediate Divine assistance in word and feeling. I reiterated what Addy and Bear have been told from the time of the accident, that “Daddy lives in our hearts now”.  I explained that we can't see him, but we can feel him. We know how our hearts feel when we love somebody. When someone we love dies, we are sad because we can't see them with our eyes, the eyes in our head. But Love shows us another way to see and that is with our heart. Our heart eyes can see things that the head eyes cannot.  I figured that was enough depth for one day and started walking towards the store’s entrance. As I was holding Bear’s hand in mine and laden with bags in my other, we were suddenly belted by a huge gust of wind. Let's talk about the wind! It's a beautifully warm day in February . . . unseasonal temperatures for this time of year in New England.  A calm day. When this strong breeze sailed in, I had a knowing that it was an answer to my prayer. A thought immediately entered my mind and I knew it was sent to me to further help Bear in understanding Daddy in spirit. “Gamma, why yore hair in yore face? “ asks Bear. I explain that we can't see the wind, yet we can see how powerful it is. It blew all of Gammy’s hair in her face and she needed to brush it aside so she could see. We can feel the wind, we can’t see it but we can see how it moves the leaves that are still on the trees, how it waves the flag on the flagpole, how it changes the smells in the air. (It smelled like a warm earthy spring that afternoon, no snow on the ground, that moist brown and green of last year’s patches of grass). It’s like Daddy’s Love that is in our hearts. We can’t see it but we can feel it and we know it is a powerful Love. When we rub our hearts we can touch Daddy’s Love. With the wind and four viewings of Moana over the next few days, Bear is able to better understand Daddy’s Love.

Matty’s signs have become more complex and feel more like a conversation. There is no dread or fear. I am filled with awe, wonder and gratitude when we experience Matty in spirit. There is a longing for reconnection, for wisdom, for growth for the experience of the Force that Love is. I am astounded at the strength of Matty's Love and I am also humbled by it, by the Divine orchestration that allows for the connection. I found myself that week,  living in the midst of a set of synchronicities that were ever expanding.

Hindsight is about to make me aware that there is more to come . . .

My friend Rachel was hosting a webinar on the topic of Signs from our beloved the following evening. Unbeknowst to me, Rachel had received messages from the spirits of our beloved (the same night I had my experience with Bear in the parking lot of the grocery store) prior to the start of the webinar. Here is her message from Matthew:


"As your broken heart heals, as you are in your long goodbye to the me that was…You create space for the me that still and always is right next to you, sitting in your heart. (I see Matty with Baby Bear on his shoulders.) This is a cliché that I live in your heart?  A worn-out line in love songs, or a feel-good mantra? No, this is not cliché. This is truth and the poets, the artists…they always know first. They often know, not knowing what they even know. Keep going. I’m here. I will lead you to find your soul, your higher self. This is the you who is with me now. Then you can know we are together still… even between the signs."

The message is filled with Love, guidance and wisdom. I’m hearing validation that in spirit, he works with me in writing, in sharing. Matty has started off this year by sending quotes, thoughts, sentences that are to be saved for a later date as they are a part of something yet incomplete when standing alone. One saved file is titled “Worn out words” Worn out words and phrases. They exhaust me more than grief. The first two lines that initiate introspection for a blog post to come. There are a barrage of memes posted in social media that are trending. They utilize clichés, overused words without the back up that makes them so rich in truth. The backup, the supportive words are the bearers of messages. They offer nourishment to the heart when tackling the hard work of grief. There is a lesson here for me that Matty will be helping me to understand. Perhaps it is in letting go, recognizing that my path to peace and healing does not lie in these memes.

Another synchronicity . . .

Nikki, out of the blue, sends me a photo of Addy’s Baptism. “I was just strolling down Memory Lane on my phone. Look at Bampy, looking at Bear” she says. “LOVE”.  A nudge I could no longer ignore, this blog post needed to be written and shared.

 I text her back and forward the graphic for this post and email her Matty’s  message through Rachel. “Look what I've been working on . . . I haven't even told you the whole story  . . . how the moments for all of the happenings have come together. The pieces fit like a puzzle. God is the conductor of this symphony called Life. As much sadness that comes from the physical death of our loved ones . . . we can't control or change the outcome but what is in our power, our hearts, soul & consciousness is to become aware of the connections in spirit . . . the utmost guidance, beauty and strength in Love available to us for the remainder of our lives here on Earth. We are living our own version of Moana and Matthew, Source/God have humbled me and brought me to my knees in both sorrow and joy, from expectation bonded to wishing to the awe, wonder and amazement of the spiritual experience. This latest message is for all of us . . . 


