It has been just over three years since my mom joined spirit. This is going to be one of the most important blog posts I write to share with the world. Out of a lifelong gift of spiritual experiences, dealing with my mom’s death has been the one that has unlocked my universe.
Death is like watching a movie that suddenly got paused, and you cannot find the remote. Nothing no one can say or do can prepare you for the stillness that follows when someone you love dies. No one, unless they have seen this sky set, can embody the constant void that follows you. Those equivocal moments, that cannot be explained or understood by anyone who is getting on with life.
The journey to come.
I was working out my notice period at my job before my move to London, to what spirit had termed a new pond. Mom and I chatted at least 5 days a week, as we lived in different cities. My last week at the agency had spun off to a race filled with client meetings and handovers, and by the Wednesday I hadn’t heard from my mom. My inner voice kept saying something is wrong and I could feel it creeping into my gut. My mom was living in a home doing caregiving work, and I could not get hold of the home either. When I finally got hold of them, they said that my mom had been admitted to hospital but could not give me any other details. I had already booked a flight in advance to go up to Pretoria from Cape Town for that weekend to visit her. That time could not have come soon enough. I left work that Friday and flew into Johannesburg, and as I landed and claimed my luggage, my phone rang. It was the owner of the home where my mom stayed at, “I called to tell you that you need to get to Pretoria West Hospital right away, your mom is not going to make it through the night”.
I dropped the call and rushed to the rental car agency to hire a car and a satellite navigation system to get to a place I had never been to before. A place in an area that is considered unsafe to the locals, and to its visitors. It was raining and due to load-shedding (electricity saving), some of the lights were off on the roads less travelled and I was receiving peculiar directions coming out of the navigation system. I asked my angels for protection, and to light up the way in front of me. I eventually arrived at the government hospital at 10 pm. It was silent and had no working reception staff. I followed a trail of blood to the emergency unit, and I had to wait for the nurse who was trying to dress an incredibly drunk and aggressive man’s stab wound. When she came around she told me where I could go to find out information. I ran through those wards looking for my mom until I found a night nurse who assisted me. She took me to where my mom laid, alive but in a dream state. As there were no doctors available on weekends, I was asked to come back on Monday to speak to a doctor. I felt so helpless with no support and returned to my mom’s side twice a day during visiting hours to wash her and be by her side. After seeing the doctor that Monday, it had appeared that my mom had had a stroke, and it could be seen by the lesions from the scans of her brain.
When she came around for a short while, she told me she loved me, and I was so grateful for this, but it only lasted for three days before my mom started to slip deeper into sleep. The last memory of my mom is her smiling, as she was happy to have me by her side. I had a feeling it may be time but was not going to give up the fight. The hospital did not have the equipment needed to save her, so she would need to be booked into another hospital.
All I could do at this point was pray.
Dear God, Archangels of love, loved ones in spirit and ancestors, thank you for being present and creating a supportive healing bridge from our world to yours. Light the way for my mom, without pain and suffering. To my grandparents who I have never met, stand close with love and open arms, to welcome your daughter home if the time is right. Dear mom, you are my greatest friend, the strongest women, the bravest soul I know, my mom, my only true family. You have overcome the unimaginable, as a single mother you have always shown the pathway to love. While you have said that I was your greatest teacher, you have been mine. I am the man I am today because of you, I love you and I am so grateful to you. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for giving me life. I forgive you for anything you may have done, and no longer let these chains hold you back, and ask the angels to cut the cords of attachment to this world so that you can spread your wings. You have always seen angels, and now you get to join them. So, if you must go, I understand, I release you, knowing that you and I will always be connected.
