Death became a part of my life at a very early age. My Mom passed away from Leukemia in 1984. I was only a few months shy of 3 years old. Fortunately, we have come a long way in regards to our medical options and otherwise since that time. The story I was told goes something like this:
My Mom was pregnant with a little boy when she began having various symptoms. These symptoms were mistaken for pregnancy complications and the leukemia was not discovered until later on in the pregnancy. Once the cancer had been discovered, there were two options from the doctors standpoint. Either start chemo and risk the babies life or forgo chemo and risk my Moms life. After much struggle my parents opted for the chemo. Once my Mom began to lose most of her hair she began to wear a pink hat when I came to visit the hospital as not to “scare” me. That hat fell off one day and it didn’t seem to phase me at all. Form there on out she went hatless when I was around. Of course I don’t remember these details, my Grandma made sure she answered my questions and filled in the blanks as I grew up. My Dad stayed at the hospital most nights so I ended up sleeping at the homes of other family members. Before then, I had spent every day at home with my Mom while my Dad managed a Bank in New York. My Dad told me I would hold on to him crying and screaming “no Daddy I don’t want to go”, every time someone would come to get me and that each time it would break his heart. Eventually the baby inside my Mom aborted itself at effect of the chemo and was born dead. My Mom had lost so much blood that eventually she went into a coma and was taken off life support days later. The last words she spoke to my Dad were “take good care of Karen for me.” We ended up losing them both. The unimaginable had happened. This was one of those major life changing events. Where the life you planned for takes a drastic turn and a brand new path is born.
Once my Dad went back to work he would drop me off at my maternal grandmothers home who lived with my great grandmother. I loved both of them very much. My great grandmother would sing me songs in Italian and bounce me on her knee. She was a seamstress and would sit knitting while whistling to our parakeets in their living room cage. My Grandma would let me jump on her bed laughing and singing. She would buy my favorite chocolate pudding pops from the ice cream man when he payed his weekly visits. At night we would eat cucumbers with thousand island dressing and watch my favorite shows. Some nights I would already be sleeping and my Dad would have to carry me out to his car when he came for me. I remember asking him many times “when is my Mommy coming home?” Each time he would tell me that “she’s not coming home” I would cry and he would reach his hand behind the drivers seat to hold mine as we drove home. Even as I sit here writing at Starbucks at age 34, I have tears rolling down my face. But this time I’m not holding anything back. I know if I feel my feelings without resistance they go as soon as they came. If only I had learned that then, or ten years later, or ten years after that. But I didn’t learn how to fully feel and release my feelings until I found The Avatar Course.
My Grandmother became my best friend, my mom and my grandma all rolled into one. We had the best times together. She was so kind and accepting and loving. I could tell her ANYTHING! Even as I entered my teenage years nothing was off limits. Sex, drugs, you name it, she knew every detail. We would have sleepovers and stay up til 2am talking until one of us fell asleep. She would read me princess fairy tales at every age and we spoke on the phone for 2-4 hours a night, often multiple times a week. She was my gift from my mom (along with my Dad) and my gift from heaven. When I lost her at age 23, I also lost my way. I felt as if I never got a chance to say good-bye to my Mom so my Grandma waited for me to let her pass. I knew she was sick and we went to see her when she was taken to the hospital. The night we came home from the hospital I slept in her bed and she read my fairytales book. She was having a hard time breathing with congestive heart failure so I played with her hair while she read and she thanked me. I told her I wasn’t ready for her to go and she tried to prepare me. I called her every day after that to make sure she was still alive and she would say “I’m still here!” Two months later I went into work and a client asked me how my grandmother was doing. I said “you know what, she’s dying….and I’m okay with it..” I will never forget that moment. It was the first time I felt separate from myself, watching myself say those words. I was surprised but at peace at the same time. That night my Dad told me she had passed away that afternoon. She waited for me to let her go. I spent the night talking to her and I could hear her and feel her hugging me as if she were right there. She hadn’t left at all, she just crossed over and out of her body. I asked her to send me monarch butterfly’s when she was gone so I would know she was still there. Whenever we would see a monarch together she would tell me they were my Mom coming to visit us and we would follow them for as far as we could go. Each time she would remark “isn’t she beautiful”. After she died, monarchs were everywhere I went to the amazement of my friends and co-workers. She did her best to make sure I knew she was never really gone.
Those were the good moments, the ones where I would gain some hope or happiness with each passing butterfly. I wish I had had the Avatar tools after she had died. It would have saved me from the next four years of pain that came in multiple waves. All of the unfelt feelings from losing my Mom came bubbling to the surface along with the pain of losing my best friend in life. I began smoking more, drinking more, dating more men. Anything to numb the pain. But of course as soon as the vices disappeared the pain and sadness were soon to follow. There were nights I would sit in my closet crying for hours, not able to breathe, wishing I could die too.
By the time I found Avatar, I told my master “I feel like if I start crying I will never stop.”
As I began to understand my mind and the stories I was telling myself along with the labels and judgements I was placing on myself and my experiences, I began to become more and more separate from them and the sadness became less and less. And when it did come, there were tools to feel and let it go. I wasn’t stuck in a feeling or trying not to feel it anymore. The more control I had over my mind the less effect my life stories had and the happier I became. The more I used the tools, the more resisted experiences from my past faded away. I became present, alive and free. My life was forever changed, I had finally found what I had needed for a lifetime. On my Masters course I noticed that the monarch butterfly was a symbol on the The Avatar Course logos. She had been leading me here all along.
After Avatar, the butterflies only appeared every once in a while, letting me know she was still here but that I was now strong enough to move forward without her. I know for certain if she was still alive she would be right by my side doing the Avatar courses and helping all of our friends and family find the infinite amount of inner peace waiting behind our life stories.
*The postings on this site are my own and do not represent Stars Edge Internationals positions, strategies or opinions.
Personal development leader, holistic healthcare advocate, beauty artisan, intuitive guide and writer. Karen shares her knowledge and personal journey in hopes that changing even one life will lead to creating a better world today.