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If it is all one (healing thought on death)

Sometimes when a stranger looks at me and then we both smile for a second, I think my mom looks at me through someone else’s eyes. A couple of weeks ago, she died after four years of hope and an intense fight with cancer. I started studying far enough away from home and with enough workload, that I visited less often than I wish I had. I don’t really blame me — I guess that’s how our modern life goes by default, everyone is (too) busy — but I still wish, I had had more worry-free time with her. It's different when you know someone is seriously sick. And then in my current day-to-day life after a wholesome eye contact with a stranger, I wonder where she is and whether it can be true, that I just looked into her eyes and that she saw me, smiling. But if everything is one, then yes, there's mom in that stranger and everywhere else. If everything is somehow one, mom’s around me and to show her my love, I can show it to everyone I encounter. If it is all one, it all makes wonderful sense.

I only realized how beautiful my mom was, once she died. I never noticed it, I might have been too close, too young, too blind, too busy with my own life. In retrospect, I can see so much more how much she loved me and cared for me. What remains is gratitude and the knowledge that loss only hurts, if there was a deep connection and love beforehand. If I could choose to not feel the pain of loosing her but then not having had 22 years with her, I would choose what ultimately is reality. Sometimes I wish she were still here, healthy, and I think of the things I'd love to tell her. It still makes me sad from time to time and I don't want to push those emotions away. They are there to be felt and help me process—that's why it's important to make enough space. When someone dies, there are so many questions that can't be answered. It might help us learn that not every question needs an immediate answer and that vague thoughts can help heal too. It might help us embrace the fragile and uncertain nature of life and understand why it's wonderful for those reasons. After all, life without death would be meaningless.

Knowing my mom doesn’t have to suffer anymore is a perspective from which her death has some kind of purpose, and I'm happy she's at peace now. When I think of her, I try to focus on the good memories. And when I notice all the things of her that live on in me, I smile. If it is all is one, then I can still show mom my love and express my gratitude. It's not too late. All I have to do is treat everyone the same way I’d treat her — because it is all one. What a healing thought.

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If you’re struggling to understand what I mean with “everything is one” read the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho (again).

April, 29th 2024