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 oldest 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. 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 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 for my birthday. The morning of my birthday, I awaken and asked Matt to please make sure I am totally aware of any sign or message, should there be one to come 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 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 her heart directly to mine. Here are her 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 everybody 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. Tears of joy, tears for the beauty of the EXPERIENCE, tears because I know my Matty is also giving me this birthday wish. The magic 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 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 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, that allows me to EXPERIENCE the closeness of a relationship 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 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 Some/One/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 instructions 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”. 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 was being prodded 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 you are 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 the 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 so 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 accidently 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, clairscent, clairtangency, and clairgustance. . . the topic of our July  Living with Hope meeting with Chris Mulligan. I have EXPERIENCED one incident of clairaudience on Matty’s First Mattiversary, when I head one “Mom”, his voice, volume, inflection, unmistakable. After the discussion of the clairs at our meeting I received a notification from one of our potential Living with Hope members accepting the invite to join at exactly 11:11, an invite that was 4 months old! I saved the screenshot. The members name same as Matty’s and his 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

Monday, December 4, 2017

IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 2 of 4)



Light bathed in color speaks of hope

Heralding in spring . . .                                                            
Empty was cavernous in the springtime. As I watched everything come to life, take on new colors, blossom and bloom I was stuck in the winter of things. My grief was thick, I was feeling the separation and I needed relief.

The Easter holy day and the secular celebration of the bunny was nipping at my heels. I needed to make a last minute run to the grocery store and a department store to cap the preparation for dinner and Easter baskets. I found myself in my safe place, my car. It was well beyond sunset, approaching dark and I was armed with my tissues but not my big sunglasses. I cherish my roles of Mom, Gammy, Aunty and these are the roles that help define me. This is where I am able to live from the heart and as much as I hear about self-love, just say no, take care of yourself first—family nurturance remains at the top of my list. The grandchildren are too young to understand these adult feelings and needs and it is important to me, my husband, my living family that we allow as much joy as the day will bring. Our traditional Easter egg hunt is becoming a bit like a scavenger hunt with the oldest able to read. Jaelyn can lead as the pied piper and her minions follow in search of tiny treasures.  In this light, time and I negotiate. At this moment, my desire to see joy overtakes the need to feel a river of tears although needed. This is the one area that I can still multitask. Crying and driving. The car wins and I can release my grief. I choose the department store as my first destination. The distance will afford me the most cry drive time.

Talking to Matty in another one-sided conversation so I think, as I cannot feel MY personal link, I tell him about my sadness and the joy that the morrow will bring. I ask for a sign. I need validation that he is “around”, that he can see me, hear me. Why can’t I feel? I arrived home close to 9:00 pm and as soon as the bags are unloaded, my Facebook Messenger notification rings at 8:58. It is a message from of one of Matt’s college buddies who says he’s been meaning to reach out, he drafts a few emails and never sends them. He tells me things about Matthew that I know and loved, other things I do not know and what he loves most about my son. He tells me about the Matt that “lay beneath that huge persona, the most socially gifted person I've ever met”.  He tells me of secret trips to the rooftop of their fraternity house where Matty introduces him to great music, deep thought and the passions in his life. He tells me Matt “would like to look at things from a distance to gain perspective—how insightful, smart and incredibly loyal he was”. He tells me: “Matt loved you, and actually talked about it often. I know that you had an incredibly special relationship”.

What more could I possibly ask for? My son telling me he Loves me through a friend’s message, a note whose sending was delayed for for two years! A note and a message that was received at the perfect time, at the perfect place—my heart. The divine orchestration that works behind the scenes to bring forth such validation, these exceptional moments are sacred to me. They have a supernal feel, they come from a higher place and are much revered. In a moment of deep grief, Matty reaches beyond the veil to bring awareness and comfort. The awareness continues to be transparent yet the comfort is greatly appreciated. Another miracle moment and yet my heart is still in need of healing and greater understanding.

