Yogini’s Personal Story on Grieving Death and Dying

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is part of our life experience here on earth. We all go through it at some point. We love, we get attached, we suffer, we eventually find peace.

I have had my fair share of loss in the last few years. So much where the family who raised me is almost gone and I am only 39 1931066_45352277592_8508_nyears old. My parents and grandparents who raised me, uncle, friends, pets and the romantic relationships that didn’t work out or the friendships that just grew apart.

These last 10 months have been the hardest of my life, so far. Six months ago, my 65 year old mom transitioned out of her physical body and into the afterlife from cancer.  She was last of my immediate family who raised me, and it brings up so much.  You see less than a year before my mom transitioned, I euthanized my 17 year old dog. Three years ago a dear friend took her own life. Five years ago my father transitioned out of his body from cancer at age 63. My grandparents who my mom and I lived with and helped raise me passed in there 70’s in 2000, and in 2006. My beloved uncle in an accident at his work, in 2003.

I was in Peru studying shamanism when I found out my mom was in the hospital. The experience I had in Peru with the shamans helped me to prepare what was to come. I dropped everything, quit my job, put my business on hold to be there for her. I would do anything for her, as she would for me. When I got to the hospital she looked so thin. My great aunt was there. I was ready to bring her to Buffalo for holistic treatments, but it was already stage 4 cancer in multiple locations inoperable. Whenever I asked her about doing other treatments she kept saying, “no its too late Nicole” She was accepting on what was occurring and it helped me to accept it as well. The Dr’s convinced us that some radiation treatments would help prevent her to becoming paralyzed, and hopefully relieve some pain. I was conflicted about this on how it would effect the quality of the rest of her life. We decided to do it, cause she didn’t want to be paralyzed the last few months. She didn’t become paralyzed from the tumor pressing on her spine but who knows if that was from the radiation or not. Sometimes I feel the radiation just made her feel worse and maybe sped up the dying off process of the physical body. I also feel getting her out of the house everyday and talking with people about this, even if it was just for radiation, was good for her spirits. She was also so grateful that we were getting so much love and support from family and friends with visits and phone calls, it helped us both very much.

Over the next few months our roles were quickly reversed, where I was now the caregiver and she became more childlike as time went by.  It was hard for the both of us. She never wanted to be a burden on anyone or to be taken care of and was determined to do whatever she could even though her body wouldn’t let her. I wanted to be a caregiver for her as she was for me all my life raising me. I wasn’t ready to let her go, and didn’t want to live without her. Even though we lived in different states over last few years, we talked or video chatted every day, sometimes several times a day and were very close.  She was the person I always ran stuff by too, the person that I vented too, shared almost everything with. She was the person who helped me to listen to my intuition when I was trying to decide something. She was the person that supported me in every way possible, at the same time, let go enough so I can learn from my own experiences and mistakes. She was not only my mom, but my teacher, and one of my best friends. She helped shape me into who I am today.

I did what I could to help her through the changes in her physical body and what I knew how to do like; reiki and sound healing therapy, divine sleep yoga nidra to clear her energy and help her relax . I played prayer of st francis, sound healing and shamanic music from around the world that she seemed to respond positively too it all, she became more at peace. I saw her feel her truest nature, beyond her physical body, she was glowing. All these wonderful memories of my mom and I started rushing in, like a flash right before my eyes, things i long forgotten about from my childhood and adulthood.

The day before she left her body, hospice came and took her too a hospice house so I could be daughter instead of caregiver at home. I felt our passed love ones presence in the room, electronics were going spastic as well. I mentioned it to her as I held her hand, she smiled body-soul-spirit_thumbslightly. With her eyes slightly opened I saw her see and feel the other side. I felt the divine love that she is, that we all are, that everything is and that she was feeling this. I felt her peace and love move into me. A tear came out of one of her eyes. Her breathing quickened, became shallow and noisy I knew it was going to be minutes until her physical body gave up. Her last breath was deep, her body collapsed suddenly, then her lungs released the rest of her breath and her life force energy.  This is what i believe enlightenment to be that spiritual practice talks about that occurs just before dropping the body, that can occur before dropping the body with spiritual practice.

The present moment peacefulness we felt toward the end of her transition was expanded within me for about a month afterwards. I have felt this bliss of present moment peacefulness for only a few moments at a time until then with my yoga practice, was never able to sustain it for over a month, before. The experience I had with her was so beautiful and such a gift. During that month I was able to connect with my moms energy, receive messages in different ways, that you can ask me about privately.

