Saying Good Bye


“Kingfisher, a bird known to be territorial, will defend itself against about any species it feels threatened by.  Take this helpful clue to create personal boundaries in order to observe what needs your loving attention and then achieve your heart’s desire. ”  Barb Techel “Animal Reflections Healing Oracle”

My feet are flat on the ground, my tailbone pointed straight down, grounded.  I am grounded, squatting on the edge of the small pond in the back pasture.

I watch a frog hop into the water then disappear under it.  Two dragonflies, the red/orange of turning maple leaves, are flying, hooked together by their stick tails.  A spider walks on water.

The Kingfisher comes.  She circles the pond too many times to count, then dives dramatically right in front of me, swooping up before hitting the water.  Her call is loud repeated staccato clicks strung together.


It’s been three days since my mother died. I talked to her on the phone two weeks ago, but I haven’t seen her in almost a year.

Today there was a memorial service for her but I didn’t go.

I experience severe anxiety, panic, and dissociation when I am around the family I grew up in.   Phone calls can have the same effect on me.  This is because of the trauma I experienced in that family as a child.

I’ve been working on trying to understand my anxiety and panic for years.  It was only recently through therapy, I was able to see that the family is a trigger that brings me back to being a frightened child.

My greatest fear is being pulled back into the family.  Becaues when I am there,  I lose my sense of self and become the person they want me to be, not who I really am.  In that place, I lose my ability to make decisions, think independently, and fully feel emotions.

Last year, after visiting my mother, for days afterward I felt as if I was outside of my body, as if I was sitting next to myself watching me.  I could not do my work,  or make the simplest decisions.  I could not feel emotions.   I decided I needed to protect myself from that ever happening again.

This morning I cried at the thought of not being at my mother’s funeral.  Not because I wanted to be there, but because I didn’t want to be there.

But even more, I have a feeling of freedom and strength that is new to me. I am sad, I am grieving, but  I’m not questioning my decision and I don’t have regrets about my choices.

This afternoon I will have my own ceremony for my mother.

I will light a bonfire and as it burns,  I will let myself feel what I feel.  I will thank my mother and wish her well.  I will practice letting go.

And I will continue living the life I have created, the life I chose.  With Jon, who is my family now,  along with my friends.

12 thoughts on “Saying Good Bye

  1. You have built an enormous “family” of friends and admirers “out here”, and I hope you can feel the waves of of love and healing thoughts and wishes coming your way.

  2. I cry that you never had a wonderful relationship with your mother, but rejoice that you can heal. I wonder if your father’ s domination kept your mother from being the mother she could have been. I guess you will never know. Peace.

  3. Saying goodbye in your own personal way is what’s most healing. Retraumatizing oneself does nothing good, for anyone. Being with nature, the animals and Jon is the best way to honor yourself, and the woman who birthed you..
    Living your best life is your thank you – for life itself!
    Mother’s are the conduit, but we all must then choose our own path. You are choosing wisely now.
    I have such admiration for your choices. Thanks for lighting the way for others.

  4. Bless you Maria for sharing the truth about your family and mine. Much appreciated and respectful of what you do to take care of yourself. Bev from Verdi, NV

  5. Maria, life can be complicated. To honour your decision as to who you are now and to honour your mother’s life in a way you can now is also acceptable. Society rights as to how things should be do not always work. To follow along with them would not be honouring who you are now. Whatever your experienced with your family as a child you do not have to explain it here for many others to read. It is your personal business and it has left you traumatized. Understanding is needed. And accepted.
    Sandy Small Proudfoot

  6. Maria,
    First, my condolences on the death of your Mom. What incredibly beautiful words about protecting yourself from the way your family makes you feel. And second, quite awhile back, one of your posts was about how you knew your mother loved you but that she didn’t like you. That resonated so much with me after attempts to help my mom go through her difficult, final years. It still hurts to think about my mother feelings, however, I swore that I would not repeat those actions/words with my own daughter. It is an ongoing process of looking at myself and being aware that she is her own person and I am there to love, support and trust her as she goes through her life experiences and through ALL her emotions. May your continued peace be a source of strength for your friends and readers. Thank you. RAF

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