Friday 19 November 2010

Has Anyone Seen the Light?

The last few months have been spent trying to reconnect with myself and those I love and to try and just live simply while savouring all the time I can while I am at home with my kids. I remember a time, months ago, when my kids were goofing around in the crib together and I walked in the room feeling quite good and goofy myself. I started dancing and singing with them and when I turned to look at them, they seemed to be staring at me in awe. Almost like, wow, who is this? Our mom can be fun?

At that moment I remember feeling like crying because it was like I had lost myself for quite some time and my kids obviously hadn't seen it in quite some time either. Who knew the last time I was jumping around feeling silly. I vowed to make my way back to myself that day from all the tragedy, for my sake and my family's.

While I have been continuing to work on this, I also struggle with having to say goodbye to my Auntie Jaquie. Another wonderful person in my life who will be taking a part of me with her. It is so terrible to have to lose such a support and comfort in our world and it also brings back all the emotions and images of saying goodbye and watching my Mom die. It often feels like I am at a breaking point, where those around me are also feeling like bruised souls, hoping we can again feel that lust for life and the vitality. I shouldn't speak for anyone else, but it is how I feel. We will never go back to what once was but the question is, how do we move forward with filled hearts when some days, our hearts are broken and may never be mended?

Last month we celebrated my Dad's and my sister's birthdays and it was like there was a hole in the room where all the energy had been sucked out. What a difference one person makes? My Mom truly lit the room and kept it energised. This is definitely a hard time of year, a time I have been dreading more than any birthday (although I am dreading my birthday) or holiday without my Mom. If you knew her or read her blog, you would know she was a Christmas nut and it has been feeling quite bittersweet when I try and do fun Chrismas type things with my kids or hang ornaments (which have probably all been bought by my Mom over the years) and not to feel quite pissed that now my AJ has been told she has little time with us either. I wish I could make some deal that I may forgo seeing my Mom again, but that my kids could have a special private relationship with her throughout their lives. How amazing that would be for them to know her? How devastating to me that they won't. And now they also won't get to really know their AJ?

Just to give you an example of her lively spirit, in the the past couple of weeks, she had organised a two day marathon of manicures and pedicures at her house for her sisters, sister in law, nieces and granddaughters. She insisted on Christmas shopping all the time. She held a high tea on a burst of energy last night at 2 in the morning and had her sisters and children come over to sit with her while they probably sat around and admired her and her wit. She is loved by all who meet her. Her health care aides who help take care of her are also quite fond of her and and there is no doubt that she has a Christmas present under the tree for each and everyone of them. Why do we have to go on without such another gem in our lives?

All this is possible of course through the amazing strength and love of her children, sisters, brother, sister in law and niece. They have been by her side for the last few months taking care of her and they now alternate two a shift on days and evenings. My Auntie Camille, who lives out of town has not left my Aunt's side in months. She has her health problems herself but she wouldn't consider not being there for her sister. It really is truly remarkable to see such strength and complete love from everyone. It definitely fills the room just like my Auntie Jacquie has filled us with all the love her heart could hold.

Anyway, I told my Aunt that I would post this a month ago, and I did start, but I never finished as I have never felt more spent in my entire life. I think of writing almost every night but either my heart isn't in it or I am completely exhausted. But my aunt is nearing the end and I would feel terrible if I didn't put this question out there, and that is if anyone out there has had any near death experiences? My aunt was quite afraid and anxious of dying and leaving all those she so dearly loves here. We thought that perhaps some stories of encouters with death may provide some comfort from anyone who has felt for a moment in time, some connection to the other side. So, I ask again, has anyone seen the light?


Ces Adorio said...

I cherish all the "commentsations" I had with your mother and Bella. They still cheer me up and make me laugh. Last year, your Mom posted a series of Christmas posts and I remember one day when I was so busy it was 11AM and I have not commented yet. She came to my blog and left a comment: "Ces, where the fuck are you?" I was at a meeting and I excused myself as I had to laugh out loud. I went to my office and sneaked in to leave her a comment just to let her know that I was stuck at the meeting. She affected all of us. Bella and I still talk about her and we miss her very much. We are not a trio without her. When I draw something about sisterfriends of about the Baldie Babies or even just about blog friends, I always include your mother. She is always the dove or the butterfly that flies in the background. I will not forget her. She is in my heart.

