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Earlier today, after sharing a lengthy conversation with a man and his wife at Alon’s,  swapping stories of caregiving, death, trauma, and grief, I put my TUL gel pen to paper and kept writing until it ran out on the letter A.

Then I picked up my Pentel Gel 7mm from which I’d taken a hiatus after a couple packages showed up with several pens in each that would literally disintegrate in my hand while I was writing.

There I’d be, my hand cruisin’ down Writer’s Highway, and then – suddenly – as fast as a magician pulls a coin from behind her ear, I’d be holding the two halves of the pen in my hand, the cartridge flipped out onto my lap, and watching the spring rolling across my tablet.

One day while driving down Interstate 5 in San Diego, the same thing happened – only this time, it was a surfboard flying off the top of a Subaru after the roof rack and hardware holding it in place dismantled itself, sending the board flailing across six lanes of traffic. Miraculously, not a single accident occurred that day; not a single person was hurt.

I never really talked to anyone in detail about what it was like watching my mother die over the final two weeks of her life, and I didn’t today, either.  And I only told a few people about how, over her last two days on earth, Mom started filling with light, her peaches and cream complexion glowing, radiant, translucent, and stunningly beautiful.

It was as if, over her last two weeks in a deeply-sedated state, all the energetic detritus my mother had accumulated over her 92 years on earth had been transfused with the Pure Energy that awaited her on the other side of the veil.

A vase of the most luscious, full blossoms of ivory-colored roses sat at my mother’s bedside throughout those entire two weeks, and on the day she died, one of them did, too. Only one. The others were still thriving and gorgeous. At some point over those two weeks, the water in their vase had evaporated and the stems were sitting in a bone-dry vase. I’ve never in my life seen roses last for two weeks, have you?

Somewhere along month four of my caregiving journey with my sister after my mother died, I started to notice that I couldn’t find a proper way to close my jaw. It had lost its moorings and couldn’t seem to find its way back to itself. I figured it was spasming due to the extreme stress brought on by caretaking (Be sure to read my piece, “How Not to be a Caretaker” if you plan on being one anytime soon.) and I let it go at that.

For nearly a year now after my return to Atlanta on July 5, my jaw muscles have been rigid as steel, and it’s so bad now that I actually have a speech impediment.

No one seems to know how to “fix” it. Not a TMJ specialist. Not a chiropractor. Not an ENT doctor. Not a neurologist. Not a physical therapist. There’s nothing wrong with the temporomandibular joint itself. So…what to do?

As a metaphysician, I know that all of this is related to the emotional and mental residue of decades past, probably going all the way back to childhood. It’s energetic ballast that my spirit is releasing, drop-by-drop, as I move forward into the next phase of my life. And it seems to be taking its own sweet time.

Last night, I dreamed that I killed someone with an axe – a horrible, frightening dream that awakened me with shivers running up and down my spine.

Curious, I just googled its meaning. Surprisingly, the dream offers an auspicious interpretation:

A dream about killing someone with an axe refers to your commitment toward a life goal. You are ready to share an aspect of yourself. You are taking a risk.

The dream is a hint for a new life, spiritual guidance, and liberation. You are taking charge of your emotions and confronting the issues that are bothering you. You are seeking the spotlight or looking for attention. This dream is about your desire for harmony and truth in your life. You have accepted some aspect of yourself.

I don’t know who comes up with these interpretations – most likely the same Force behind filling my mother with light, preventing death or injury by airborne surfboard, and putting me together with a man and his wife at the long table outside Alon’s Bakery this afternoon so he and I could connect and commiserate our experiences with loss, grief, death’s aftermath, and how to get back into life.


Earlier today, after sharing a lengthy conversation with a man and his wife at Alon’s,  swapping stories of caregiving, death,

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