And the final synchronicity that lends its hand in answering the question “When is God coming?” . . .


I see a painting by Laura Tomei in a support group and it speaks to me. With Laura’s permission, I am posting her work of art.

Laura asks what we see in the painting and what it means to us. She felt she should share with the group. I respond in a comment and explain that I am living in the midst of a set of synchronicities that is ever expanding and how her art adds another piece, another level.  My analysis of the painting—I reiterate  my words to Nikki as they were meant to be shared here as well. “I am being shown that as much sadness, sorrow and despair that comes from the physical death of our loved ones . . . one cannot control or change the outcome, bring them back to earthly life.  What is in my power; my heart, soul & consciousness is to become aware of the connections in spirit . . . connections offering the utmost guidance, beauty and strength in Love available to me for the remainder of my Earthly life.  Matthew/Spirit/ Source/God have humbled me and brought me to my knees in both sorrow and joy, and from the expectations bonded with wishing to the awe, wonder and amazement of the spiritual experience. It's all waiting, has always been waiting for me to reach through a human, self-created, self-imposed perimeter that initially seemed impenetrable to seeing clearly that the perimeter is simply a pale line of demarcation that I can expand, shrink or erase with awareness, understanding and choice.

Your beautiful painting completes the lesson this latest set of synchronicities is teaching me. Your art paints me a story of the inside/outside view of grief. From the inside, in the beginning the pain is fiery and intense; when I am questioning anything and everything, I shy away from getting too close to the edges of my concealment to see what lies beyond the periphery. From the outside, Spirit is waiting and ready to grab hold of my hands and pull me free, showing me a different more expansive view . . . I help carry my grief along with Spirit's assistance, I see from a new position and am able to experience that which had previously been non-visible to me”.

The learning was unexpected when I first started this journey.  The sorrow overshadowed everything. My determination to continue a relationship with Matty opened my eyes and my heart and the learning began in earnest. It surely is hard work when I meet a difficult lesson face to face, yet the reward of moving forward in healing, the increased signs and synchronicities from my beautiful son in spirit, the knowing that Matty is with me, guiding me, make the risk and the reward of following my heart leading me to experience God/Divine/Source is a lesson that has given rise to my soul remembering, guiding me to trust, to believe in something greater than my human self. The change and expansion of mind and heart let me hear my soul a bit clearer and the lessons come full circle.

I will share God’s language; the language of the heart—LOVE, the spiritual core of every faith seen or unseen by its believers and followers.

What does it mean to experience LOVE? It answers Addy and my question “When is God coming?” Love leaves a mark . . . a permanent imprint like the tiny handprint of a toddler whose fingers have been spread wide, dipped in paint and placed on canvas leaving a colored image of a little hand that forever serves up joy, peace and contentment with every viewing. It’s memories of birth and life and gratefulness and peace are permanent residents of the soul that can be called upon even in the darkest of times to let me know that I am not alone. Ever.

Grief has given rise to the wonder in the mystery of life and death and my longing to know God . . . without fear. In seeking answers, additional questions have been raised.  "Who am I?" seems to be the question that would allow one to collect $200 and pass go in participating in the game of Life. I found the answer lies in the discovery of "Who I AM". Embark on the journey within.  It is teaching me to live life from the inside out. Soft and raw and vulnerable attracts courage and strength to persevere. These characteristics walk with gratefulness—gratefulness, who has the knack of finding peace in the darkest of places.

So when is God coming? When my soul knocks on the door of my heart and teaches me how to see the worlds of Here and Now and Then and After with the eyes of my heart. God has been here all along, waiting patiently for me to learn the lessons spread before me on my spiritual path so that I may speak the words of my Soul planned journey. God is Love. Love is with me always. Matty once sent me a sign “the answers come before the questions”.  A message for me that God has already come and is sticking around!