I wish all of you a happy Christmas. Your Mom would have wanted it to be that way. What a legend she is.

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

You grew up in the area my mother was born and spent her youth, your mother and I spoke of it so I hope this will help. Not long after my mother dies, I came home from work exhausted and I sat at our kitchen table and I felt arms around me as if someone was giving me a hug from behind. Then I felt pats on my shoulders as if to say "it will be alright". It was the only time I felt a actual physical feeling that my mother was watching me, it gave me great comfort. The second time was one our son was qyuite ill and I was worried sick about him and I heard my mother's voice in my head "saying he will be alright".Three short years after my mother died, I also lost my younger sister to a most tragic death and I understand how it feels to be the woman left behind, feeling like you have been left behind to hold everyone around you together. But we must, it is what they had hoped, that they could raise you to be the strong woman who could take over the job of holding their family together. It is the way it works.
I know you ache but I truly believe your mother is watching over you and that you will be alright. Wishing you comfort and happiness in spending time with your family this holiday sason. Much love and many hugs. XO

Arija said...

In a different way, yes I have. After my third heart surgery for valve replacements and a number of days in an induced coma, on the second day I was conscious on, my sister was sitting by my bed quietly writing her sermon for the following Sunday.
I lay there feeling so terrible I would have preferred to die rather than suffer like that and so I silently prayed. I know better than to pray for anything specific which can just as easily be totally the wrong thing in the greater scheme of things, so from the depths of my being I prayed over and over "please God I can't take any more". My plea was answered and I was whisked out of body and stoo in a dark place in my hospital gown and saw a small cabin or shed with the doorknob a blazing light, another at the upper corner under the eaves of the building and a third atop the chimney. The third light was very large. I instinctively knew I had to put these lights out. The doorknob was no problem, I covered t with my hands and it was done. I managed to climb up to the corner of building and roof with the support of the window frame and although it was the size of a rather large security light, got that one out as well. I remember distinctly levering myself up with my forearms on the gutter to steady myself and reach the light on the chimney. It was like a foot wide, double gas ring with the flames turned on high and on the outside a double red hot electric ring as well. I placed my arms across this as far as I could reach, but could not extinguish it in any way.

Arija said...

On the thought that i could not do it, I found myself sitting precariously in mid-air on an old straight-backed kitchen chair that all by itself was being positioned so that my feet made the fires go out.
There I sat in the darkness thinking 'what now'? On that thought I remembered that my son was flying in the next day to be with me and I felt sorry for him for wasting his time when it was already too late. He is a free-lance photographer and it is important to take the jobs when available as he has a family to support. On this feeling of sorrow for him a shimmering, transparent vortex appeared and I was sucked into it and slammed so hard back into my hospital bed that I thought I would go through the floor as well. There I was, sitting upright in my own body that had some twenty tubes and wires coming out of it in all directions but I had none of the paraphenalia, only the hospital gown. Obviously I knew that I was dead so now I felt sorry for my sister who thought I slept and would see as soon as she looked at me that i was dead. What to do? I put my hand through the bars of the bed and rested it on her bare, warm arm. No response. I tried to speak but that seemed impossible. I could think but not speak.

Lisa said...

I've had no NDE's but I just wanted to come send some love. I sort of gasped when I saw Circling My Head in my google reader. I think Renee would get a kick out of that somehow. :) Much love to Jacquie, you and all of your family.

Arija said...

I finally got out two words"I've gone" but she could not hear me. Again it was the concern I felt for her when she saw my lifeless body that caused me being sucked away again and the next thing I knew was waking up in the same unfortunate situation, yet somehow strengthened by the experience.

It took me a couple of weeks to fully realise the meaning of the experience: we cannot put out the eternal light that we are given at birth, only God can and does so at the right time.

Oddly, my son was not coming the next day but the day after so that thought had also been put into my head to see how I reacted and although I was left sitting in mid air on a wobbly chair in darkness, I had a great feeling of comfort, warmth and safety.

I hope my story helps Jaquie to understand that all is the way it is meant to be. Whenever death does come, it is the right time and we go to a far better place than we can imagine.

May the love I have for Renee embrace you all and bring you peace. . . Arija

Arija said...

