Tag Archives: loss

Going out on that limb again.

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Okay, I know I said my last weird experience post was the finale but after I blogged them all… I realized it actually wasn’t. The following is what I wrote three months after my mother passed. Her wish was to be cremated but she never told me what to do with her ashes. Being an only child I agonized over the decision, but knew that part of her should rest somewhere in New Jersey where she spent some of the happiest years of her life. It was an emotional trip for many reasons, but what happened on this particular day really hit home.

Rivergirl

October 20, 2014

I knew….

The third day of our trip started much like the first. My husband was up before dawn and went downstairs for the free…. but barely edible… hotel breakfast. Think watery eggs and rubber sausage.

I took a shower and as I was getting dressed, realized I should do what I had been putting off.

The purpose of our trip was to bring my mother home and I’d been stalling with walks down memory lane. I knew I wanted to spread half of her ashes at the Jersey shore where we’d spent many happy summers. She always loved the sea.

I stood there in the hotel room, feeling sad… missing my mom…. and set about the gruesome physical task. There’s something surreal about holding the remains of your loved one in your hands. The weight of a lifetime.

Of course I started crying. Wondering if I was doing the right thing, doing what she would have wanted. The grief flooded over me like a wave…

And then, when the task was done and she was evenly divided, I smiled…. because I realized I had double baggied her and she would have loved that.

Remember her fondness for baggies?

After I wiped my tears, I reached for my purse which held my much needed makeup… and saw something on the table. The table that had been perfectly empty a half hour before when I stepped in the shower.

I gasped. And started crying again….

It was my mother’s white bobby pin.

She was such a pill about them. Would never use any other color and they’re harder to find than you might think. She hoarded them… and started fretting when she was running low. They were in every room of her apartment, in every pocket of every coat and every sweater she owned. She was never without them…

But I didn’t carry them. Ever. And I certainly didn’t pack one to take on the trip with us. Why would I? My husband didn’t put it there, he was downstairs eating breakfast. I suppose a random white haired maid could have snuck in and dropped it while touching up her ‘do while I was showering…. but I’m guessing the odds of that are pretty high.

There’s no reason on earth why a white Bobby pin should have been on that table… except one.

My husband walked in the room a few minutes later, saw me crying and looked lost.

He didn’t believe me when I told him…

But I knew.

I knew she was there with me.

I knew.

To this day I still can’t wrap my mind around what happened. A physical embodiment of spirit? Get the straight jacket ready and tidy up the rubber room, River is on her way.

It’s been 7 years since that crazy bobby pin appeared out of nowhere, and if I think about it too long I begin to doubt it happened at all. But then I walk into our bedroom and look on my bureau under my passel of Alex and Ani bracelets…

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Hello momma

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And I know.

I know it did…..

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Going out on a limb… Part 2.

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If you’re back this morning it must mean you want to know how my reading with the psychic went back in 2013. Funny, eight years later and I still have to pinch myself when I think about it. Roll your eyes, scoff, write me off as a nutcase… I don’t care. I would have done the same if I hadn’t experienced it myself. You know me…I’m a pragmatic chicka. A realist. There have only been a handful of things in my life I can’t explain…. and this was one of them. So jump aboard the crazy train and thank Swinged Cat  for opening up my archive with his request for sharing weird experiences.

My evening with spirits…. **Friends only**

 January 29th 2013 at 9:47am by rivergirl

I’m not sure I know where to begin.

And if I start rambling, please forgive me…it was a very emotional experience.

The psychic was a lovely woman who made me feel completely at ease. There was no incense, no crystal ball, just a table and the prerequisite box of tissues. She instructed me at the beginning of the session not to volunteer any information. Only to acknowledge or negate what she said. So for all you skeptics, there was no way she was pulling details of my life from me since all I said for an entire hour was yes or no.

I have to say it felt surreal. The moment we started she told me there was a man, who she felt was my father, waiting for me. I won’t go into all the details since none of you knew him….suffice it to say she had him down cold. There was nothing she related that wasn’t completely accurate. She had his personality, his job, his appearance, his love for my mother, his wartime experience, his poor health, his dry sense of humor, his love of the sea. She saw him surrounded by books, artist’s brushes, animals and gardens. She spoke of his grief over the loss of his brother when he was young, of his regrets in not being able to watch me grow up, his sense of duty towards his widowed mother and awful sister.