What occurred next you may not understand unless one or both of your parents have left the earth plane as well.  It wasn’t until, the drive home to Buffalo a month later that the reality of her and both my parents not being in the 7e0f4e9504ec33fd1d6981038ac08a20physical plane started to hit me. I went through all the emotions that psychologist say occurs in the grieving process occur on that drive. I put it all on hold for a day for her memorial potluck, I wanted to be there for everyone else. After her memorial, I barely left the house, being around people was very difficult, I just needed alone time. I was so overwhelmed by everything in the environment, all sounds, smells, emotions were heightened and seemed to bombard me on an intense level it was overwhelming. My friends, yogic family and rest of my extended family was sharing so much love, but i couldn’t receive it fully with a grief stricken heart without breaking down and crying.

Over the next few weeks I had moments of wondering if I would survive all this pain and wasn’t sure if I wanted too cause then I could be with her.  I also went through the guilt of the”should of”s, could of’s” doing something different maybe she would still be here. I was in a very dark place within myself. I asked my spirit guides for help out of this darkness. I am not sure when a turning point occurred but being around others got a little easier, and began to be able receive the love everyone was giving the more i did my practices like restorative and yin yoga, chanting, reiki circles and drum circles, dancing and doing things I enjoyed and raised my vibration.

Thank you all so much for reaching out, coming to the memorials, for supporting me and my family during this time. Words cannot express how much everyone in my life, and my moms life, means to me.  I will not take any encounter for granted again. Life is precious, short and is such a gift to be experiencing it together. When you are reading this, I hope you feel the love in your heart that I am sending to you all, right now and forever. My heart is warm with love and tears are running down my face as I write this.

There are still moments of deep sadness and grief of missing my loved ones who are no longer on this physical plane. It especially comes up when I experience another loss of some kind. I just remind myself of the things I learned here, listed below.

Thank you all for being understanding supportive as I adjust to how my life has changed, work on my own healing and figure out whats next. As I continue to work on myself mend  purify the junk that is within these wounds in different ways, such as with travel, chakra therapy, shamanism, reiki, dance, kirtans, drumming, yoga, so i can be more an effective healer to you all. I am reminded by the things I have learned from this beautiful experience with transitioning out of these portals we call bodies. Namaste

Just some of the things wisdom I gained from this experience is….

1. Life is short, in a blink of an eye it can be over. Enjoy your life, do all the things your desiring to do before its too late. Spend time with loved ones in presence never dwelling on past or holding grudges or being hurt doing so is toxic. Be loving, forgiving, compassionate find gratitude for each moment as every moment is a gift.

2. Family is not just the ones who have raised you or your blood relative but those who will support or stand by you at times of need. No matter what your past actions or mistakes, they will love you and be there for you cause they realize #1 above. Be compassionate to those who are not or do not see #1 above, its not personal, its just on where they are at this point in there life. We are all family, were all connected in the bigger picture.

3. Dont get attached to things staying the same, when we do we tend to suffer. Change is a constant. Everything on this earth has a birth, life, death/transformation even our thoughts, emotions, suffering, happiness etc. (lots of you heard me say this before in my classes so maybe i just learned it from the yoga of life)

4.  Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. There is no death only transformation. We are not just our physical self, we are not what we do, we are not what we have, we are not our thoughts or emotions. We are a spiritual energetic beings of pure LOVE and PEACE living a human experience within a physical body, mind. Our spirit lives on in multiple dimensions in time and space as our human self gets recycled into the earth. We can connect with these dimensions at anytime when our mind or energy blocks doesn’t get in the way. (ok lots of you heard me say this too)

5.  Peace is found in the present moment, accepting and living in the present. We suffer when we project ourselves into the past or future.  Knowing this we can find peace. When you do project yourself out of the present and are missing your love one, let it out, let it come out, feel it fully and ride the wave and until you come home to the shore then let it go.

6. Be compassionate, gentle, loving, supportive to yourself and others that go through a loss of a parent its like loosing a part of yourself.


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1 thought on “Yogini’s Personal Story on Grieving Death and Dying”

  1. Beautifully said Nicole. I can feel your pain as my last 5 yrs were very similar, losing loved ones, grieving, struggling to make sense of this thing we call Life.

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