Adam’s 7th Angelversary: “Mom, it’s Time to Release the Shit that No Longer Serves You.”
I feel sad today. I miss my sons. I have accepted my new relationship with Adam, but I am still sad for the pain he experienced while he was in the world. I miss my son, Nathan, and long for a better relationship with him.
Nate returned to school to take the last class he needs to complete a degree in Architectural Drafting. This morning I sent him a text:
I really enjoyed spending the day with you yesterday. You and I spent all our days together once. Adam went off to school and it was just mommy and Nate. You were my little buddy. My little helper. So smart and so curious about everything. You’d rake a giant pile of leaves just to jump right in the middle of them, and then do it again. That is the part of you that is the most natural. You are naturally drawn to nature and to helping others. You love to learn and share what you know. You thrive around people who enjoy your company and sharp sense of humor. I think we both could use more people in our lives. I’m so glad you are taking this last class. Start visualizing a happier life with more people, more friendship, & more love in it and you will begin drawing it to you. When you allow yourself to hope for a bright future, you are literally acknowledging that you deserve it and are giving yourself permission to have it. You were not planned, but you were my greatest gift. Your name, Nathan, means GIFT 🎁. That’s why I named you Nathan. Joseph means, “He shall add.” I knew you were a gift with something very important to add to the world. You have something other people need. All you have to do is be yourself and they will be drawn to you like moths to a flame. I love you, Nate. 💚🐸💚
We released Adam’s ashes on Friday, January 26th, seven years to the day that he donated his organs. My friend, Sara Kujawa, channeled Adam for us during the drive to Santa Cruz.
I thought about the positive tone in my friend Sara’s messages from Adam and how I should be feeling hopeful, the way I wish Nathan would allow himself to feel. If I can’t get there, how can I expect Nathan to get there?
The way to peace and happiness is not by denying your emotions. The heaviness is here with me in this ‘now’ moment and I just have to deal with it until I process it. Adam said I am leaving behind the last remnants of grief.
I am listening to a book about some children who lived with their parents on the river. The children were stolen and separated from their parents and then from each other. I remember a time when I felt so attached to my family, that I couldn’t breathe at the very thought of being separated from them. Now I am separated from all of them and I don’t think any of them even misses me. I make them uncomfortable. I have broken all the rules that make sense of their world.
In my worldview, we are responsible for creating our own happiness and our own suffering; and I have completely thrown away the book when it comes to ‘death.’ Adam has proven to me, there is simply NO SUCH THING. What we once thought of as ‘death,’ is simply a natural transition. We are here in spirit before we take on a human adventure, and we are still here when the adventure is over and we leave our bodies behind.
Once Greg and me, my niece, Kali, and our son, Stephen, and his girlfriend, Cyndy, released Adam’s ashes into the Pacific Ocean, I resolved over the weekend that on Monday, I’d begin writing the final chapter of Adam’s Gift. Then, all I have to do is fill in the gap between that and what I’ve already written.
Except, I wasn’t feeling like writing today.
I am feeling sad.
I made myself a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and relaxed into the soft cushions of the sofa next to the window where I watched a little brown bird hop around the base of Adam Tree. I hugged Adam Bear closer and smiled through my tears as the little bird came close to the window. Another of Adam’s gifts. He sends me lots of birds. Bluejays. Seagulls. Ducks. Geese. Crows. Snowy egrets.
I trust that this feeling is exactly what Sara said it is. Remnants of grief that I am to leave behind as I finish Adam’s Gift and prepare to move on to the next stage of my life. I have lived the life of a hermit for the past five years. I can count the number of social engagements I’ve been invited to by each of my ‘friends’ on one hand. Nobody knows what to say to someone who’s lost a child. I think it’s easier for them to tell themselves I’d rather be alone.
I would rather be alone than be with ‘friends’ who are uncomfortable in my presence.
I’ve discovered there are three groups of people in my life. Those who are afraid of me because I have embraced the ‘mysteries’ and continue communicating with Adam when they’ve all said their good-byes. Then there are those who are simply not interested in things of a spiritual nature; and the last group — those who are not only interested, they find me interesting as well.
That last group is my tribe and I’ve been finding them, one by one, mostly via Facebook. We are vibrating dots of spiritual frequency and Social Media is the Universe’s way of connecting the dots.
Who says Facebook friends aren’t real friends? If they are the ones who show up for you, they are real friends.
In the seven years since Adam died, how many of my ‘real’ friends called to ask how I was doing or invited me to lunch or out for coffee? Few enough that I can’t help but wonder whether they ever really liked me or whether we simply considered ourselves friends as a result of finding ourselves in the same place at the same time long enough to create a shared history.
Adam declared the week of his seventh Angelversary, time for me to release that which no longer serves me.
Actually, what he said was, “It’s time to get rid of the SHIT that no longer serves you,” and just to make sure I got the point, he started sending in the shit. The toilets were overflowing. The dog started pooping in the house at night.
By Wednesday, the third night of Angelversary week, when my step-daughter, Ashley, called to see whether Greg’s birthday present had arrived, she mentioned her new cat had been diagnosed with Giardia, an intestinal parasite.
“Doesn’t Steve’s cat have diahrrea too?” I asked. “Yeah,” said Greg, but it’s unrelated.
“Freaking weird,” I thought. “Where is all this shit coming from?”
We returned our attention to something mindless on Netflix, when Greg looked down at his lap in disgust.
“Cin, I think the dog has some shit stuck to his butt.”
“What shit?” I asked.
“Shit shit,” he said, pointing to Griffin’s hindquarters.
Sure enough, there was a solid clump of dried excrement ensnared in a hairball between Griffin’s sphincter and his tail.
“He’s probably going to die with this thing on his ass,” I said, “because, for Fuck’s sake, I’m not going there!”
Five minutes later, with seven pounds of snarling long-haired Chihuahua, pinned upside down on Greg’s lap, I had ahold of Griffin’s tail searching for the shitty hairball with a pair of manicure scissors.
“Well, if it isn’t bad enough that this is the week of Adam’s accident…clip, clip… tomorrow is the day he donated his organs, clip, clip, and the day we’re spreading his ashes…. clip, clip, here I am, just to put things into perspective, sitting here clipping shit off my dog’s asshole.”
Before I finished my last sentence, we were laughing so hard, we couldn’t hold the dog still any longer.
“Isn’t it just like Adam to give me this gift to keep my mind off things?”
“You know what’s even worse?” I asked, looking down at my empty hands.
“I can’t find a thing I just cut off this dog’s butt. You could be sitting on it right now.’
What does one do with ALL. THIS. SHIT?
In my case, you write about it, then release it.
So, I wrote about it.
Greg laughed his butt off when he read the part about Griffin’s shitball, then he said in mock horror, “You’re not going to post that, are you?”
“Of course not,” I said.
But that was before.
Before I released Adam’s ashes into the Pacific Ocean.
Adam specifically told us to put his ashes with the rest of the risk takers and led us along the rocks to where the Extreme Sports were taking place. As we splashed and played in the surf, releasing the last of Adam’s mortal remains a handful at a time, we watched the ocean carry his ashes away and bring them back again with a living, breathing, human being riding right on top.
“Ride the wave, Mom! No more fear!”
“But what if they don’t like what I have to say?”
“There will be people who won’t like what you have to say, but they aren’t the people who will be reading you,” Adam assured me.
“But they rarely even comment on my posts,” I insisted. “How do I even know if what I’m doing is helping anyone but me?”
“As long as it’s doing you good, it will serve others as well.”
Well, it’s already made me feel better. There are still tears on my cheeks as I post this, but there is a smile on my face.
No. More. Fear.