Ramblings of a bereaved mother

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Ramblings of a bereaved mother

Our culture expects people to move through loss, ignore it, don’t talk about it or them, get back to work, pull up your bootstraps and carry on.  “It takes a year” they say.  That is our industrial, consumeristic, you are not valued unless you produce culture talking.  Get busy and all will be well.

Thank goodness our community is different.

We are a year and a half without our Z-boy.  I hate to say it, but in some ways, this year might be worse than last.  I had a year of denial and being in a fog.  Now, the fog is very slowly lifting.  And it seems like this is for real.  He is not coming back.  This is not a nightmare.  How is Zafer not here?  I can’t get my head around this.  I try and try.  My body will only let small bits of data come in at a time.


photo by Libby Capaldi

I have incredible community support, talk therapy, psychics, books, retreats, shoulders to cry on, family to commune with, one Death Faire, sound therapy, keening, ritual, spiritual services, tarot, parties celebrating Zafer’s birthday and a huge Z-fest at Memorial Day.  I’ve had cranial sacral work, deep tissue massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, journaling, grief group meetings, running, biking, lots of wine, a surf lesson, a pedicure, lomi lomi healing, and probably things that I have forgotten.

What a privilege.

Think about most of the population going through grief.  They may not have the support and may find themselves isolated and financially depleted.  Their brains are literally changed, turned upside down.  Where do these people go to find pain relief or just basic support to get through their day?

Functioning has a new meaning.  I used to multitask and handle a million things while juggling family and dinner.  Now, I have a hard time logging into a bank account to manage a simple transaction.  Details are incredibly difficult.  I am grateful and blessed to have amazing staff at Abundance that have picked up where I leave off.  I used to love tons of stimulation.  I find that I need to be at home and introspective now.  Possibly a blessing.  The leader should delegate and be at higher levels anyway.  Thank you Zafer.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a real thing. 

It was midnight and we heard a loud knock on the door.  Our house was lit up with spotlights from the Sheriffs car.  That is how we found out our son had died from smoking heroin.  The Sheriff showed up a few months later because some sort of paper work had not been filled out properly for Zafer’s “estate”.  I started shaking and as he left and broke into tears.  Arlo was extremely shaken.  A state trooper called my phone when the First Lady of NC visited last month to make sure our space was safe for her.  I went into extreme panic thinking someone was dead.  PTSD takes control of your body and emotions.

I used to think I was just a normal average girl from the south.  Not anymore.  My mind and life is forever changed.  The things I see and the ideas in my head are 100 percent different.  Life and Death have very different meanings to me.  Compassion has gone way up and judginess has gone way down.  Thank you Zafer for that gift.  I can talk to people about really weird things and I’m thankful that people trust me to tell me about their odd ways.  It’s so refreshing.  I no longer do small talk.  That is not a thing anymore.  Either go deep and be real with me, or go home.

There are so many lessons in death.  It brings all your issues up to the surface.  You have a list of insecurities, scarcity, baggage you have pushed under the carpet, hard truths, things that you need to say or do.  Death pushes it to the top whether you like it or not.  Some would say in crisis is opportunity.  The teachings are all saying to me to look deep inside my soul.  Our souls were sent here for certain lessons and Zafer and I had a contract that he would be leaving at the age of 19.  I am supposed to learn and do something with this.  And we’ll be together in a soul family soon enough.  Time is not linear in the afterlife.

The quantum physics entanglement theory says “anytime two entities interact, they entangle.  They lose their separate existence and if one is tweaked, measured, observed, the other seems to instantly respond, even if the whole world now lies between them.  And no one knows how.”

When I heard this concept from my friend, Jordan, it instantly opened my mind in a hopeful way.  When Zafer moves, I move and vice versa.  His DNA is in me.  We are one.  And that means we should also choose carefully who we entangle

with.

How do we keep going?  One step in front of the other.  One day at a time.  The beautiful people that hold us up.  The people that can understand the pain.  I don’t wish this pain on anyone, and when I find someone that I can relate to, it is like a ray of sunshine on a summer rain.  We connect at a deep level and it’s like talking to myself.

Sadly, our friends lost their beautiful son recently.  This family can relate to my family like no other.  When they have crazy thoughts, we assure them that we have the same exact thoughts.  We can understand each other implicitly and it has been a mutually helpful relationship and deep bonding.

We come up with coping strategies like texting each other memories of our sons and photos…the good, the bad and the ugly.  We will never stop talking about them.  We tell each other the awkward things that good meaning people do to us.  We laugh a lot and we cry a lot.

It’s now my job to find the meaning and do some healing for Zafer, my love, and for this community.

That is one reason we are putting on our second Death Faire, this Sunday, November 5th .  Please come whether you have experienced loss or not.  We all have this in common.  Sooner or later.

Join us for a keynote by Stephen Jenkinson who will also be holding a Sparkroot weekend workshop November 3 & 4th.

 

About tamischwerin

I run a non-profit (Abundance NC) that builds community resilience including health of the earth, our bodies and our spirits. I also am active in creating an Eco-Industrial Park community in Pittsboro NC.

2 responses »

  1. “go deep and be real with me, or go home” – I love that line. Small talk is boring, let’s dive into the real stuff. So many feelings whirling around in my head after reading this.

    The photos – lil’ pumpkins for Halloween, two sons, one mother, one father. And Jess, now with a babe of her own. Candles, seances, deep tissue massage. My grandmother’s words, “Don’t have kids, Cookie – they’ll break your heart” because her own daughter died and broke her heart. Do broken hearts heal? In a year?

  2. Tami; I have not seen you or spoken to you in so long I don’t even know if you remember me, but I felt so moved by your writing that I had to comment. Your expression of your feelings was so moving that it would be impossible for anyone not to relate in some way. The amazing thing is how much you have learned about life through death. Loss is a common bond in all humans, and yet we turn away from it, silence it, try to move away from it and ignore it. You are absolutely right that you and your son are bound together and while he is no longer physically here, he is most certainly with you, helping you in your experience of being a human…this created journey. I am glad that you have so many insightful friends who can help you with the awakened more mindful understanding of life and eternal existence. Whether they are psychics, gurus, priests, mediums, philosophers, or just wise people, they have provided you with insights that I recognize as well. I would love to attend Sunday’s Death Faire but unfortunately I am still dealing with life issues that keep me extremely busy caring for my mother. This, however, brings me daily insights into the many levels and spheres of existence.

    Sending you and your family much love.

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