I just lost my mom, and now I have some hard decisions to make. I feel so lost and broken, I have been trying my best, but I feel like I failed. I was wondering if you had any advice on dealing with the loss of my mom.
The imaginary scenario I’m about to describe is going to sound far-fetched and weird. So just humor me.
But first, I want you to breathe. Seriously. Before you read another word.
In. Out. Big. Soft. Long. Deep. Breaths. Relax your jaw. Loosen your shoulders. Turn into a big blob of Jello pudding.
Seeeeeee the pudding. Beeeee the pudding.
What I want you to do is visualize a large white world. Not white like cotton sheets or snow. But white like sunlight. Like staring at the noon sun with eyes wide open.
White light is everywhere within this new world. In fact, you aren’t even sure how big this new space is because it’s too bright to see anything. It could be the size of a closet, or it could be bigger than Asia. No way to know.
At first the light hurts your eyes. It gives you a headache. And it doesn’t let up. It just gets stronger until it singes your hair and burns your skin.
Eventually, the brightness works its way into you. Past your adipose tissue, vascular system, kidneys, and spleen. It bores into muscle and bone and finally gets down into the Real You.
The Real You is an interesting thing. I don’t want to get all hooky spooky here, but think about it. A person’s soul is literally inside their body, but no surgeon can find it. No one can point to your ribcage and say, “Ah, yes, your soul’s right there. Just to the left of your colon.”
So for the purposes of this imaginary scene, right now, let’s pretend the Unseeable You is no longer attached to your rickety body.
Because here, in this place, there are no human bodies. Only brightness.
And it’s a glorious feeling, being here. You start to feel so good you can’t stand it. You feel better than you’ve felt in your entire life.
Suddenly you realize that this place is better than life ever was.
Have you ever noticed how merely being alive is difficult? Sometimes, life is nothing but sensory overload. It never quits moving, changing, pulsating. Neither do people.
Your heart is always pumping. Your muscle fibers always twitch. Even when you sleep your joints are deteriorating. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
Even your own happiness can be exhausting. Happiness is nothing but a form of stress. Certainly, winning the lottery is good stress, but it’s still stress. And it will wear your butt out.
But it’s not like that up here. Wherever “here” is. This is the most relaxation you’ve ever known. Here there is peace. Here there is rest.
Oh, and you’re flying, too. Like Superman. You’re zipping around like a gnat on Mountain Dew. What a thrill. You could do this for a million years.
Soon, your eyes begin to adjust to the light. You’re starting to see landmarks on the ground beneath you.
And, whoa, this place is huge. There are rivers the size of the Milky Way. There are trees bigger than Jupiter. Lakes, meadows, mountains, vanilla-ice-cream clouds.
And there is something in the air. It’s all around you. It’s some version of oxygen. You’re breathing it. Only it’s not air. It tastes like sticky buns. Like cinnamon cookies, and warm, melty peanut butter. Like Oreos and chocolate milk.
You recognize the aroma, whatever it is. It tastes familiar. You used to experience this stuff on Earth sometimes. You’d get a whiff whenever a child would hug you. When you rescued a shelter dog, you caught this scent. When you gave a few bucks to a homeless guy, you smelled this.
Love. That’s what this stuff is.
And it is plentiful here. In fact, one could argue, this whole new world is built from love. So was our old world, but we humans didn’t want to see it.
But you see it now. Every pine tree, serpentine creek, sprout of hay, spear of light, and whale-backed mountain. Love. Love. Love. And more love.
Your journey is abruptly stopped. Mid-flight.
What’s that you see in the distance?
Is it a silhouette? Yes. It looks like a person.
Someone is waving at you.
It’s a she. A female. You recognize her.
You knew this woman once. She looks so much younger than she did on Earth. And wiser, somehow. Her hair is satin. Her skin is buttermilk. Her eyes are bright, like two dollops of honey upon plate glass. She hasn’t changed a bit.
In this moment your entire soul is filled with smiles. This sensation gushes into you like a flash flood. It nearly drowns you in memories. You feel like crying, laughing, singing, and cheering all at once.
“Mom!” you shout.
You’re in a joyous frenzy when you see her. Because there is so much you want to tell her. So much has happened since she went away. You are full of words. Full of stories. Full of excitement. You want to tell her everything.
But all you can manage to get out is one breathless sentence: “I love you, Mom.”
But she doesn’t answer. For words aren’t needed here. Instead, she simply touches your face. Her tiny hand feels warm against your cheek. Your eyes fill with tablespoons of tears. And this reunion is, without question, the best feeling in all eternity.
Now, I want you to hold this imaginary scenario in your mind.
Because, you see, it is not imaginary.