(And let me tell you…she had her down pat also. My hateful aunt who the psychic called spoiled, entitled and bitter. Fittingly, she is as alone in death as she was in life. Nice to know you really do reap what you sow. 👍)

I think the most amazing thing I came away from this experience with was the knowledge that our loved ones are always with us. My father said he was glad I had found a good man who loved me. That we were secure financially, that we were happy. He knew my husband had been in uniform and was older than I. He spoke of the big building project we had undertaken (the barn!) and how well we worked together as a team. He said he had been worried for me in my early teenage years right after he died because I, how shall we say….ran a little wild. (Which I totally did!) He said he appreciated the fact that I care for my mother… and to please have patience with her… as he had to, for she is not a strong woman.

The psychic told me of my father being there the night of the Marine Corps ball and how lovely he thought I looked in my dress. Of how proud he was of me for finding my own voice after so many years of being a shy wallflower. (Yeah….I know, hard to believe but at one time I was.) He wanted me to know that our beloved beagle Hiram was beside him now as he had been in life….which made the animal lover in me rejoice. He told me to lead the life I wanted to lead…that it is the regrets we take with us. And even though I never felt neglected as a child, his biggest regret was that he worked too hard and too long and didn’t spend enough time with my mother and me. He spoke of many little childhood memories I had all but forgotten. He spoke of the grief he carried over the loss of my brothers and sister. (My mother had multiple miscarriages early in their marriage) As I said…it was surreal.

Though I did choke up a few times….I didn’t babble. Which is surprising because even after all these years, I can’t often speak of my father without crying. I think I might have been too stunned for tears. My jaw was probably hanging open half the time because even though this was exactly what I had hoped for…part of me didn’t believe it could really happen. I’d happily crossed over into the Twilight Zone… and no one could have been more surprised. But aside from the other worldly vibe? The over all feeling of the evening was peace.

And love….above all, love.

For 35 years I have missed my father…. and wished over and over again that he could have shared my life as a teenager, as a young woman, as an adult. And now, the most remarkable thing I realized?

 He has.

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I’m going out on a limb here….

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I’ve been meaning to share this with you for a while now… ever since Swinged Cat  asked me about it in the comments of this blog. 

“It” being strange and/or supernatural events. If that’s not your thing, no problem….  feel free to skip the next few posts.  It wasn’t my thing either. Until it happened to me. Not so easy to ignore then.

As most of you know I lost my father when I was 14.  I was an only child of older parents and a total daddy’s girl.

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Dad and me, baby

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His loss shook my world to it’s core. Heck, I’m 57 years old, and to be honest I still haven’t gotten over it.  Anyway…. back in 2013 my best friend gave me a very odd Christmas gift.  “An Evening with Spirits” which was an hour long private session with a psychic. Now before you roll your eyes (like I did) it should be noted this was her daughter’s old college friend and not some loon on the street corner. She’s traveled world wide, studied numerous religions and spiritual disciplines, worked with the most respected people in the field ( you’re eye rolling again, I know…  because I did it as well). But I assure you, my girlfriend is the most down to earth, no nonsense, grounded New Englander you’re apt to meet so if she said this woman was the real deal and forked out a major amount of money for a reading? I had to go along.

The following is copied from my old blog site, and while I normally don’t do that type of thing…. it was written right after the experience and was a harbinger of things to come. Read on if you’re interested.

A Twilight Zone moment….. For Friends Only

Added: Saturday, January 26th 2013 at 6:38am by rivergirl

Friends only because I really don’t need a larger crowd of people thinking I’m crazy.

As you know, I’m using my unique Christmas present this weekend and will be visiting the psychic I posted about earlier. Me…. seeing a psychic. And they say pigs don’t fly.