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Laura Tomei mother to Alexander, is an author, artist, a nurturer to grieving hearts and soul. She created the Facebook Group Between Two Worlds, offering a safe space for bereaved parents who believe in the survival of consciousness to release and express emotions and share the experiences of the continuing connection and bond with our child/children.
She has written Footprints in the Sand—A Symphony of Grief

A synopsis from her page on Amazon:
The sudden suicide of her only child Alexander catapulted Laura Tomei into a surreal world of impossible despair ... Footprints in the Sand is a raw and personal journey affording the reader a first hand insight into the roller-coaster ride of grief. From the most candid heartwrenching descriptions of anguish, the processing and surrendering to what cannot be reversed, and finally the comfort of precious spiritual insights, Laura has crafted a book imbued with a deep, aching sadness for the son who is not there. And yet, he is. For Laura sees him in the house, in the garden, on the stairwell. She sees her son in the morning light and the afternoon sun. His presence is seen, felt and encouraged. She photographs, writes and paints her son back into being. The book is a beautiful tribute to Alex. It may break your heart, but will deepen your understanding of grief and offers hope to those who grieve the loss of a loved one.

Thank you Laura for sharing your art with the Voice of Grief readers.

Friday, March 2, 2018

WHAT IS GRIEF TEACHING ME?

#13 In the series "What is Grief teaching me?"
See Facebook page @Voice of Grief for  Matty inspired lessons on my journey to healing


The first question I have to ask myself is “What kind of peace am I searching for, trying to attain”? Is it World Peace? Inner Peace? Peace of body? Peace of mind? Peace with self? How many types of Peace are there? Many questions, still no answers. What I do know is that the hardwork of grief must speak of "The Experiences” it has brought to me when answering the question. Experience by nature allows me to walk into my own knowledge; wisdom of the ages released from my higher consciousness. Grief teaching and me listening to my inner voice. Me—learning, absorbing and becoming aware of which beliefs limit growth; opening my mind to different views. Me—taking action; seeing where I need to make changes in myself and making them happen. 

Peace with self rings loudest. I hear an answer “Find the Love in yourself”. My first thought is “here we go again!” I recognize that voice. I am walking my unique path towards greater understanding and spiritual growth. Unique means it's mine, discovered at my own pace. My ego has jumped aboard for the ride, a passenger carrying a bag filled with expectations and pre-conceived notions.  I can hear the self-speak; negative, defeating, deafening, a false sense of knowing  . . . Who do you think you are? Your thoughts aren’t deep, but mine are. Your behavior annoys me, thinking you can see things, understand life without my shouting directions. You want to walk the talk thinking that will bring in life changes? You want to learn? I know all we need is the talk. You think you can learn from someone other than me? Hmmph, do you even know what your Higher Consciousness sounds like?  I raise an internal hand, a signal to stop the negative speak, the self-criticism. Guided to the switch, I turn on the light. Ego gets booted from the ride.

I hear the answer again “Find the Love in yourself”. The words strike me . . . like a pop, a bolt of lightening, the nudge that spirit gives when “this one’s for you” is the message conveyed. Simple words. Words ego has interpreted as wise, holding it's own face to the mirror of wisdom. They are just well-constructed sounds to the ego bearing the tone of wisdom. Words regurgitated with no back up. Words—my champions, my exasperations, my irritations. Words—worn out, old, unoriginal. Strung together in platitudes and clichés, missing the meat. But are they really? 

Freed momentarily from the noise of ego, I am able to take in the depth and complexity in such simple words. So, is this how Spirit shines through grief? Be silent, wait for the message, followed by the EXPERIENCE. I will recognize it WHEN it comes. It comes, and it comes again and I feel my annoyance soften. I thank Spirit for this message. 

Gratitude. 

I ask for more help in understanding and conquering this sometimes insurmountable feat. The answers will not come in my time but in the time Spirit knows I am ready to accept. 

Patience. 

Loving myself comes after loving others on my heart list. 

Awareness. 

So where is the “how to” of finding the Love in myself, for self? I take a moment for a mini-reflection and ask myself "What is Spirit saying to me, what is Grief trying to teach me?" I rephrase: “See myself through the lens of Love and begin to overlook short-comings.” Short-comings are what I am seeing in myself, recognized as judgements when seen in others. Reflections in a mirror; what I see in others, I see in myself. A very needed lesson while in human form. 