I do hope the whole story came through as I had to split it up because of its length.

Love . . . Arija

Marion said...

I'm so sorry to hear this about your precious Aunt Jacquie. I miss your Mom so much. I often look back at old posts on my blog and read her fabulous, encouraging comments. I was reading one of my old journals last week and a letter from your Mom fell out. I could feel her spirit in the words.

I had an Aunt who my granddaughter is named after (Mary Mace) who died of cancer many years ago. After the birth of Mary Mace, my Aunt Mace came to me in a dream and was holding Mary Mace and rocking her. She looked up at me and told me how proud of me she was. It was the only time she's visited me in my dreams.

Sending you love, hugs and blessings.


studio lolo said...

You are truly your mother's daughter. For a moment I thought I was reading Renee's words. If she were still here (in the flesh) I'm sure the post would be much the same regarding losing Jacquie. I can't believe it's so close now.

Thank God your family is so close and loving. Not too many people would remain strong together in the face of so much tragedy. My heart rips open for all of you.

I personally have not seen the light regarding a near death experience. But I have seen the light in people's souls, like Renee, and AJ, Camille, Nathan, your dad, and you, Angelique.

Your children will keep you strong. I do hope the playfulness and joy comes back into your life for good. You deserve every happiness no matter what life throws at you.

Love and blessing to all of you during the holidays, and always.


Diva Kreszl said...

oh sweetie, I wish there were magic words to say to ease your pain and sorrow. I have not had any 'near death' experiences but as I have spent the last year caring for my sister who has cancer I can tell you that savouring every moment with her is a gift I give myself. While my own mother passed away 13 years ago (and I miss her still) I find comfort knowing that soon my sister will be with her once again. Knowing this will be our last Christmas together is difficult and yet I continue with our tradtions for those of us who will and must go on without her. Your mother was a wellspring of Joy, be the same for your own children and family. She and your aunt taught you well and were (are) the perfect models of love and grace. Someday your own children will need to pull from the love and strength they learned at your knee, it is the cycle of love and family that sees each generation through the tough times. God Bless you and your family through these difficult days and may He give you the strength to keep her head high!

yoborobo said...

Angelique - I am sorry I missed this post in November. You must be so tired, and completely drained. I wish your kids could know Renee and AJ their entire lives. There is only one way I know of to do that - you will have to be the story teller. You will make them both alive to your children. And there is so much of both of these wonderful women inside you, you are so much like both of them, that you will be the spark in their lives. As for seeing the light, the only thing I can say is that I have had dreams, after loved ones have died, and in these dreams they are there, and we have acknowledged that they are gone now. I can't explain it properly here, but these weren't like regular dreams at all. Know that I am thinking of you and your family, sending you all lots of love. xoxo Pam

Jos said...

I wish I knew more about near death experiences. Maybe if you visit Julie Ann's blog you will find some answers there. I have looked at some of the clips she's posted there and they do talk about things of this nature.

The link is

Angelique I just want to send you my love and best wishes. It is such a hard time of year for anyone missing loved ones. Renee's light shone so bright and it is not fair that she is gone.

I hope someone else reading this post will be in a better position to offer hope and insight for Jacquie. xx Jos

Doris Sturm said...

No, I have not - but I just wanted to tell you that my heart cries out for you because I have briefly communicated with your mom when she was alive and blogging. I can't even imagine what you are going through and I hope that somehow your hearts will heal so that you can be the vessel of love for your children as your mom has been for you.


Robin said...

Angelique, you and your family have been strongly on my mind these past few weeks.....because it was just about this time last year when Renee reached out to me -in my darkest days. Although I have lost both parents at a young age, I never "saw the light"...but my Mum did...I will always remember her telling me that after her Father died, she was lying in bed after the funeral and he appeared to her - as clear as day - and told her "Not to worry - he was fine". I expected that something similiar would happen to me when she died.....but it didn't.
Still, I have and continue to feel her close to me....sometimes I can almost feel her breath on my neck or her arm gently taking mine.
I KNOW she is close to me - as is my Dad.... and...yes, your Mum, Renee is ever close to me. During the worst time in my life....Renee (in so much pain herself) - reached out and told me to go on with my life - to LIVE - and ultimately I would see Life return to has. Your Mum IS a wise woman - she KNOWS what life is - and to revel in it - no matter if there is pain or sorrow.