I spent the next two weeks driving backwards and forwards looking after her, in the simplest ways the government hospital did not, and in every way my mom deserved healing. The day finally came when the head nurse was able to get her to a better hospital, she called the ambulance, but it never came. After the seventh call, it finally arrived to transport my mom to a different hospital. Upon arriving, we had to stand in a queue for two hours, our ticket number was 43, but luckily the nurse was able to get us in faster. In the trauma queue was a man who had a heart attack and could not use his arms, who I kept giving some of my drink too, and many other traumatic patients needing assistance. The reality was that there were no beds and only one admitting doctor on call to see all these patients. We finally got into the admitting unit for diagnosis, and the doctor was completely honest and said that it was too late, but he would see what he could do. They put my mom on a feeder, and I returned home to my friend Chris’s place, that was in another city 1.5 hours away – this I travelled daily. I visited my mom for the last time the day after, she was calm and in no pain, so I returned home.
I got a call the following morning to say my mom had passed away, and I need to come in to identify the body. I got to the hospital and there my mom laid in a cold fridge drawer amongst many others, pale as snow and cold as winter frost. My mom was no longer her body.
I now needed to arrange a funeral. Due to the public/bank holidays, the church priests were difficult to get hold of, but eventually through the love a friend, I got hold of the head priest at the Rosebank Church. This church was a special place for my mom and me, as we would go there to light candles and pray. I was supported by my loving friends that day, who sat behind me in church giving me love.
When my eyes began to truly rain.
I never totally realised my mom had gone until after the funeral. I had to return to Cape Town to pack up my home and prepare for my move to London. I had a lot on my plate, and in the mix, was a failing relationship to an addict. Part of moving abroad required me to have a chest scan, and it was timeous as I thought something was wrong. During the scan I told the nurse that I had a feeling like I had been punched in the chest, she immediately identified this as grief. Through all the chaos, I was just a functioning organiser and witness. Until that moment of truth landed. My mom’s ashes arrived two weeks later, and during this sacred moment, as I took them out of the box I discovered a clear plastic bag of ashes.
I was totally shaken, so shaken it dropped out of my hand onto the white cold kitchen tile and exploded. It was at this moment that my eyes began to rain so heavy, with a far-reaching outcry. I quickly gathered the ashes into a clear plastic bag, and spent the next two days in bed, hugging them.
Signs from above.
On the third day as dawn came, I knew it was time to release the ashes. I called my friend who drove me to the top of a mountain called Lions Head, where I would hike to a pathway meeting point, that has a window to the world. This was the very spot I had buried the remains of my little monster Yoko who was the most incredible animal companion I ever had.
When I reach the top, there before me for a brief second was a yellow sky that met the ocean. The sun had come out from the clouds to say hello. I sat down, and to my right was a bone which was the remains of my pet Yoko.
I threw half the ashes out of the window onto the mountain and I closed my eyes and begun to weep. My mom loved the mountains; she said that if you listened close enough they would bring you loving messages from the other side.
The remainder of the ashes were going to be thrown into the sea, but I was unsure which part and would need to walk the route until I knew it was right. I said a prayer, and asked my mom, my angels and spirit for signs. As I looked at my phone, the time was 11:11, a very significant angelic number for me. I also had received a message from my friend Chantel with a screengrab of the time 11:11.
I started to make my way down the mountain on a different path, the mist around the mountain had dropped, so much so, I could barely see in front of me.
I turned around to look back at the place I was just at and saw a sign that said, “Look behind you! But never stop moving forward.”
As I reached the bottom I made my way to the beaches, but each one did not feel right, I needed somewhere quieter and more sacred. I asked for a sign, it was at this point a remembered a little cove that not many people know about and made my way there. As I reached the bottom, I sat facing the ocean and asked my mom for a sign, to be sure that this is where she wanted it to be released. I heard an inner voice saying walk to the left and as I did, on a rock, spray-painted in blue my mom’s favourite colour, was the words mom.
I knew this was the place. I released the last remains of the ashes and made my way back up onto the road, but before reaching the top, I saw a white lily, my mom always said it reminded her of death.
Death is an ally, an enemy and gives perspective. It has taught me so much. The angels and spirit are on the other side, and they are listening and protecting us along the way. All you have to do is ask.