The Experience. 

The part of my heart that carries love for others needs to carry that same love for me. 

Knowledge/Wisdom. 

It began with that raising of my hand to ego. STOP! Sympathy and empathy turned inwards into compassion; an action as small as a hand raised to ego—a change moving me forward in my connection with Spirit; to that spiritual place my soul is working to help me remember. Grief, teaching me without flashing lights, bells and whistles— simple words, nothing earth shattering but then again how could it be, I was in a place of Spirit!! 

Peace.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 4 of 4)


Nearing the end of a day when air creates color as it says
its goodnight; the color whispers possibility for a better, new day.

Fall, a word that defines my tumble on the grief path.
Fall, the season that delivers me to Me . . .                                        
I look back, have been blessed with strong communication from Matty in spirit, the signs began the day of his passing. The signs and synchronicities, our new language; validations that his energy is somewhere close by. I can see what he intends for me to see, sometimes I even receive physical sensations of his presence—a smoothing of my hair on Mother’s Day, a comforting pressure on my back during bedtime rituals for  his children as I silently  regale “Daddy” with stories of his little ones while waiting for them to nod off for the night. As comforting as these beautiful hellos and messages are, there is a growing sense of being consumed by an internal numbness that comes with my inability to reconcile Matty in the physical everyday to eternal Matty in the spirit world. In my mind’s eye I hold the image of a bridge between the two worlds. A bridge separating a chasm that needs to be crossed in order to find him. That image creates a false sense of separation. I have been trying to cross that bridge when in reality, he is so close, all I needed was a stroll down the boardwalk.

MY personal link with Matty
My awareness, my awakening, my key, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—finding MY personal link in my connections, finding Matty; this is the pause in my story for this frame in time. I’m sure there is more of the unexpected to come. It’s been a long year but oh! so priceless in rewards.

Hindsight is inviting me to take a bow, listen to the applause I’m giving myself—a new sound to my ears. My psyche, my heart join in and my soul rejoices in my remembering. I accept my role and find myself in the last act of this play In the Gloaming of Grief  as it is closing out year three of Missing Matthew.

The synchronicities are bountiful, the signs are coming faster than I’ve ever EXPERIENCED. I’m taken back to Halloween. Jason my eldest is enfolded in the spirit of the holiday. He is attending a party and has chosen to go as a 1970’s table tennis champion. He’s dressed in the perfect costume and has adorned a wig, headband and wristbands along with a pair of glasses. He sends me a picture and it is if I am staring at Matty come back in physical form to celebrate his second favorite holiday. I lose my breath and wanting to let Jason have his night, I mention nothing about the similarities to his brother and let him know his costume is great; enjoy your party is my wish for him. Whoever comes in contact with the photo in this age of social media is stunned by the vision of Matty he exudes. There are no holds barred in friends letting him know he’s channeled his brother! We talk the next day and now that the cat is out of the bag I jokingly ask him if he heard the unforgettable song from Ghost, Unchained Melody” when dressed in costume the one where Patrick Swayze comes back to our world for a few minutes. 

Matty, never one to miss a party must have gotten wind
that Jason was going to be celebrating in the presence of an Ice Luge
for cold shots
making its Halloween Bash debut.

November rolls around and I am headed straight for the Merciless Months as coined in the past. This is a new year and I’m hoping grief spares me the anticipatory grief of the upcoming 11 special days we live through from Halloween to January 7th, trigger days. My mind processes one way, my body another.

We find out that Bear is lactose intolerant and I decide that I am going to deconstruct a cookie recipe and put it back together without dairy. This is coming directly from my heart. The Little One loves sweets and at three years old, this is a difficult transition for him but the benefits outweigh the changes. I meet with success. The cookies have the same look, chewiness and I can’t tell the difference between the dairy and non-dairy versions. I’m cleaning up the kitchen and after putting away dishes that were on drying mats (no pun intended), I am greeted by the most perfect smiley face I’ve ever seen! I thank my Matt and laugh out loud. He’s been with me the entire time I’ve been in the kitchen and now he's speaking to me in a language I love to speak.  I go to the stove top and oven to continue clean-up and this time and check on the cookies that are cooling.  I am greeted by a sad-face that is saying to me: “Mom the cookies look sooooo good, but I can’t eat them”.  Recognizing his wit and tenacity to communicate,  I am beyond thrilled. This is a visit from Matty! The signs, the spiritual shorthand that we now speak, hold the essence of his personality. Unmistakably.

