Looking around the table as we sat in the restaurant, my mother-in-law made a simple comment, “We are missing one this year.” The words were not meant unkindly but they pierced like arrows, straight through my grieving heart. She was referring to her daughter, you see. All of her grown children, including my husband, were sitting there that day with the exception of her daughter who was unable to fly home that year.
With the blood rushing to my face and my heart pounding wildly I said so softly it was barely a whisper, “Noah is not here either.”
Dismay crossed her kind face, as she answered back just as softly, sadness in her sweet melodical voice, “Yes, Noah is not here as well.”
Both of our heads bowed in sorrow; the grief of living with one less. That was my first Mother’s day without my son, as he surveyed us all from heaven. Physically absent and yet sending so many messages to my grieving heart; assuring me he was most definitely with us in spirit.
That evening in 2015, as we stopped on our way home for gas, the clouds reflected the turmoil inside my weeping heart. Standing beside our car, I looked at them in wonder. A massive cloud, very much resembling a launch pad was set directly in front of the setting sun. It created a most unusual effect as it radiated pure light up into the sky. Wispy clouds formed shapes above it. Taking out my camera, I snapped a few photographs.
My photo revealed an image of three horses in the sky above the unusual cloud. Striking a chord in my heart as I thought of the three horsemen!
“That’s what it feels like to lose a child, as though it is the end of days,” I thought.
The skies echoed back my misery in deep compassion; recognizing the reality of losing a part of myself and the very marrow of the bones and cells I had shared so willingly with my son. I felt seen by something greater than I could ever imagine.
But there was something else as well, that strange launch pad like cloud. What did it mean? I had a knowing, a tingling anticipation that something inside me was about to launch. But how? Why?
“I need to leave my car in the shop for a few days, Dawn, so they can figure out what’s wrong with it.”
My husband’s voice was frustrated as he delivered the news. We had barely made it home the evening before on Mother’s Day; the car had suddenly developed an unknown issue that required an overnight stay at the mechanics.
“Can I use your car for work?”
This last was said sheepishly. He knew I enjoyed getting out as a means of distracting myself. If he used my car, I would be stranded at home for several days.
“Of course, hon, you don’t need to ask,” I replied without a second thought. He never said a word about me remaining at home while he continued to work. The thought of returning to meaningless employment was unbearable for me. I knew I was privileged to have a choice where many do not.
Later that day, the feeling of heaviness that often prompted my outings overwhelmed me. But this time there was no quick escape. Sitting there, on the couch my son had died on, I spiralled down into the abyss of suffering. Flashes of the months before Noah’s death illuminated my mind’s eye like a horror movie on rewind:
I am on my knees praying to God, “Let us keep him. I can’t bear to lose him. I’ll do anything, I cannot bear it, take me…”
The week before his death I was on my knees once more, praying to God, “Please take him quickly. Why, why, why? No child should have to endure this, I can’t stand to see him suffer any more God, please have mercy on us…”
Wailing in my grief, I cried and cried. Sobbing wretchedly as the emotions ripped through my body like a fragile piece of paper being shred into tiny pieces; floating, falling to the ground, scattered and destroyed.
I sat spent on that couch, wrapped in the essence of Noah’s being, supported as the pieces reformed and shifted in some indefinable way; I was reconstructed but not the same.
And suddenly, I knew what had launched the day before. I could not sit around all week; I could not bear to sit around and do nothing for one more second. Reaching for the Ipad, I took a leap and created a memorial Facebook page for my son and childhood cancer awareness. I called it Noah’s Blue Ribbon Brigade; named after the blue ribbons which appeared all around our neighborhood after Noah’s death in his memory.
The ribbons are a visual sign of compassion and remembering which are so meaningful to our family.
I wrote my first post that day. As the words flowed out of me like hot lava erupting from a volcano, they landed on the reconstructed page that was my heart; filling it up with meaning and purpose. Those words saved my life; recreating the very core of who I was in that moment. I was a bereaved mother brought to her knees in grief and sorrow but I was also a mom with a voice and a passion to ensure that my son’s voice would be heard. And he held me up until I found my own voice somewhere deep inside. Mingled with his, forever intertwined, but with a resonance that reflects my own purpose and truth.
Three years later, as I reflect on the Mother’s Day which just passed, I still feel the pain of one less - I always will. But I am changed. Noah has made me different; he has reached down from the very heavens to support and facilitate my own personal growth. Synchronicities have led me to writing, Reiki and energy healing and the realization that my own intuitive guidance is strong and fierce. This is who I am: I am joy and sorrow and everything in between.
But here’s the thing: my suffering has diminished greatly and I credit it to the personal work I have been led to time and again as I searched for Noah. He showed me who I am. While it is true that I am mother, wife, daughter, writer, soul searcher, intuitive, Reiki Master, advocate for childhood cancer, I am so much more than these titles or beliefs…and so are you. He showed me I am everything; that everything resides within me. And it does for you as well. Find it, nourish it and own it my dear friends. Do not let your situation own you… we are all so much more than anything which could ever happen to us.
So on this past Mother’s Day, before heading to my mother-in-laws to celebrate, I took time for what nourishes my soul. Stepping outside, I leaned down into our lawn. Would I find a four leaf clover today? A little three leaf clover came into my vision. Smiling, I noted the leaves were shaped like hearts while the surrounding clover had round leaves – a little love from above. It was enough. Straightening up, I walked on; two blue jays squawked noisily as they flew directly overhead.
“I see you and thank you,” whispered my spirit to his. The story filled my heart, written in blue ink on the pieced together paper, a little inspiration from my boy in blue.
My heart filled with gratitude and love as I viewed the shimmering water. With random joy I started singing, stopping for a moment to wonder, “What am I singing?”:
And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing’s gonna stop us now
And I knew. I had been revising my website all week, adding a new direction to the mix as I put myself out there and offered the services of Reiki plus Synergistic Resonance energy healing. It had been such a huge part of my finding peace and this connection with source and Noah; I wanted to share it with others.
Noah was telling me he was on board. Together, we had launched into a new direction and he approved. With a smile on my lips, I turned to walk home; ready to face another Mother’s day with one less physically by my side but with his spiritual presence all around me; reassuring me that nothing could ever truly come between a child and his mother.
On the way to my mother-in-law’s we saw two glorious eagles fly overhead. Smiling, I told my husband about the two blue jays I had seen earlier that day. “I like eagles as well,” he said with a melancholy smile. “It’s a magnificent bird and the name of one of my favourite bands.” This last was said with a wink.
Minutes later, his voice echoed in the silence of the car once more, “Look, Dawn, there’s another eagle!”
With tears welling up, I looked to him and said with conviction in my heart, “Noah sent you one as well.”
Sending you all love and light,
BSc | BEd | Reiki Master | Writer
Find 4Leaf4Life on social media at: