TERRY'S DESK

Go Toward the Light, Mama



At 25 years of age, I didn’t know what to make of the eerie feeling that Mama, who had passed only two weeks earlier, was “hanging” around me. I was scared and unprepared for what seemed to be communication from another dimension.


In fact, several weeks before her death, I had confided to a friend that “death” seemed to be hovering near me. More than once I was stopped in traffic for a passing funeral; the newspaper seemed to fall open to death notices or an add for a funeral home. That very night, after confiding my concern to that same friend over dinner, we walked into the restaurant parking lot. Chills went up and down my arms. A black hearse had parked next to me.

“What do you make of it?” I gasped.

“Maybe you’re being prepared,” my friend had answered.

Looking back, I do think I was being prepared for my mother’s sudden and unexpected death at 40–yes, she was only fifteen years my senior. Her life and, consequently, the life of our entire family was chaotic and fraught with crisis after crisis. Mom married six times, was addicted to prescription drugs, and attempted suicide on more than one occasion. I was the oldest of six girls and, sometimes, Mama felt more like my child than my mother. It would not be out of character for her to look to me again. But I was ill-equipped to deal with matters beyond the grave. So, I apologized.

“I’m sorry, Mama,” I told her out loud in my kitchen. Tears filled my eyes. “I don’t know how to help you. All of this is scaring me. The only thing I know to tell you is go toward the light. Toward the light.”

I feel like that’s what she did. I didn’t feel her after that. Not for another 49 years.

Now that I’m 73 years old, I’m more ripened. I would handle things differently today because I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I believe that we crossover to another dimension or vibration when we die—much like waking from a dream. I don’t picture a heaven of winged angels and pearly gates, but I do picture an existence of something—an essence, a vibration, an energy of love that continues on, much like an eternal footprint upon the universe.

I believe the scientists, physicists, and near-death folks who tell us time is an illusion. My finite mind has a hard time grasping the concept, but I believe it. That’s why I had the idea one afternoon, during my yoga practice, that 49 years was not too late to try and have a heart-to-heart conversation with my mother. Only this time, I would not be spooked. I asked her to send me a sign if she wanted to be in touch. I didn’t ask for a specific sign, but I said I’ll know it when I see it.

At the end of class, I walked into the parking lot. And, this time, instead of a black hearse parked beside my car, there was a white car with a license plate I had never seen, before or since. It said only: HEAVEN.


So, I’ve offered Mama a chance to “mother” me a little from the other side, in case she feels like she missed out when I was younger. I’ve made her my business partner, and some very nice opportunities have come my way. And I can’t help but feel that, someday, when the time comes, Mama will be the one showing me the way to the light.