I believe it is a trait that all of you share! I know Jacquie does....and Camille...and you, m'dear! I feel blessed to know you - and I KNOW you believe me when I tell you how your Mum changed my life.....she gave me hope - when I had none...she made me feel loved - when I felt abandoned and unloved. She gave me courage to stand up and start over....and I have. I am only one person - out of hundreds - that Renee gave this gift to.

I send you, Wahid, Jacquie, Camille and all of your children hugs, hugs and MORE hugs.... Renee IS right there with you....telling you not to forget how to jump and skip and sing out LIVE and to show your young ones how to. I have every faith in you....

Christmas hugs and love to each and every one of you.

Love, Light and many Blessings,

♥ Robin ♥

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Flor Larios Art said...

Renee is very dear to me. I miss her words in my blog.
Every time I post something I imagine the words she would have written. A few years ago I can remember her joy about the family portrait she was going to give to you (her family). She planned it and gave me ideas on how to do it. She was a loyal follower of my blog. A true angel.
Thank you for keeping her blog alive.
A hug,

Baino said...

No darling I'm afraid not but if it exists, Jacquie is surrounded by it. So sorry that this happens over Christmas when the loss of your Mum is so close to your hearts. Sending very special Christmas wishes to you all, living and gone because you have touched so many of us with your continued writing here on Renee's blog.

GlorV1 said...

I seen the post and immediately my mind said Renee!...and then of course I knew it wasn't and yet in as sense it is. You her devoted daughter light up this room as she did. I'm so sorry about you AJ. Although it is very hard to lose someone and I know because I have lost a son, we have to remember it is God's will. She will be with your mom and together like when they were young, they will be holding hands and skipping and jumping around like in that picture you posted of them a while back. You spoke of NDE, I don't know if this was one but I can say that I was about 6 or 7, maybe 8 when I stepped into the water and fell in and down and down I went and came up and down again. While I was down there I remember feeling a strong light, it was very bright and I could see my step-mom sitting on the bench talking to my aunt and all of a sudden they were looking around and couldn't find me and then at the time I was watching this man taking off his shoes. It was all in slow motion. He took of his shirt and my mom and step-mom jumped up and ran to him and then he was running and I could feel myself floating but I could still see them up there. The next thing I knew I saw myself on the sandy dirt and the man was over me giving me first aid. I woke, but I had seen everything that was going on from down below. It was actually a very serene feeling and I remember it well to this day.

My prayers are with your AJ and please try to have Happy Holidays for yourself, your children and husband and especially for your mom because she would want that.


Wendy said...

I lost my dear husband 5 and a half months ago. I was with him at the end and it was a beautiful passing. I put my hand over his heart and felt the last of his heartbeats. Then he was gone.

He was the one who told me he had had a NDE when he was much younger. It was after an operation and they had left a sponge in his throat. He stopped breathing and yes, Saw The Light. He did not want to come back, it was so beautiful and peaceful. Now if anybody else had told me this, I might be a bit skeptical, but not my husband. He was as logical and scientific as any man I know.

Sending you love and hugs. I hope you are with your dear aunt to help her cross to the Other Side.

Oh, and something I learned in my support group "they don't pass away, they pass within". I feel as if a piece of my husband is within me now and forever.
God bless.

Woman in a Window said...

I've never seen the light, but oh do I feel it. And I have to laugh, I'm not even religious. (Your mom would give me a good elbow in my side right about now, just for the fun of it, and because she couldn't help being playful.)

What I have to write is important. And again I laugh. Your mom taught me how to laugh on the internet, ha! These women live so hard, there is absolutely no getting away without being impressed by them. And I don't mean, wow, impressed, but rather a heavy imprint is laid into the spirit of each of us who comes into contact with them, which somehow transforms into lightness. I knew your mom on-line only, but I think of her just about every day. It is odd, isn't it? And I miss her too.

How your Aunt Jacquie is living is a great lesson to all of us. She shines all the way over here, from all the way over there. No sense looking for the light. She is the light.

much love to you all
you are special people


Anonymous said...

