Updated: Jan 27
My mom passed away this month from complications due to cancer. During her last week alive, she was in a lot of pain-- too weak to talk, feed herself, or sit up. She did what she could in her condition— nodding or shaking her head to communicate, opening her mouth so that I could give her tea using a dropper, or letting me brush her teeth so that she'd be rid of the taste of vomit that came up daily.
These were intimate moments. For me, caring for my 92 year old mom in her final days was the highest honor.
The night before my mom died, I sat next to her as she laid in her hospice bed. I saw her put her legs in the last TRE® position. She had gentle yet visible tremors in her legs. From time to time, she would self-regulate by extending her legs out. I was completely amazed to witness this. Not only was the body helping the self in a time of need, but my mom remembered what to do despite having dementia AND having practiced TRE® only a few times together several years ago.
The next morning, I got a call at 6.30 am. My mom had passed away.
I then recalled my mom saying that TRE helped her have a good night of sleep.
May you rest in peace Mom. ❤
I could write a thesis on the journey I shared with my mom these last few months. A lot came up for me in terms of quality of life, our choices, values, autonomy, and the importance of spaciousness in the mind and heart. Although it may seem obvious, I did not realize how deeply my holistic practices and connection to the spirit world had prepared me in the best possible way to be in this process and support a loved one.
When my mom started to lose mobility, I helped her do gentle yoga stretches from her bed.
When she had pain, I heated up a stash of eye pillows I had and put them on her body.
When I needed an alternative to toothpaste, I cleaned my mom’s teeth by dipping a toothbrush in and out of a cup of water mixed with a drop of essential peppermint oil.
But it’s not about how much we do or what we do, for our own self or others. It’s about doing something with a loving presence. That’s what matters. Even if it's just sitting with or greeting someone.
I made a playlist for my mom with Japanese children’s songs that her own mother sang to her as a child. Even when my mom’s eyes would be closed during my visits, she’d sing or mouth a word or two to Sparrow's School.
The day after she passed, someone randomly handed me a sticker. “Do you want this? It’s a sparrow.”
And yesterday, a sparrow landed on my windowsill as I was working on this blog.