Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Great Mystery

My mother died in July of last year, less than a month from her 88th birthday. I miss her. She was my anchor though I never thought about it much.  Her last several years brought health problems that diminished the quality of life, like a thief stealing just small things, but over and over until so little remained that she was able to do.  She used to say, "Why am I still here, Nan?  What use is there for me to be alive?"

To be honest, at times,  I wondered that, too. But I would repeat each time she asked, "It's a mystery, Mom. No one knows why.  It's the great mystery!"  Then we'd laugh or sigh and talk about what was happening with the family or the latest gossip at the assisted living center where she lived.  She was like a giggling teen when she told me about the man who sang "There she is... Miss America" as she slowly worked her walker through the dining room to her place at the table. She never liked attention, but I think underneath the embarrassment she remembered how beautiful she really was.

Before she died, my sisters and I were able to have a discussion about those final details. She had some papers in her desk with insurance and cemetery information, along with a folded yellow newspaper clipping.  It was a poem she had kept from the local newspaper many years before.  She wanted it read at her funeral. The four of us sat quietly staring at each other. I picked up that tattered piece of paper and began to read.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow.
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain.
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush 
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I do not die.

~Mary Frye~

I knew I wanted to read this.  After a lifetime of connection with this woman I called "mother", my heart overflowed with quiet gratitude.   How could I have not known who she really was?  After all of my studying and practicing the non-dual teachings of Yoga...  

It's a mystery!  When do we realize who we really are?  Is it just a glimpse or does it stay? Do we need to do anything to keep it?  What happens when the body dies?  Why are we so afraid?  Who, exactly is afraid?

Now I watch as each moment unfolds, wondering what will this body experience? And welcoming everything just as it is ~ letting go into the great mystery.


  1. You can no longer say that you are not a writer! This is a beautifully written piece that tugs at the heart. It has an eloquent flow and prompts reflection. Where ever your mother is, she must be VERY proud of you. Bravo, my friend! Bravo!

  2. Thanks! Your encouragement & thoughtful critique is welcomed & very much appreciated.