So… yesterday I’m sitting on the couch reading an interesting book about Tibet. It was full of legend and lore and spirits and demons…..which got me thinking about my upcoming reading. Basically I was wondering if it would be amazing or a total waste of time.  Contact with my late father would be a dream, but we all know how rarely those come true. Still musing, I put the book down and looked up at our mantle where an antique English clock of my father’s sits.

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It’s a pretty little thing that my mother gave us 29 years ago when my husband and I moved into our first home.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Hasn’t for the entire 29 years we’ve owned it and since it has a rather special pedigree….

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I never wanted to take it to just any clock maker to be fixed. Call me lazy, call me cheap… but there you have it…. it doesn’t work.

Until yesterday when I was sitting on the couch thinking about my father and the damn thing started ticking.

I’m not kidding…. I almost had a heart attack.

My jaw dropped, and I think I was shaking.

I jumped up to make sure I wasn’t hearing things and I swear by all that’s holy the stupid thing was working.  After more than 29 years.

WTH!

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Crazy lady hearing things? I’d be the first to say so if it hadn’t happened to me. The clock ticked for almost half an hour, and naturally stopped right before my husband got home from work.

Other people talk about experiencing weird things like this and I scoff. But I’m here to tell you when it happens to you? All bets are off.

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For those of us who have lost special fathers…

 

Father’s Day was celebrated this past weekend and for me, it was bittersweet.

I was the quintessential daddy’s girl and lost my father when I was 15 years old. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, miss him and wish he’d been able to share more of my life.

So when I saw this segment on the evening news the other night?

I wept.

If you’ve lost your father, or your mother, or a loved one period…. watch it.

If you have a heart, I think you’ll be moved.

 

 

Because sometimes favors can make you cry.

 

My SIL called a month or so ago and said she was redecorating a room in her house. Living in Texas makes her homesick, so she asked if I could make copies of some of my father’s Maine paintings and mail them to her.

My late father was the Vice President of a Wall Street brokerage firm who relaxed as a weekend artist. He loved nothing more than sharing his work…. so I happily agreed.

Sadly, my father died a year after he retired and only had a short period of time to paint when we moved from New Jersey to Maine. We were very close, but that particular year was hard for me. It was transitional…. and moving to a rural Island where the only way off was by boat was a huge culture shock for a 15 year old city girl. I was knee deep in silly teenage angst and didn’t spend nearly enough time with him.

Something I will always regret.

So when I started pulling paintings?

 

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I was a wreck.

 

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My father died  41 years ago….

 

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But I cried like it was yesterday.

 

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Grief.

Sometimes it never lets go…..

 

 

 

Who knew they could break your heart?

 

We had a really wet, cool fall last year with a really wet, cool spring this year…. and it was rough on the landscaping. The blueberry bushes look punky, the rhododendrons are spindly and we had 2 deaths.

While garden deaths usually don’t make me cry, these did.

For those of you who don’t know, my mother died July of 2014 from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, and it was rough. I’m an only child and lost my dad when I was 15. I never knew my grandparents.

She was my family. Pretty much all of it.

Mom hated the fuss of funerals and wanted to be cremated. Said it was up to me to decide what to do with her ashes. Since she loved spending time at our home and enjoyed our gardens, I planted a tulip tree with part of her nourishing the soil.

 

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The tree had been growing well since then, but didn’t survive the winter and spring. We had to remove it…. and I cried.

Cried.

Silly, I know. And yes, I can always plant another one, but somehow it just feels…. wrong.

Then there was the beautiful red rose our neighbor gave me to mark her passing.

 

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It was stunning, and always filled with riotous blooms.

I would walk by, think of my mother and smile.

I mean damn…

 

 

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The crazy thing would even bloom in the snow.

I figured nothing would kill it… and then we had a really cool, wet fall and a really cool, wet spring.

 

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Yeah.

The beauty that I’d been enjoying for years…. gone. Just like my mom.

And I cried.. again. I couldn’t help it.

But I decided to replace the rose.

 

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With this flashy lady.

 

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The blooms looked almost painted….

 

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Which made sense when I removed the tag.

 

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I’ve always loved impressionist paintings, so that felt right.

 

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Fingers are crossed this one does well.

I think my mother would have approved.