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Death is not the End

When I was 23 years old my mother passed away. She was 41 and at that time, in my young mind, she seemed old. But when I finally reached that age I realized how young she really was. At the time of her death I experienced many different emotions. You see, she had MS (multiple sclerosis), which was very hard to detect back then. She had so many different symptoms, and the doctors thought it was everything from sugar diabetes to a tumor behind her eye. By the time they figured it out she was quite sick. She was so unhappy that she actually tried to take her own life a couple of times. But I caught her with the pills in her hand and took them away from her. I just couldn’t knowingly let her do it. But as time went on she eventually ended up in a convalescent hospital. That’s when she really gave up completely. That’s when she found a way to let herself go. She refused to eat and they had to force feed her through a tube. But even that wasn’t enough to sustain her. She had made up her mind that she didn’t want to live like that anymore.

The last time I saw her she was only about 75 pounds. She looked like a skeleton with skin. I remember hugging her and telling her I loved her, but she had really lost touch with reality. She smiled and patted me on the back as I laid across her chest and cried. I went home that night and cried and yelled at God to please take her. Why did she have to suffer anymore? Why did me and my family need to suffer anymore? I just wanted it to stop.

Believe it or not, just a few days later it happened. I was in school at a beauty college when I saw my dad pull into the parking lot. I ran outside and he yelled for me to get in the car. And although I was pretty sure why he was there I still asked “Why?” He just yelled again and moved into the passenger seat so that I could drive because he was too upset. I knew where to go even though he didn’t tell me.

When we got to the hospital we went to the front desk and told the woman there who we came to see. She said in a very pleasant voice, “Oh yes, she just passed. Would you like to see her?” My dad collapsed in my arms and I told the woman no. I never saw my mom dead. I had seen enough and didn’t want that to be the last image I remembered. So we went back to the car and drove to my parents home.

It was a very weird day. For some reason my 3 younger siblings decided to go visit her. That was not something they did very often. I know that it was very difficult for all of us to see her dwindling away like that. When they got to her room they saw the men wheeling her out in a body bag. That really freaked them out. So they ended up back at the house too. Then my oldest brother just happened to show up as well. He didn’t even know why he came there. I truly believe my mother was guiding us all to be together. Even the dog was crying. So we all decided to spend the rest of the day together drinking and talking about the good things we remembered about our mother.

But as the days went on I was going through many different emotions, like was it me that caused her to die because I yelled at God? The guilt was overwhelming. And then I felt angry that she let herself die. She literally willed herself to die. She was always a very lively and uplifting person, so when she ended up in a wheelchair that was the end in her mind. And then the sadness started. I knew she was dying but when it actually happened I was shocked and I realized that I would never see her again. There were so many feelings going through my mind that I thought I could just go crazy. I felt depressed and lonely.

Then came the funeral. The whole day was sort of a blur. I remember being at my parents home after the church service and people telling me how much they loved my mom. But I had no idea who they were. And if they loved her so much where were they these past many years? I was feeling very resentful toward everyone. I just went to my old bedroom to be alone until it was time to go home. My oldest brother and I rented a house together, and that night we were sitting in our living room talking about our mom, when out of the corner of our eyes we saw a white shadowy figure pass through the hallway. We both looked in that direction and then back at each other when he said, “Don’t say a word.” I just stayed quiet, but I knew in my heart that it was her.

At that point I don’t really remember if I had a very strong opinion of life after death. I just knew she was gone and I missed her already. The next day I was lying on my bed thinking about her when the weirdest feeling came over me. It was as if my body became very heavy and my spirit detached. I felt my spirit sit up and I felt a presence sit on the bed next to me. We hugged for what seemed like a couple of minutes, and I knew it was my mother. Then I felt my spirit lay back into my body. I sat up like a spring had pushed me, and I realized that tears were streaming down my face. I looked around my room hoping to see her but she had gone. That moment in time was so real, and to this day I can still remember the feeling of that hug.

After that day I never had as deep a feeling as that, but I did feel her around me. I even had dreams that she was asking me to give a message to someone. Like when my 2 year old niece died, she told me to let my brother know that she was taking care of her. I thought it was just a dream so I didn’t say anything to my brother. But a few nights later I had the dream again, and this time she was more insistent that I pass on the message. I knew then that she was really telling me to do this so I called my brother immediately upon awakening. I told him what she said and I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but it had to be done.

Over the years I have known many people that have transitioned to the other realm. And I have had many dreams of them communicating with me. I love the messages I get and the feelings that they are happy where they are.

Recently I have taken on the job of caregiver for my 94 year old friend. We have been friends for 40 years. I actually met her a couple of years after my mother transitioned. We really hit it off and she became sort of a substitute mom. In the last few years she became more dependent on me because she was scared to drive. So I helped her with her grocery shopping, nail and hair appointments, doctor visits and much more. We also spent her last few birthdays together. She would tell me what she wanted to do and we’d do it. But she wasn’t helpless by any means. She still lived alone and cooked her own meals, paid her own bills and did light house cleaning. I did the heavy cleaning. She’s always been a self-sufficient, independent woman. But 2 days after her 94th birthday she fell in her bathroom and bruised her ribs. This caused her to need help getting up and down, and using the restroom and getting food. I actually stayed at her house for a few days to help her out, but she was getting weaker. She finally got to a point when she had to go to the hospital.

When they checked her out they found that she had pneumonia and sepsis. They kept her in ICU for a few days and she got a little better. And after a few weeks they sent her to a rehab hospital. They tried to get her up and walking again but she is also a very stubborn woman and she refused to do anything they asked her to do. So eventually they said she had to go because there were other people needing the bed.

She has 4 grown children and they were all trying to figure out where they could put her. She couldn’t be home alone anymore. And her kids do not live close. So I stepped up and volunteered to move into her home with her and take care of her for as long as she was here on this earth. Besides if they did find a home for her nobody could visit her because of the pandemic. The siblings discussed it and agreed that it would be a good idea for me to move in.

So now it’s been 5 months, and I have learned a lot, working with the hospice nurses and the CNA’s that come to stay with her when I go to work. I see her dwindling away very slowly. She probably weighs about 80 pounds now. She now reminds me of how my mother looked at the end, a skeleton with skin. She’s in a lot of pain and she has rashes and sores that just won’t heal. Before her fall she was being treated for something called hormonal cancer, but they stopped treating her when she first went into the hospital. So I suppose the rashes and sores are the cancer eating away at her. No one seems to know what’s going on with her. Human beings are such a mystery. My mother willed herself to die and this woman is resisting death with all her might. For some reason she says she’s scared and she doesn’t want to die. But of course we are all going to die. I try to tell her that dying is not the end, it’s a new beginning. But she can’t wrap her head around that concept. I truly believe with all my heart that we are all energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It just changes form. Our bodies are a temporary home for our eternal energy, and when we are finished with it we will return to the realm we came from in the first place. We will be pure energy once again, without pain or anger or hate or any other negative feelings. We will be happy and joyful and we will be with people we love once again. Not only that but we can still communicate with the ones we left behind. Life is too short to worry or fret. Life on earth is supposed to be fun. We are everlasting beings and death is not the end, it is a joyous new beginning. And although I am not ready to go now I am not dreading the day I do. I know it will be wonderful and my life here will have been meaningful to the ones I leave behind.

I hope this blog has made sense to anyone who reads it, and I hope it makes you feel good about life here and there. Live like there’s no tomorrow and find happiness wherever you can. And remember there is always tremendous love here for you.

Your Friend,

Deb Mertan


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