On May 28, 2009 by Eden M. Kennedy

Well, my mom’s dead, there’s no way around it. I’ve tried six different ways to write it down but there it is.

She had some company, though. Last week’s first death was the most distant, an elderly yoga teacher, and it affected everyone in my circle. My teacher and his wife flew off to India. Class is being taught, for the time being, by a wonderful woman who’s six months pregnant. She came up behind me yesterday to give me an extra squish in a forward bend, just laid right on top of me and pushed my torso down into my thighs and I thought, did she just push her baby into her own lungs to do that? Yoga teachers are such a mystery.

The week’s second death was a horrible shock. One of Jack’s subcontractors was murdered in his own kitchen, along with his wife, who was five months pregnant. The construction community here has been reeling. A detective has called, looking for clues. Was it random or was it planned? We remember to lock our door.

The third death hit closest to home, of course, even though it took place a thousand miles away. My brothers had kept me updated — she stopped drinking water, she became unresponsive, her back was bruising, her lips were blue. Saturday I couldn’t bear waiting around for the phone to ring anymore so I went up to Yoga Soup to hear Howard Wills give a talk about whatever it is Howard talks about. I went because Eddie had written such a startling, funny post about him and I thought, well, if there’s one thing I could use right now it’s to have someone snap his fingers and drain this grief right out of my heart.

Actually, I was terrified that Howard would snap his fingers at me and I’d burst. I managed to avoid the cosmic thunderclap (for now), but I did settle into the space Howard created, a space wherein I got a chance to meditate and spread the peanut butter of peace and love around on the, uh, bread of . . . my soul. In truth, it’s Howard’s belief that many of the ailments that we experience have nothing to do with us, they’re manifestations of anger and whatnot that have come down the line of our families. (Anyone who’s read that John Sarno book I never seem to shut up about — about the physical and emotional aspects of pain — may find this sort of reasoning persuasive.) So we meditated, twenty-five or thirty of us, on asking our parents to forgive each other, and that is what I was doing while my mother died. My grief transformed — into what? I’m not sure I have a word for it. Cotton balls? Then my phone started buzzing in my purse and I knew someone was trying to tell me she was gone.

I am grateful that she went slowly enough for us to adjust to each stage of her withdrawal. (God knows, my father died and the height of the LOLcat craze and look at what he got for a farewell post. *sigh*)

Yesterday I called up a guy I know who was also at the Howard thing, and while we were on the phone he gave me a visualization to do for my mom. He said, Imagine you’re in a room somewhere, someplace that’s not really on the earth but it’s a contained, comfortable place where you can sit. (I imagined myself sitting on a purple silk cushion.) Now, imagine your mom’s in front of you. What is she doing? (Standing there, smiling at me with her hands folded in front of her.) Now, imagine her parents behind her, supporting her, and their parents behind them, and their parents behind them for generations. (I can’t really see them, they’re transparent.) Then let’s just give them some wings. Now give your mother a gift. (I give her a sweater. She taught me to knit!) Now give her a basket filled with whatever currency she’ll need for where she’s going, a big pile of cosmic cash for her to take with her. (Her parents lift her up! She’s floating away with her sweater and her basket of cosmic cash and I’m crying like a baby.) Now breathe. (And suddenly she’s a little girl again and she runs to me and jumps into my lap and hugs me! Oh, the crying!) Keep breathing and tell her you love her.



184 Responses to “Threes”

  • So sorry for your loss. Knowing it is coming really does nothing to prepare one for such an event.
    I loved the exercise your friend gave you, what a wonderful approach to handling grief! Love and positive energy to you and your family.

  • Eden, I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones.

  • I am sorry for your loss.

  • Oh, Eden, this was beautiful. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • I’m so sorry. Hurts.

  • I’m so sorry. Hugs and good vibes being sent your way from Idaho.

  • Oh Eden, I’m so sorry.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.

  • I love that photo of you and your mom. Thank you for sharing.

  • I am so, so sorry.

  • Aw, Eden. I’m thinking about you.

  • Life is strange, but comforting in so many ways thru change and rebirth! “Sorrow has it’s own reward.” MBE

    I’m sure she would only want to you keep writing foward, you are a great woman thanks to your two parents!

  • my sincere condolences. this is a beautiful and touching post. (and you haven’t changed much since you were a little girl. that is a sweet photo.)

  • Sending you love

  • I’m so sorry. What a beautiful post.

  • I’m so sorry, Eden.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for the beautiful post and what a wonderful picture of you and your mom.

  • i did a similar visualization once, and i swear at the very back of the line i could see nonvestigial tails poking underneath grass skirts.

    this is wonderful and heartbreaking.

