I used to visit Her at the cemetery a lot. It was the only place I could actually feel Her presence and the only place I allowed myself to cry. My Dad used to ask me why I was going so much but I could never find the words to give him an answer. I would sit next to her gravestone after school and wonder what the hell the point was. He used to tell me that although her body was there in the ground, she wasn’t there; she was everywhere, all around us. He said I could talk to her and connect with her whenever I want, wherever I went. I didn’t really get it.
Up until recently I could count on one hand the amount of times that I had truly felt my Mom’s presence outside of that cemetery. I remember the first time very clearly. I had been living in New York City for about a year with a good friend. One evening she received an unexpected call that her brother had passed away in his sleep. It was obvious that she wanted to be alone so I went to my room quietly, not really knowing what to do. I felt like an idiot. I thought of all people, I should how to handle the situation but instead I just sat on my bed and cried. After some time, I recall feeling a soft and loving presence fill the air. It shocked me at first but quickly became comforting and warm. It was as if I was being rocked like a baby and I soon recognized that it was my Mom. It felt so familiar and safe. My room turned into a protective bubble of love. She stayed with me through the night as I mourned for my friend, for her brother and her family. She gently wiped my tears and held vigil as I cried myself to sleep. I had longed for her to hold me since she died and that was the first time I allowed it. I woke up the next morning feeling rested and in awe of Her beauty. I realized that the tears for my friend and her brother were also tears for my beloved Mother. They were tears of grief with a touch of acceptance. It was our first solid connection since She left us.
The second time was a couple years later during a yoga class. I was lying in savasana and I drifted far away. I was fairly new to the practice and was surprised to find myself expanding beyond the walls of the room. Before I knew it I was sitting on a beautiful grassy hill directly across from my Mom. We sat together in silence, lovingly enjoying one another’s company. It was a vividly profound moment but it ended just as quickly as it started. I rode the subway home in a daze unable to articulate my experience. I felt confused, like I was floating in time and space. But from that night on something inside of me started to wake up. I began to understand what my Dad had been talking about. I decided not to forget about these moments. I made a promise to myself to allow Her back into my world, to keep my eyes open, and to look for Her wherever I decided to go.