How many times and in how many different ways has Matty communicated with me? I’m awestruck at the number of connections, the intricacies in delivering, the interwovenness of the number of hearts involved. The Love of it all!  I receive Matty’s messages with the utmost gratefulness for the blessing.

It is now May and I continue my expedition to locate and reveal the magic that MY personal link holds in connections. I am introduced to outside physical resources that have resulted in direct connection with a loved one. The pendulum yields yes/no answers. Voice recorders are capturing sounds from discarnate spirits. This is nothing new, it has been documented for decades upon decades. I decide if others can make connection, I will try. I devote time, not a lot, simply minutes in the morning and the evening, The recordings are no more than one minute in length. If it is meant to be I will meet with success. I talk into the voice recorder on my cell phone. Unlike EVP connections, I am using no background noise, my equipment consists of the quality of a cell phone mic and built in software that will let me record. I am unsuccessful in every of my 32 attempts, one half hour of my time spread over five days. . . until.

I’m drawn to Facebook one evening. It’s late, around midnight. I come across a post from Matty’s friends out west. That have opened a bar and in honoring his love for the area and the friendships they’ve shared, they hang a photo of Matthew behind the bar. This is one of those moments when the love shared in friendship is palpable. I am touched deeply by the connection, the loyalty this Band of Brothers continue to show for one another. My heart swells and my eyes tear. This is a moment I want to share with Matty. I locate my cell phone and start recording the story. I ask “Do you have a message for us” (I have numbered the recordings and this one is Voice recording #29). My final attempt for the night takes place in  Voice recording #31, Nothing, no response however I become aware of lyrics that keep looping in my mind, Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”. A beautiful sign from Matty letting me know he loves me deeply.  The next morning I awaken and try my hand at connection with Matty once again via my cell phone recorder. As I try and replay this most recent recording, it will not open and jumps back to Voice Recording #27. I dismiss, go back to #32 and again the recording will not open. Finally, after a few more attempts I wonder if this is Matty playing with my electronics. I say “OK Matty, you win . . . I’ll open # 27. Within the first few seconds I hear, in his voice, the message “Hang Tight”. Taken aback, totally surprised, extremely grateful; this is the one and only message I receive before retiring my cell phone in my research for connection. Matty's message was recorded on an older voice recording that had held no messages when first listened to in days prior. The signs now morph into a set of synchronicities as I look back on these events but not before seeing this meme as the first post in my Facebook newsfeed on the morning of May 20th.


When the Universe speaks, my ears are perked!
Connection to my child in spirit and finding MY personal link is a process much like grief. It is a process with many steps, some move me forward and some backward. Patience is a virtue as is hard work. I must first BELIEVE that a connection between the spirit of my child and the spirit that is me exists. The EXPERIENCE will validate the belief. Without belief I cannot become AWARE of the nuances, the whispers, the shift in my human reality allowing me to see with my human eyes, moving this EXPERIENCE to my heart where I absorb, acknowledge spirit’s messages and release the gratitude that flows as the weight the signs carry in my healing become my first miracle EXPERIENCE.

Miracle takes on a new definition contrary to what my Catholic upbringing has taught me. A miracle feels like the joy in Spirit vs the joy in my human-ness. When I am given a glimpse beyond the veil and carry that EXPERIENCE back to my earthly being,  a fusion takes place where the spirit in me uncovers a remembrance that I am spirit embodied in a human EXPERIENCE. Connection is a spirit to spirit EXPERIENCE. The connection existed ALWAYS. I needed to do the emotional hard work of grief  and learn the process of connection  . . . but I am getting ahead of myself and will come back to this momentarily.

I cannot give up.  I remember this Love like no other  I have for my son. It beats stronger, faster in my chest and for over two years has propelled me to embark on a quest to find him in whatever form and wherever he now exists. The dragon of grief has hurt my phoenix and she is laying in the ashes. Quiet and empty, I'm coming in on my own to bring to light the treasure you are sheltering for me.


To be continued . . . 