Cookies, made with Love for his son and an effort coming directly
from the heart, elicit this wonderful visit from Matty.

Bruce’s birthday passes, our wedding anniversary is the next day, my birthday is in a few days. Hubby surprises me with an overnight get-away to a country inn in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The morning of my birthday, I awaken and ask Matt to please make sure I am totally aware of any sign or message, should there be one, on my special day. He has sent signs every birthday since his passing. As we are in the car driving up north the song Unchained Melody plays and I tear up, a trigger to his and Jason’s blending on Halloween. Hubby and I chat about how unusual it is to hear this song. It's an oldie and I recant my conversation with Jason and the link to this song. The song ends and my phone’s notifications app rings. I look at Facebook Messenger and a message comes in exactly at 3:13 from Beth D’Angelo (Grow Hope Project on Facebook), a friend and sister in grief, growth, healing and hope. The time stamp is significant. 13 is Matty’s validation number. Its my birth day and the number displayed on all his  sport jerseys throughout his school years. The message is beautiful. A gift from spirit to her heart and then from hers directly to mine. Here are Beth's words, her birthday wish for me:

If I were in your neighborhood, I’d ask you to lunch or dinner...I’d ask for the most perfect sky to shine down on you and illuminate your own bright light...
I’d sit at our lunch/dinner table and make sure you were comfortable with the ambience and at the perfect time.....I’d get up and offer my seat for Matty and quietly touch your shoulder, kiss your cheek and whisper, “I’ll be right outside- take all the time you want with your son”.

I can’t think of anything more meaningful to give you, Diane.
So, with this birthday wish, I am asking Matty to do what he can to give you whatever he can to be with his mother on her birthday.”

Happy birth-day, my dear sister  💜

The feeling that came over me was powerful, extraordinary and very physical. I may be unable to find the proper words to describe but I am going to try. I would wish this EXPERIENCE for every bereaved parent on their Special Day. Time with my son, what an exquisite gift! As I’m reading Beth’s beautiful, meaningful words, this energy envelops my body. Energy that feels like the pull you get when you place two magnets in close proximity, touching, and then pulling them apart. It was outside of me, was going through me front to back and back to front and lasted the entire time I read my birthday wish. A true Spirit hug from Matty. Tears of joy, tears for the beauty of the EXPERIENCE, tears because I know my Matty is also giving me this birthday wish. The miracle of the Universe shows itself once again and the words thank you do not seem enough. Matty stays for dinner and sends two of the songs he’s used to communicate as further validation however, there is no validation needed, he is with me. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah plays followed by Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out Loud. I am overcome. I feel the personal connection—gratitude to grace. 

November 19th brings two perfect heart signs to my awareness. “I Love you Mom, you’re getting the heart-hang of this”, I interpret.

Matty's sense of humor and wit are imbued in his communications.
Next, the heart on pavement filled with water and leaves . . . "I'll never leaf you Mom"

Thanksgiving Day, my Aunt and Cousin tell us of an auditory (clairaudience) EXPERIENCE they were blessed with before the holiday. They were at the Mall and clearly heard “Hey Auntie” in a voice they say was  distinctly Matty . . . but how could that be? Thinking that perhaps Jason is at the Mall as they have that genetic, familial sound-alike voice and laugh, the Ladies immediately check around inside and outside of the store and there is no one in the corridor they are in. The entire family gathering for the holiday is touched by this recent sign. We all love our Matty visits. The day progresses and Matty makes his grand finale entrance delivered by my two oldest granddaughters—his niece and his daughter. I tell the story of this sign in the blog post titled Bubble Matt—My Thanksgiving Sweet.

What I’ve learned is that MY personal link originates from my heart, from an act of Love as simple as baking cookies for a very loved little boy. I don’t even have to be conscious of this act. Love must ring a bell, Love must hold its own vibration that has a direct connection to spirit. MY connection, my personal link shows up in the every day heart to heart communications, from silent thoughts to gifts as grand as my birthday wish from Beth. My awareness was nudged, my heart was open, I believe, I trust and I was prepared to receive. There was a sharing of Love in the energy I felt from Matty—the long awaited supernal bond.

I am fortunate to have found a deep friendship with Rachel. She is an Evidential Medium and my dearest friend first. She has taught me much about connection with spirit and has always known and relayed that the passage into personal connection rests within. There is nothing else needed. Grief’s volume is set too high for me to hear and absorb her words clearly. My EXPERIENCE now pulls all the pieces together. Looking for and finding my personal link in the connection moves me forward as I am carried by my son.  Initially Mediums held the connection through their links and I was ever so grateful for the validation that Matty lives on, Love never dies and that in spirit he guides and watches over me. That something missing was my personal link in connection;  a personal link that would let me converse without an intermediary, the direct connection that would unmute my end of the conversation allowing me to EXPERIENCE the closeness of a relationship with Matty in spirit as it was in human form.

Why has this lesson taken so long? My guess would be this is a teachable moment for me and perhaps for others. Even though our paths are unique, in sharing we may be able to convey the feelings one may not be able to put into words. My blog posts have Matty’s signature all over them. You can hear the difference in cadence when Matty inspires, through his spiritual voice—our Language of Love. All I need, all we need to personally connect and partake in these supernal EXPERIENCES can be found within. It is up to each of us to find our own personal links and trust the journey. Heart versus Mind—Being versus Doing. Spirit perseveres and is with us even though we may be having difficulty finding our way. If I go back to the analogy of my phone conversation with Matty had he moved out of state; this is what I believe. I dial, the phone rings on his end. He picks up, I know he is there; I hear his Hello.  Unbeknownst to me, the mute button on my phone is turned on. I’m talking, then shouting “can you hear me”. He cannot until I become AWARE that I’m muted. There is no comfort, no satisfaction derived from this telephone call. He hangs up but will always answer again when it rings. When I am un-muted, MY personal link in our connection shifts the conversation, the comfort, the satisfaction completely. Unmute the heart and turn the volume of the mind down. Our children in spirit are close to us, with us. They communicate and we can’t reciprocate until we can heart them; yes heart  them goes one step beyond hearing them. The communications can be subtle, unexpected, delivered by another and can come in a form meant solely for you. Believe, be aware, trust. Do the hard work.

I have run into many companions along the way; old friendships and new, teachers, books, lessons, movies, songs, triggers. I've created space on my path so that these human, loving people and non-human much needed paraphernalia can walk with me when needed. Whatever emotions(s) sit(s) in my heart and cloud the mind (because sometimes they show up in pairs)  has/have also walked beside me; fear, loneliness and as unbelievable as it may sound . . . Gifts. Yes gifts, bestowed upon me by my sorrow, my sadness, the darkness, the quiet, the empty—the very hard, hard work. In grief I have befriended them and in so doing, they have shown me their other side and walked me forward.

What gifts can I possibly perceive after my world, my beliefs, the core of me has been completely upended? With loss comes rebuilding, repair, renewal, reentry.  I surrender to the SomeOne/Source/God/Universe/I AM that is greater than I. I find a blank slate in me. I have been gifted a heart than can see. It now possesses a direct link to my soul allowing me to hear, listen and feel with a sensitivity that originated when the special in Matty fused with the special in me. It has been opened to giving, sharing and receiving that beautiful energy that is Love and Matty. I’m seeing the beauty, living with and communicating the glorious essence that is my boy in spirit.

Matty's words for the final paragraph of this post were the first to find their way onto the keyboard, with instruction to hold 'til the end . . .

Grief is complex, multi-layered. It is not all sadness, despair and depression. There is space for joy, happiness and laughter. It is not a dirty word. It is a human word. It survives the dark of the ache and thrives in the light of joy and is born of the human heart’s ability to Love and the need to experience the circuitous, convoluted, entangled, intricate, knotted jumble of emotions and feelings, tears and smiles, falls and uplifts. It is not meant to be minimized, quelled or compartmentalized. It does not have to wear a public face . . . it needs to wear the bearer’s face. My grief has turned down its volume. I feel its vibration as it finds its proper place in my heart. It mingles, becomes one of the necessary functions. Its purpose is to remind me that my son lived in the physical, that I continue to live in the physical, that we learned to Love in the physical, that I will miss him in the physical. The soul holds our spiritual connection along with the wondrous, mysterious gems I glimpse as well as the secrets the Universe is safeguarding for me. The physical is what makes me human. My tears are the very real release that my heart occasionally needs, like the cleansing out breath of air when held too long in the lungs. My tears do not shame me, they awaken me to the balance I’ve found in living between my two worlds. They have an open invitation to be felt in the present, in the moment in which they occur. They honor the Love I have for my son. I will remain human until my last breath is taken. This is my “Now Normal”.