  • Oh, I am so sorry. Such a beautiful post.

  • Eden,

    My sincere condolences on your loss.

    My heart goes out to your family. May you all find peace.

  • Yeah the threes. I’ve been there.

    May peace be with you.

  • I will second everyone here and say, oh, Eden, I am so sorry. But you made me cry at my desk and think about my parents and love and all of those connected things. So, that is something.

    Lots of love to you and your brothers, etc. XOXO.

  • I’m very sorry for your loss but this was a beautiful post and a wonderful rememberance.

  • Sorry for your loss

  • I am so sorry dear Eden. I have love and good thoughts pouring to you right now from Ohio. That was beautiful what you wrote there. xo

  • I’m really sorry, Eden. Sending you and your brothers good thoughts.

  • I am so, so sorry Eden.

  • Well, I’m crying at my desk at work and thinking about you all. Best wishes for you and your family.

  • Oh Eden. So very, very sorry. What a beautiful tribute. Timing sucks to be overwhelmed with multiple, shattering losses. Hugs.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • So sorry for your loss. Beautiful post.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  • Even though it was unexpected, it still doesn’t feel real, right? I am so sorry you lost your mom and I hope that you’re surrounded by love right now.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. You are a wonderful daughter. I’m sure I’ll use that exercise myself someday, so thank you.

  • I’m so so sorry. (HUGS)

  • I’m sorry for your loss, Eden. Thank you for sharing the visualization with us, it was lovely and heart wrenching.

  • So sorry for your loss.

  • I keep thinking about that Jane Siberry song The Vigil. I’m so so sorry. And that visualization? I wish I could carry that around with me always, in a little locket. Except, of course, with my relatives instead of yours. Because otherwise that would be weird.

  • I am so sorry.

  • love and strength to you and your family.

  • So sorry for your loss, expected or not. So hard. But what a lovely visualization, what a lovely gift, that embrace.

  • I wish you comfort. I admire the grace with which you are letting her go. I’m weeping at your visualization.

  • I’m deeply sorry. Thank you for sharing your feelings about your mom these past months (years? I’ve been reading a long time.) My own mother is dying of a neurological disease, 2000 miles away from me, and I’ve appreciated reading your experience, especially since I have yet to unlock my own grief.

    Thinking of you and your family.

  • I’m so sorry for your losses, Eden. Your friend’s visualization was very beautiful and moving.

  • Peace and strength to you Eden.

  • Very beautiful. I am sorry for your loss too.

  • Oh man. I am so, so sorry for all of your losses. I wish you peace.

  • I’m sorry, Eden, and sad for you( especially the you that is that adorable little girl in the photo) and I thank you for this lovely post.

  • Oh, I’m so sorry.

    That was beautifully written. I’m crying right along with the rest of the people who’ve commented.

  • I’m so sorry about your mother, but thank you so much for writing this. It was beautiful and moving.

  • I know this pain. And, I know this healing. Blessing to you now.

  • Sending you the peanut butter of peace, too….

    And I’m a big Sarno fan as well. If you’re looking for an absorbing read, John Colapinto’s “Brain Games” in the May 11th New Yorker is excellent.

    I am so sorry about your mom.


  • What a sad, beautiful post. I’m so sorry. I know it has been a long, hard road for you and her and your brothers. I’m thinking about you.

  • That was so beautiful, Eden. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • I’m sure she loved the sweater, moms always do. the cosmic cash didn’t hurt either.

    From what you’ve said previously, the woman you knew had already gone. This is merely her body letting go.

    My sincerest condolences.

  • I’m trying so hard not to cry at work right now. What a beautiful post.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • Love to you.

  • Wow, Eden. I’m so sorry. Haven’t even finished reading your post and I’m crying already. My condolences to you and your brothers. Please take care of yourself and let others do the same.

  • Oh my gosh, Eden, I’m so sorry. This was such a lovely tribute to your mom. Thanks so much for writing it.

  • That was beautiful and also heartbreaking. I’m so very sorry for you loss.

  • And *this* is why I read your blog. So very eloquent. And I love, love, love that exercise. Thanks for sharing in your time of grief.

  • Terribly sorry for you, Eden.

  • Oh, Eden… I’m so sorry to hear this, I got all choked up and teary-eyed. I’m sorry about your sweet mom. It doesn’t make it easier, knowing it’s coming.

    I know you’ll miss her but she led a lovely life and made a great family and there is no more precious and worthy thing to accomplish on this Earth.

    Bless all of you.

    TitanKT (not Linda)

  • Peace and comfort from Tennessee.