To read Part 1, please click the link below:
IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 1 of 4)

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK CLICK THE LINK:  VOICE OF GRIEF


Saturday, December 2, 2017

IN THE GLOAMING OF GRIEF (Part 1 of 4)

The skyscape portends the beauty that lies hidden in darkness

I always liked the word ‘gloaming’; a bit obscure yet so descriptive. That time of day yearning to become night, the twilight, dusk. I found myself in this space with my grief between years two and three. Sensing the quiet that precedes the transition, I made a decision . . . I am unwilling to let darkness overcome me. I will learn how to turn on my own light.


Eleven months ago . . .
My internal space feels empty. I'm unsure how to describe this absence of feeling. Matty's story, my story . . . they’re interwoven, have been since his birth. Faced with his physical death I've been walking between two worlds, from the human to the spirit and back. I find myself with more questions than answers . . . utterly exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally yet holding on to my spirituality; I sense it is my lifeline.

Is grief a journey or is grief a process? The definitions are interchangeable. When I journey, I am taking action, moving forward; choosing from the many paths offered along the way. My destination is healing and hope fuels my travels. This I have known from early grief. My plan is to arrive at healing and reside in solace. The problem . . . I'm not quite sure how to get there.

When I see grief as a process, I see transformation as my end result. Healing will bring about personal changes and hope shines a light upon the stages, phases and/or layers needed to work through. Arrive, healing, hope . . .  journey and process sharing the same terminology.

Is this nothing more than semantics? Are there right words, wrong words? Words with power?  Others that slow my walk to healing? I've found made up words that bring together and made up words that divide. Is there a grief vocabulary, a dictionary?

I'm simply looking for a way to live, to be. I’m slowed by crossroads and roadblocks when my internal GPS seems to be failing me.  My pathway guides me to understanding how to work through the chaos, the disruption, the uncertainty, the doubt and myriad emotions that introduce themselves in my periods of mourning and grieving. Adding to the turmoil in grief, I greet the confusion that ensues when I find moments of joy, hand in hand with grief’s ache knocking on the door to my heart. I've felt the good, the not so good and have been delivered to the balance between opposing emotions. There is no simple way. I do the heavy lifting grief requires . . . everyday.

I almost give up this time. I am blanketed by the quiet and the empty. I am not giving up on life per se, yet I am ready to let go of the chains that grief's hold has on me. I am tired of doing the work, the searching; the highs and comforts of receiving signs and the dullness that befalls me when the atmosphere of their absence surrounds me.  Learning a new language, the language of spirit, is refreshing, rewarding and when doubt nicks my sheath of trust, I feel like I am failing the test. The ups, the downs, the twists, the turns . . . I am like a kite free floating on air currents and I need steady.  I am tired of this feeling that something is missing, within reach, within my grasp, that one thing that will catapult me back to life but I am unable to grab hold if I don’t know what it is. I shout out to Matthew in utter desperation, “I'm done. This is too much work. I’ll see you when I'm dead.”

This is GRIEF. Words of mine that hit me like a bucket of ice water to the heart; so cold, so harsh so unexpected that it changes the invisible metronome that marks the beats I am so accustomed to . . .  and then the real work begins.

I see with clarity the picture of what brought me here to this new layer of grief, yet after Matty’s second anniversary, the big picture out remains fuzzy. I've been thrown back to the beginning of mourning . . . not reliving that fateful day, but back to the beginning where that question “What do I do now?” looms large and loud.  I find myself in a space that I am having difficulty defining. I am in that space of both recalling and reliving yet not with "what ifs" and "if onlys". I'm feeling that deep well of sadness and the longing that overshadows. Only this time I realize, these feelings are about me, I have mourned and grieved Matty but not the loss of me.

How do I now fit into my life? What does this new life look like? Where did my motivation go? Am I sadness? No, it seems to be replaced by weariness. How do I re-enter life with all its normal daily challenges and excitement, joys and sorrows, successes and failures? Why is everything I feared, disliked and have been unable to conquer personally . . . discomfort, anger, conflict, trust, letting go . . . finding my truth, my voice. Why are these hiddens asking to be seen, heard, acknowledged and healed? NOW? 

