Life had another lesson to teach me…
Or was it death, that was trying to teach me something…?
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I was travelling back from a few days off.
I often use this time in the car to talk with people and that morning I called my mom to see how she was doing. Or just to hear her voice. With a serious distance between us, I don’t get to see her that often and the pandemic only made that even harder.
During the pandemic I heard a lot from folks living abroad and how they suffered being apart from their family. How hard it was to miss celebrations, let’s forget final goodbye’s.
When I reflected on that, I must admit, I often thought “what is the big deal”? You can call them, videocall even to stay in touch and it’s part of the expat life after all.
As mentioned, I called my mom yet she had (great)grandchildren visiting so we agreed it was better she would enjoy that first and that I’ll call back later that afternoon.
Driving through Italy towards France, I continued my journey and somewhere during the afternoon I received a Whatsapp that ‘something’ happened to my mother. Not long after I got a call which told me that ‘something’ was a huge heart attack and that it was unclear what to expect…
BANG!!! A punch in the stomach. A cold shiver in my heart. A million thoughts crossed my racing mind.
In between somewhere and nowhere I felt the deepest loneliness and very, very far away from what used to be home.
I imagined my mother in the ER where doctors tried to safe her life.
Flashbacks to the day my father passed away, now 35 years ago.
I always thought we’ve said all the words which needed to be spoken. I started wondering if that was true. Complete or not? Was I ready to let her go with a heart at peace…?
Bitter tears I cried. I mourned my mother before she was gone. I felt alone, so alone.
All of a sudden I felt one with all those expats who cried similar tears. All of a sudden I started to see, to feel, that the last time you said goodbye in person never is enough for a final goodbye…
Another lesson in humbleness I had to learn. Another lesson in compassion I had to experience…
A couple of days later I was able to visit my mother in hospital. How precious!
After that visit I wrote these words:
Never longed to see you more
Never held you closer
Never hugged you this intense
Your kisses and whispering meant the world to me
Your eyes lit up when they saw me
You cried when you said my name
I cried when I held your hand
Love filled my heart
My beloved mother
You knocked on heaven’s doors
Almost reunited with my dad
Eternity wasn’t ready for you yet
Thus sent you back
For precious moments to live
To read you your favourite psalm
To be closer than ever before
Whilst we’re trusting the divine
What today’s goodbye really means