To read Parts 1, 2 & 3, please click the links below:
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 3 of 4)
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 2 of 4)
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 1 of 4)


JOIN US ON FACEBOOK CLICK THE LINK:  VOICE OF GRIEF



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 3 of 4)

Time passes and with patience, hard work and meeting Grief
unequivocally, I am shown more 
of the beauty being offered.

The warmth of summer . . .                                                                
The summer months hold a fascination with walking conservation trails, searching for peace, seeking wisdom in the age old trees, listening for answers in the babbling of a brook. Beauty speaks to me without a need to learn a new language. The heart is my translator and I learn much about myself. Some questions find answers, others remain open.

A lesson in opening the heart is presented by spirit. I am guided to the work of Dr. Omid Safi, a columnist for On Being and Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He acquaints me with a new way of interpreting the question “How are you” when greeting someone. Dr. Safi explains that in many Muslim cultures, that question is asking about your heart. “How is your heart doing at this moment?”. I learned that this is a most compassionate way to greet a friend, especially the bereaved. How is your heart doing? My heart instantly warms to the message. I ask myself “Diane, how is your heart at this very moment?”. I hear myself. I’m surprised as the inner me, my subconscious utters “You care about me? You want to take time to know this place in me, to feel where I am today?” "Yes", is my reply. "You are sharing your humanity, your Love and I will share mine".

What is an open heart? What is the the heart’s purpose as we are shepherded to remember our spirit enveloped in this human EXPERIENCE? Yes, shepherded. We have a team of spirits at the ready, waiting to be asked for help. I want to highlight the word EXPERIENCE. It holds such meaning and is one of the keys that unlocked my understanding of connection with Matty. 

What feelings do I feel from the heart?  What feelings do I feel when receiving from others? How do I feel when I Love, when I give, when I share, when I receive, when I forgive, when I show mercy?  How do I feel when all is reciprocated? I can now sense gratitude, comfort, peace, blessedness. Is this not the language of the heart? Is this not what opening your heart is all about? It is about trusting the feelings, the sensations, the vibrations. It is living life guided by, completely aware of these same feelings, sensations and vibrations rather than with what the human eyes can see yet cannot interpret to the depth that the heart can. When I am living with an open heart, my human eyes simply become a passenger riding shotgun as I travel down Grief’s Super Highway—destination, re-entry into a transcendent life.

I attend National Conferences for bereaved parents. I arrive home with a full heart from the many connections made yet more questions surface.

Am I carrying expectations? Why now do I continue to feel a disconnect from my beautiful son? Am I angry? Am I impatient? What about our soul contact? Am I willing to ignore how far I've walked with grief these past two years? Do I even Love myself? Will this chatter ever stop?

Spirit tries again. My awareness is nudged. Another lesson. Spirit is trying to get my attention and I’m not mindful until absolute annoyance presents itself. Hindsight is my teacher and spirit has a sense of humor. It isn’t until two weeks have passed of daily, and some days multiple occurrences of a single solitary strand of hair landing onto my arm that I realized perhaps I am being prodded by spirit, but not before the maniacal exhibition of wildly jerky moves to remove it begins. The neck straightens the head bobs, the hand transforms into a claw and attacks that one spot on the arm where I am convinced that hair will be located and removed. When it isn’t, the claw pecks like a chicken at grain. When I still come up with nothing, I go to the light. I twist my arm, I turn it and aha! I catch a glimpse of that stealthy irritation. I lift it off, open my index and forefinger and drop the nuisance on to the floor. Finally, I get out of myself enough to ask spirit “is this a sign, are you trying to tell me something?”  As the light of dawn permeates my grief-altered-slow-to-sometimes-pick-up mind, I pause for a mini-reflection. My thought: if a strand of hair, so light and without weight can create a sensation so intense that I immediately need to remove it from one of my limbs, then surely spirit’s subtle energy can be felt, can be recognized that a loved one is around. No answer but a lot of awareness and staying in the present moment to identify other signs that may be nudging me.

