“To be fearless is to do what scares you, to take a chance, to make a change. To love again. And to get back after you fall. To be fearless is to know your fears, but never let them stop you.” – MantraBand
Almost two years ago I lost my mom from this life. She was the only mom I’ve ever known, though I was born from another woman. My mom was one of my soulmates. She was mine. She was crazy and wonderful and a dreamer and my biggest fan. I think most people feel this way about their beautiful mother. I hope what I share with you reminds you to cherish each fleeting moment with your loved ones while here on Earth.
It is nearly two years I’ve survived without my mom. I say “survived” because I believe the grieving process makes you a warrior, and I say “without her” as she cannot answer the phone when I call. Loss and grief changes you, and not just once. I am continually learning about grief and healing, and after nearly two years, I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes in tears, feeling absolutely pain stricken and alone. I share that with you as an act of bravery- an act of baring my soul to help heal.
I woke up on March 19th, 2016 to multiple missed calls. It was 7am in Las Vegas. I called my sister in law, and she calmly told me my mom had what we thought was a heart attack and was in the hospital. I was assured that everything would be ok, as the doctors expected her to wake from her deep coma-like sleep. I’ll never forget that paralyzing shock. Nothing like this had ever happened to us before.
I flew to New Jersey, and as I walked down the hospital hallway, I remembered my brother’s words on the phone. “She has a lot of wires connected to her, and her head is wrapped in bandages. Don’t be afraid. You may not recognize her,” my big brother prepared me. Terrified, I walked down the hallway, and as soon as I saw her, of course I recognized her. She was my mom- the only mom I’ve ever known. She was mine. She was one of my soulmates.
During that week, we waited patiently for her to wake. We waited patiently for her to come back like the doctors told us she would. I danced for her in her hospital room. I spoke to her about my feelings. We listened to her favorite spiritual and motivational speaker. I held her hand. I took naps on her bed. I held her when it looked like she was in pain. I told her not to be scared. We waited. We prayed.
After a week of that dreamlike, nightmare cloud, my mom’s state had worsened, and the doctors told us she would not recover afterall. My brother told me, legally, my mom had chosen me to be her healthcare power of attorney, and although we would make the call together and never question the decision, the decision on my mom’s life was ultimately mine.
I remember the doctor’s demeanor speaking to both my big brothers. He spoke to them like adults. He spoke to them with medical terms. When he spoke to me, he was speaking to a young, clearly heartbroken, girl. He spoke with less words, less answers, and slightly protective. “I am my mother’s healthcare power of attorney, ” I said to him standing alone in my mom’s room that unforgettable day. “I will be responsible for her. I will be the one to sign the papers.” His eyes saw me differently. No words had ever matured me, broken me, or would ever be spoken out loud from my lips about my mother again.
It took a few more days for my mom to pass. I held her hand, and listened to every breath to the very last sigh that left her body. It was cold that day, and it snowed. It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking, and I’ll never be the same person I was before that day.
I share this extremely personal story out of bravery, out of a need to share, a need to be honest, a need to let it out to the world to help grieve. I had never been so scared in my life, and from that experience, I’ve tried to be braver every day with a mindset to be “fearless”. I have no regrets about my relationship with my mom. There were no words left unspoken. I have never felt more privileged to love someone and also to let someone go. It breaks me down; it lifts me up.
I wear my “Fearless” MantraBand bracelet as a daily reminder to honor the pain, love, and healing that I’m experiencing. I wear it to remind myself to embrace my fears and still dance forward in life. I wear it to remind myself it is ok to not be ok. I wear the word “Fearless” for my mom, and I wear the word “Fearless” for the new and newer mes to come. I hope in sharing my story, you’ve learned a little more about who I am. I hope you’ve learned an ounce of the journey I am on. I especially hope it helps you find your “fearless” in whatever capacity that is for you. ❤
I love you, Mom.