Your mother meant more to me than any words I could say here... I miss her every single day! If she was that powerful in my life I can only imagine the power of love she was in her family's.

I love your Aunt Jacquie as well... she has made comments on the Traveling Gypsy Caravan blog I made for your mom, Kj and me.... and her wit, love and compassion are clear.

I wish I did have NDE to share with you and AJ... but I don't... I do believe in an after life... and I'm sure your mom, cousin, grandmother and grandfather have open arms of love for your Aunt Jacquie...

Your loss has been HUGE~~~ your babies want your silly and laughter and their grandma would want to hear it too...

My thoughts and prayer go out to you and yours this Holiday season.


Mim said...

I think of Renee so often and her strength and love of life and how it astounded me. Whoever said it is right - you and your family will have to carry on the traditions, the love, the passion and bring that to your children - who will know their grandma and auntie thru you.

I have not had a Near Death Experience but about 2 years ago I had a dream of such peace and love - warmth/acceptance - everything good - that I woke up with the assurance that good things will be there afterwards. I don't know why I had this dream, perhaps because I was close to losing my dad - but it was so comforting.

We always miss them - and they're always with us.

Much love to you and your family.

Manon said...

I look at the angel card your mom sent me all the time. For the brief time I knew her she filled my heart with so much joy.
I thank you for your post. It brought big tears to my eyes. You are a wonderful young lady and I'm sure your mom is looking down on you and beaming with pride.
I'm sending you prayers and hoping that you have a happy Christmas!!

turquoise cro said...

I LOVE that portrait Flor did for Your mom and family! I will keep Jacquie in my prayers and all of your family!The Bible brought me peace while battling breast cancer!(((((Renee's family))))))

dragonflydreamer said...

Your Mom was such an amazing, courageous and generous woman who I strive to become more like her throughout my life. I agree it is a gift you and your Aunt Jacquie also share. My heart aches for you and your family. I lost my Grandmother who helped raise me five years ago this month and this year was the first year I've been able to get excited by concentrating on continuing her traditions and love for this holiday season. Last week my Mom was hospitalized and diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and Kidney failure ten years after surviving a liver transplant. Your Mother was so kind and supportive to everyone as she was suffering great pain and loss. I am grateful you have kept her blog alive and share when you are able because we all send you and your family our prayers for comfort, strength and healing and gratitude for teaching me such grace through the darkest days. I truly believe you are cut from the same cloth as your Mother and Aunt Jacquie and will find the strength, love, and zest for life that is your family legacy. I am struggling to do the same and this post has touched my heart and made me realize that I must be the same for my sons and siblings. I wish you peace and love.

Bella Sinclair said...

Dearest Angelique,

I did not have a near death experience of my own, but I did read a story a while back that said how so many people near death report being visited by the dearly departed. And the story your mother wrote about Sheldon being visited by his grandfather in a dream is still strong in my memory.

The first night after my husband passed, I had such a hard time falling asleep. But when I did, I had a dream of a young man just over the hill. He was waving wildly at me, as if to catch my attention. He was smiling reassuringly, and he waved good bye. I had no doubt it was my husband.

I am warmed by the thought of everyone supporting your dear Aunt Jacquie. What remarkable strength and love you all have. How I wish it wasn't tested like this.

A couple of weeks ago, as I pulled out the Christmas decorations, I pulled out the paper ornaments your mother sent me. My eyes lingered over them, and I kept rubbing them with my fingers as if calling for a genie. They are hanging on my tree and always will.

Dearest Angelique. I wish for you a love-filled Christmas. I pray that those memories of Christmases past can come to mind without sadness or pain. I pray for a good day for Jacquie. I pray for the return of smiles and laughter and lust for life in the new year.

Love to you,

Unknown said...

I've been thinking of your wonderful sweet mother very much these days of waiting on the magic, waiting on the miracle .
She made me know in my heart , though we only"spoke " a few times, that we must cherish the very moments of every day, not just wish them away for something else.

I will always carry her in my soul.

And think of you all there living this very special life with each other, here or on the other side.

blessings and love to you .

~Babs said...

Angelique, it's always a wonderful thing to see you here.
I am in constant amazement,,,still,,at seeing all the comments,,,feeling all the love that your dear Mom drew to this place in the ether.As someone already said, she IS the light.And she indwells all of us,,,but especially you.

When my aunt was dying, she held my Mom's hand, and told us: "You really missed out this morning at breakfast. Mama and Dad were here, and so was Fred." They were all long deceased. My Mom and I both felt that she had seen the other side. Especially knowing how ill she was, and that she hadn't had breakfast or any other food in many days.
I feel that God eases our way,,provides the light that some see, or the people that others see.
I think it would be wonderful if Renee came to escort Jacquie, and I'll bet she's already volunteered.
We are never ready to let them go,,even though we understand that HIS time is always the RIGHT time.
Merry Merry Christmas to you and all of yours Angelique,,and prayers for Jacquie to have "the peace that passeth all understanding".
Many hugs for all,,,
(I miss her too)

Silke Powers said...

Dearest Angelique, I have shared my story with both you and Jacquie and I hope it helps a little bit! And somehow I KNOW that there is nothing to fear for your AJ! Or for you! You are always in my thoughts and my heart. Sending you and your family a huge hug and all my love! Silke

The Strawberry Mallard said...

Dear Angelique you have been on my mind all month; I am sorry that I did not see this earlier. I can tell you that not long after my father died, I experienced his prescence one night......too real to have been a dream he smiled and told me that all was was the smile.......much to real to have been a dream. You are surrounded by people who loved you Mom and you....we will continue to lift you and your family up in WILL draw strength from all of this!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, here is a true story that would reassure anyone that there is a loving acceptance awaiting us, and compassion for our faults.

When I was taking hospice training, one of the other trainees, a nurse named Kathy, told us an amazing story. When she was a young nurse, newly and scientifically trained, she was a skeptic. She had no faith then, in anything that had no scientific basis in fact. On the ward where she was working, there was an elderly lady that everybody loved. One day she went into cardiac arrest, Code Blue was called, there was great effort to revive her, but finally the doctor pronounced death and left the room. The nurses were all crying, because this woman had been so loved, and someone - to lighten the atmosphere, and with no disrespect - said something funny. They were both laughing and crying. Kathy was in the process of actually tying the identification tag on the lady's toe when she looked up and saw she was pinking up.

Kathy ran into the hall: "Mrs. W. is pinking up!"

The doctor thundered down the hall, Mrs. W. was trying to breathe. They whisked her up
to ICU and Kathy went on with her job and her life for two weeks without thinking much about it.

Then one day, on the ward, she saw Mrs. W. walking towards her with a big smile on her face. "I have a story to tell you," said Mrs. W. Kathy started to shake her head because she knew something was coming she wasnt prepared for, something that might just change her entire way of thinking and being. But Mrs. W. insisted.

"When I died," she began, "I was up on the ceiling looking down at you. The Doctor said this and someone else said that and you were all laughing and crying. I could see and hear everything. I could see myself down on the bed.

"Then I went to a place of great love and peace, where there was welcome and acceptance for me. And angels were there, helping me. And my husband's hand reached down to me from Heaven, and I just placed my fingers against his palm, when he withdrew his hand and told me, "No, now is not your time". I wanted to go with him, but he said no.

"And then the veil between this world and the next was pulled back, and I could look down and see the earth. I could see the whole globe, turning in the cosmos. It was so beautiful. And lights were flashing all over the world, millions of lights. Some were shining steadily, some were twinkling, but some were darting out far beyond the earth, more powerful and brilliant than all the rest.

" I asked the angels who were with me, 'What are those lights?' and they told me, 'Those are prayers, and the brightest and most powerful ones are the prayers of mothers for their children."

That moment started Kathy on her spiritual quest, which took her to such places as Macchu Picchu.

I recommend, for anyone interested, two definitive books on the topic: Life After Life, by Raymond Moody and Many Lives, Many Masters, by Dr. Brian Weiss, M.D.


Deborah said...

So very sorry I have missed a few posts. I was just thinking of Jacquie this week. I continue to pray for your family and always will. Your Mom prayed for my son every day he was in Iraq on his last deployment. One night she even dreamed that she was with him, and I told her I was certain that she was right there by his side, protecting him on his mission. He just deployed again to Iraq for another year. I know that Renee will be with him in times of need. I know it as surely as I know the sun will rise again tomorrow. All my love to you, Deb