A recent morning after, I boot up my laptop and receive a notice from Amazon that I’ve purchased a book by Kim Russo, “The Happy Medium: Life’s lessons from the Other Side; not one book but two as the audible version was ordered as well.  I order books from my Kindle all the time. I have been drawn from one book to another since Matty’s passing and this is how my Afterlife/Everlife library has grown. There is no way I can accidentally order a book let alone two! I have to access the Kindle store, complete multiple steps, click buy, the book is delivered and then I can continue shopping or go to my library. Could this be another sign from Matty; a tool to help build awarenessa gift I end up paying for myself? I devour the book. It is a treasure trove of information on how to practice opening up the “clairs” the psychic senses of clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, claircognizance, clairalience, and clairgustance. . . the elements that I can now identify, that held no name for me whenI began to experience them in my communicatons with Matty in spirit.  As validation, these six senses were the topic of a July support meeting with Chris Mulligan. I have EXPERIENCED one incident of clairaudience on Matty’s First Mattiversary, when I head one word “Mom”his voice, volume, inflection, unmistakable. After the discussion of the clairs at our meeting, I received a notification from one of our potential Facebook page members accepting an invite to join at exactly 11:11; an invite that was 4 months old! I saved the screenshot. The members last name and first initial were the same as Matty’s favorite band—Dave Matthews. More nudging, more tools, more guidance and I continue my mission to discover MY personal connection and catch a glimpse of the other side of grief.

I am in awe at the detail in the choreography that must occur for me to see with my human eyes and interpret with my heart eyes. The signs come less often but the synchronicities are becoming more complex. The miracle workings of spirit are teaching me that I must believe first and foremost and be open to receiving.

I continue to feel the something missing. My mind engages in more learning and the pause needed to observe, acknowledge . . .  to practice this earthwork is waving at me from the horizon. Practice conveys a process of continual growth and learning and this resonates with discovering how to, and attain living, a spiritual life.

Songs sent as signs support the emotional turmoil I am living through. I’ve filled pages and pages in my journal. In one of my entries I express:  “I feel like the "sky is falling". Distracted by the phrase in trying to remember which fairytale that specific line belongs to, I decide to spend some time with my friend Google, A Radiohead song comes up in the search "Where I end & you begin. (The Sky is Falling In)”. The lyrics aren't as meaningful as the song title and Wow, Wow, Wow! that was about as good as Matty speaking English to me! Where I end & you begin was the reverse of a message he had sent through Rachel Pearson after she asked me if I feel Matty when writing my Matty inspired blog posts. I answered “No”, I don’t feel him physically. She tells me he is standing to my left when we write. More comfort, more gratitude yet I have been feeling more of a gap than a thin veil that separates the physical realm from the other side since the beginning of my internal chaos.




Messages of comfort were relayed via
Evidential Mediums in my early grief. Comfort gently
holds Healing's hand and together we walk towards
the beauty that life continues to hold through the ache.

The song’s lyrics speak to me:
There's a gap in between
There's a gap where we meet
Where I end and you begin

My daughter in law and I set a date for dinner out, alone; a night away from the Littles that we Love, but we need some Mom/Daughter catch up time. Grief seems to have settled in an unexpected way for both of us. I am feeling so torn, so bad, so guilty about the signs and synchronicities not being enough; about seeking to find more. This journey is spiritual and I cannot continue to look through the lens of my human eyes. I’m sharing my heart with Nikki and on the sound system comes the song: "I Won't Give Up"  by Jason Mraz. The lyrics break my heart. I’m feeling as though  I’m hurting Matthew with my thoughts and difficulty in comprehending our new language. Impossible to hurt one in spirit, yet in my grief, I am hanging onto that human perspective. Here are some of the lyrics:

“And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find”


The Love is so strong, He hears me. He waits. He knows the lessons must continue and he continues to send validation. His validations break through my curtain of grief.

To be continued . . . 


To read Parts 1 & 2, please click the links below:
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 2 of 4)
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 1 of 4)

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK CLICK THE LINK:  VOICE OF GRIEF