When my mother died at 55 of an unexpected heart attack, my primary feeling was anger because she'd been seeing doctors the prior six months because she wasn't feeling well. The battery of tests and procedures cost around $6,000 out of her pocket since she had no insurance and were quite wearing and tedious. It finally reached a point where doctors were emoting she was a hypochondriac. Anyone that really knew my mother would know that's the last adjective to describe her. It hurt her, and made her feel like she didn't count any more because she was not working and older. She'd retired about four years before from work she absolutely loved, on a doctor's advice, because she was having arm pain and high blood pressure.
A few weeks after mom's funeral I was looking through my closet for something to wear to go out to dinner and came across a rather fancy blouse I'd never seen before. I was absolutely stunned. Where did this blouse come from? I dropped my hand from the hanger to continue my search because the blouse was too fancy for the dinner, but I was still puzzling over it. You see, just a few months before, I'd semi-retired and moved to a rural area. I got rid of all my business and fancy clothes and kept only jeans, sweats, ski clothes and flannel shirts. To my knowledge I'd never purchased this blouse and had never seen it before. It had actually been over four years since I'd even shopped for clothes, as I'm not really fond of dressing up and had plenty of clothes. Now it was the only dress blouse in my rather sparse wardrobe and hanging in a large closet in a singularly lonely and obvious position.
After getting dressed for dinner I came up with the bright idea of checking for a price tag and the label. In my family it was quite common for us to purchase clothes second hand because we had a love for the nice materials and quality construction we couldn't afford new. We specifically would look for quality fabrics and then check the labels, usually finding they were Chanel, Christian Dior, Armani, Versace or some other great designer. We weren't being snobbish; we just like the quality and cut of the fabrics usually used by these designers, and quite often the labels were these designers. So I checked the label, rather expecting a Chanel label, and it said, "I Love You".
Now I'm totally shaken and my heart just leaped to my throat. I felt weak with shock. I was scared to death. The little hairs on the back of my neck and on my arms just stood up. I just knew instinctively it was a message from my mother. I thought to myself, "Oh, that's totally ridiculous. You're being irrational." I checked for a price tag, and it was the handwritten price tag of a second hand store. That showed I had never worn the blouse. I started feeling all warm and fuzzy at the thought of my mother giving me a last farewell. I tell ya'all, I loved my mother with all of me. Then the thought hit me it might be an evil spirit pretending to be my mother, to take advantage of my grief and anger at her loss. This thought and my fear just shut me down and her/it out. I immediately rejected it was my mother telling me she was OK and to let go of my anger. It took me over five years before I was able to let go of that anger. I've regretted that lost opportunity for comfort and for me to acknowledge to her that I heard and felt her good wishes for me. In later years I've accepted it was really her and gain comfort in that. I know she knows that and understands why I reacted the way I did and forgives me for that reaction.
My mom was born 3 Dec 1928 and died 5 Dec 1983 when I was 27 years of age. There is not a day that goes by when I don't think of her and miss her.