What My Mother's Death Taught Me About Being Mindful

On the morning of May 30, my husband and I received a call: my mother was in the ICU in New Delhi. I thought it was a bad joke because my mother wasn’t sick. I had spoken with her just the day before. She and my Dad were headed to India’s paradise, Kashmir, for a vacation. How did the detour happen?

I asked questions but remained calm. I had no power over the circumstances, but I could control my attitude.

Mom was put on the ventilator; I packed my bags for India, made a few personal calls, rescheduled my appointments, and cleaned out the refrigerator. My mother taught us to never waste food or live in mayhem. I couldn’t accept the poetic irony: that very evening I was scheduled to read my cheeky poems about mothers at a coveted venue in Manhattan since it was the month of Mother’s Day. Instead of reading my poems to an audience, I was whispering prayers to no one in particular on our way to the airport.

We can plan all we want; life has a mind of its own. Fourteen hours later, when we landed in New Delhi, everything had changed. I was in a motherless world, and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to live and breathe in the moment.

I understood very well that I had to step up to make sure every ritual was done the way my mother would have wanted. Not for once did I believe that my way was the best way, but it was the only way that ensured that no one exploited my Dad’s vulnerabilities. I was now the matriarch. Life is fuller when you are mindful and considerate of others.

A week later, when my husband and I returned back to NYC, I finally found the time to evaluate my life and mourn my loss. Don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process.

As a Type-A, New York-based freelance writer with pressing deadlines (who also loves cooking and entertaining), I have always had an excuse to be busy. I had too much noise in my life. Calendars booked and weekends planned eight weeks ahead of time. I started to look inward: Life is a gift, and I hadn’t expressed my full gratitude for today.

Why was I so busy watching out for what was ahead and not cherishing living in the present? Did I know what I was doing? Was I even awake and aware of the journey in my quest for the final destination? Who were my companions on this ride? I had to pay attention to my present moment.

I realized that there are only 24 hours in a day, and that time should be spent being kind, sharing positivity, inspiring others, following my dream, and in the company of people who add value to my life. In return, I enrich their lives somehow. People aren’t always good or bad; sometimes, we are just different. The differences become apparent when a life-altering event occurs — it tells you who you can count on. The older we get, the fewer people we can rely on, but that’s a good thing because we get to declutter our lives.

While the loss of my mother is irreplaceable and has left a hollow in my heart, my life feels much richer and happier with mindfulness and yoga as a part of it. I feel a transformation in my thinking and lifestyle. I have surrounded myself with kind and positive people and nurture solid relationships, because life is a terrible thing to waste.

Related Posts

Sites We Love

Functional Nutrition Webinar

Learn How To Eat Right For Your Brain

Sign up for mbg's FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar hosted by Dr. Mark Hyman, 11x NY Times Bestselling Author & Director of The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

Get Free Access Now Loading next article...
Sign up for mbg's FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar

Your article and new folder have been saved!