I do not realize that my innermost desire is whispering to me. I cannot hear it. I can feel the unsettled-ness of it all, yet am unable to recognize it.  I am holding onto the expectation that my . . . no wait, that’s the missing! The revelation, this is not just about me. This continues to be the story of Matty and me. The MY I’m not feeling is the missing part of connection. I am privy to a connection. I know there is a connection that exists between my boy and me. I have evidenced that connection from medium readings, signs and synchronicities. I may be searching for something that does not exist but I don’t think so. In the physical, in Matty’s earthly life, I felt a bond, EXPERIENCED a deep bond that was alive and well. There was an “our” connection, a joining, a merging; MY half of the connection that made me his mother and his half that made him my son. A connection as strong as the umbilical cord that tied us together, and even though it was cut at birth, it left its mark like the sensation from an amputated limb. It was replaced by  an emotional attachment, invisible yet giving off physical cues; an attachment stronger than steel—nurtured, cared for, understood, made to feel secure by Love. I am looking for that attachment whose mark was left at birth by the umbilical cord. How can I find it in the absence of verbal communication? We are non-verbal, my boy and I. I must learn a new language, create space for awareness, openness and receiving with no cues, no facial expressions. I feel the dissolution of the trust, security and balance that framed our human to human bond, our attachment.  Where is MY spiritual umbilical cord that will let me start over once again; that lets me know the continued connection with Matty is mine, is personal, and is two-way? I’m feeling the separation. I need to find MY spiritual link; the link that will tie a mother with her son’s spirit.

“If he would have moved to Tahoe”, I tell myself, as he had planned after college, we would have connected by phone. I could pick up that phone and call him, hear him, still feel his absence but appease the yearning, the missing. My heart would rejoice at the sound of his voice, his laughter, his “I Love you Mama” before disconnecting. When next needed, I could simply quiet these feelings of yearning and missing by picking up the phone again. The phone—the device that provides the opportunity for connection. My intention, my actions, dialing or a voice command set the stage for direct communication. His availability, his picking up on the ring, the vibration that lets him know action is needed—this is what completes our direct connection. Our combined actions, impersonal until the first “Hello”, when two hearts united in Love, kindle that unseeable bond, the attachment illuminated from within. It is the personal link that gives life to the Mother/Son, human to human connection. It is the place from where communication flows. It is my security and balance enjoyed for 36 years that lets me know all is right with the world. Is this the piece of me that I felt die the day he died?

This bond, this attachment that lives in my human physical world, elusive to me now that Matty is in the spirit realm, is the something I feel is within reach but cannot grab hold of. In the flesh we remain bonded in that mother and son relationship regardless of geographical distance. The relationship is alive, distance can have no impact.

I see the error in my thinking. MY personal link, MY natural inborn link must be soul spirit to spirit. The spirit in me must connect with his spirit. MY personal link originates from Love. A spirit connection can originate from a Medium reading, a sign received from another, a physical object like a pendulum or electronics such as an EVP reading.  These connections bring much comfort and strengthen the hope needed as I embark on my journey toward healing. They validate that life continues, Love never dies. As real as these connections are, not ever will they bring me to MY personal link that transforms to MY new spiritual bond: the bond between the spirit in me to the spirit that is he . . . the bond, the attachment  that is needed, searched for after death; the EXPERIENCE that validates I have found Matty in his new form, in his new home. The key to unlocking this treasure is through LOVE, only LOVE, direct from spirit to spirit, no intermediary needed.  Lessons will show me a new way of thinking and deliver me a new perspective that is sorely needed for my mood, my sanity, my confusion, my growth and my healing. I have gained awareness yet it comes with no guide book. I have gained comfort yet the yearning and the missing continue—grief continues. However, Matty sends a clear sign, a validation to exactly this way of thinking. Hindsight maintains focus on the lessons that still need to be learned before the gift can be opened.

To be continued . . . 

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Friday, November 24, 2017

BUBBLE MATT—MY THANKSGIVING SWEET!

Our beloved lives in our hearts — LIVES as we experience
his Love in so many ways, in ways he shows he is present in our daily lives.



Thanksgiving . . . it's filled with moments of the bitter and the sweet. Our table has morphed into seating for family members and friends who hold an empty chair in their hearts. We serve up as many emotions as we do sides on this special Thursday. A bitter moment for me was when I was trying to bring Matty into the kitchen, to help with prep or keep me company I guess, by listening to many covers of our significant song, Leonard Cohen’s 'Hallelujah'. In my best Bridget Jones' lip syncing imitation, I was putting all the feel and moves into this song, holding my imaginary mic as I air-belted the words, thinking that if I set the stage, the atmosphere, the ambiance that Matty's presence would fill every square inch of this room—this room filled with memories that would hold me as a voluntary hostage for the next two days. The song's lyrics and the room's memories came in quicker than I was able to move Matty's presence from my heart to infusing the air with his Love—the Love I would breathe in for the next few days. The tears came along with the realization that what I was wanting, missing most was his very human exhilaration over the menu, the gathering, the sound of his laughter and the feel of his hugs. Tears, my grounding in the human-ness of grief flowed.
Then the sweet! I have to tell you about my favorite holiday gift memorial of Matt. It's a snow globe that holds Matty's picture. The grands fell in love with this gorgeous orb that holds a four season spot in our living room. Made of plastic and not glass, Matty's self-contained winter wonderland has survived a year of kisses, falls and just a bunch of holding for comfort's sake. As the adults were enjoying conversation after a hearty meal, the two oldest girls came skating in stocking'd feet into the kitchen holding Bubble Matt (as our sphere is affectionately called), shouting "And let's say Happy Thanksgiving to this guy!" Instant smiles and a chorus of Happy Thanksgiving Matty, Daddy, Uncle Matty echoed throughout the dining area. Matty's grand finale Thanksgiving day. They balance each other . . . the bitter and the sweet. Thankful for the Love that allows us to fully feel both.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MUSINGS FROM THE REFLECTION BENCH


THE REFLECTION BENCH








There are more than signs and synchronicities that validate when our Loved Ones are near. I invited Matty to take a walk with me this morning on a beautiful stretch of conservation land in our town. The landscape of my mind and heart are a bit monochromatic at the moment as I sit patiently waiting to sort out the tug between the two. Grief lessons are familiar to me.
Uncomfortable is my silent partner at the moment. No worries or concerns. I'm trusting the process which culminates in a blessing requiring a bit of time and reflection to see the bloom.
I love being out here. I'm writing from my reflection bench, listening to nature's symphony. In my heart it stands shoulder to shoulder, adagio to allegro with our great works of classical music. I hear the winds whispering to the leaves, their rustling sounds in answer. The tall, thin, wispy trees creaking in laughter. The birds' chirpingss making me aware of the unseen life that surrounds me. The brook ripples, moving all melodic notes forward.The flapping of a butterfly's wing as it performs its dance in the tall grass that graces my path, nudging me to lift my eyes. Taking note of the spots of color breaking through the browns and tans all around me, I know that Matthew is with me. He shows me that Hope is the color that marks my way out of the uncomfortable-ness. He shows me the beauty in a safe, sacred place where more than one are able to grow when side by side. He dappled sunlight onto my heart. He's making me smile, internally as well as externally as we spend time on our reflection bench . . . together.


GROWING SIDE BY SIDE IN SHARED SPACE
A reminder of how we help each other when we walk together in grief to healing

A HEART SHAPED ROCK
Dappled by a ray of sunshine, brought to mind a metaphor for Hope in the midst of grieving

A SPOT OF COLOR
Brightens the mood and lifts the emotions, experiencing a moment of joy
I am grateful my son for the awareness you're teaching me, allowing these gifts to come through. Your signs always comfort, your nudgings bring me a world of peace. I Love you. 

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