  • I am so sorry Eden. May she be visiting with her family right now, at peace.

  • I’m so sorry. My mom was in her 50′s when her parents passed away, and she said she still felt like an orphan. Grief is horrible, I hope you can find some peace.

    Also: I love that picture, I never realized how much Jackson looks like you until I saw that.

  • You have touched my cold black heart. I’m so sorry to hear about all of these losses, expected and unexpected.

  • Damn. I’m really sorry for your families loss.

    The visualization at the end was beautiful. I hope it was able to help with closure a bit.

    Sending good thoughts your way.

  • I am sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your mother.

  • Sending you love and peace, Eden.

  • I hope your grief eventually finds a way to repair you and I’m so sorry you lost your mom.

  • Delurking to say I’m so sorry for your loss, and thank you for the beautiful post. Peace be with you.

  • So sorry for your losses, Eden. Sending you good thoughts from Chicago.

  • My condolences to you and yours. I’m so sorry.

  • Eden, my dad died on the 16th and this is the first thing I’ve read or heard that has provided any comfort. Thank you for that, even though it was an unintentional effect. And I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Oh Eden, I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Thank you, Eden for such a beautiful post. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. My father died 34 years ago this month. I think, if I may, use that visualization.

  • Such a beautiful post, Eden.

    So sorry for your losses this week…

  • This is beautiful and heartbreaking. I am so so sorry for your losses. Blessings to you and your family.

  • From out of the blogosphere, I say: I’m sorry for your loss, Eden.

  • So sorry for the loss of your Mom and Dad, they are together now and that was a very nice post. They have a great daughter.

  • I’m so, so sorry, Eden. I’m always touched by how nurturing you are. I hope you’re throwing some of that love on yourself while you’re sitting with this. Love and healing for you.

  • I’m so, so sorry for your loss, Eden. Take care of yourself. Thank you for sharing that visualization exercise. As hard as it was to write, I hope it gave you a measure of the peace I think you gave to us in reading it. Blessings on you and your family during this time.

  • Oh Eden, I am so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • oh, honey, i’m so sorry. it’s been coming for a while now. sending you peace and strength.

  • Aw, Eden. That just sucks. I’m so sorry. I loved your post though. I loved your visualization. I’m all teary for you today. Deep breaths and peace to you and your family.

  • So very sorry for your loss. Hugs and good thoughts to you and your family.

  • So sorry about your mom and your other friends.

  • I’m sorry for your losses, Eden. What an amazing visualization — I hope it continues to bring you some comfort.

  • Sending love and good thoughts your way. What a beautiful, sad post.

  • I am sorry for your loss.
    “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”-Tagore
    Your family is in my prayers.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Eden. But I thank you for sharing.

  • You’ve been very brave and open for quite some time; my deepest condolences.

  • I’m sorry for your loss, Eden — all your losses, but most especially your mother.

  • My thoughts are with you and your family Eden.

  • Oh, Eden. I really do not know what to say except that I am sorry for your loss.

    You have honored your mother beautifully.

    May she rest in peace.

  • Eden, I’m so sorry; condolences to you and your brothers. That picture of you all dressed for the early 1970s with your calm-looking mom behind you kind of says it all. Thanks for sharing that and your words with us while you grieve.

  • I’m so sorry. Thanks for your beautiful post. It makes me think of my own mum, who died almost five years ago. I miss her terribly.

  • So sorry for your loss.

  • i am sorry for your loss. xox

  • I lost Mom seven months ago, and even when you see it coming, it still hurts like hell. Thank you for the beautifully moving post.

  • So sorry for you loss. Wonderful way to write up the information though – it shared some of your thoughts and feelings so well that I felt the pain of the loss.

    Take care of yourself and I’m sending my positive thoughts your way.

  • I’m so sorry for your losses.

    Big hug,

  • Thinking of you and your family.

  • Oh Eden, I’m so so very sorry. Wishing you as much peace as you can muster right now.

  • I’m on my way there, now. Mom is dying. I’m going to remember your meditation when the time comes for me.

    Thank you. I wish you comfort.

  • An incredibly beautiful and moving post. Wishing you and your mom much love and an easing of sadness in time.

  • Oh, Eden. I am so glad that your mother was able to leave in a way that worked for her.

    This post means so much to me in ways that I cannot articulate. You made my heart swell and contract simultaneously in a way that I nearly forgot it could.

  • You are in my thoughts. I’ve come to realize as a new yoga teacher, that we become tuned in to our students in different way. Though it took time for me to get used to the idea of hands on adjustment, I can sense when someone just really needs it. Your teacher felt that too. You just needed a gently hug or a slight pressure of a hand. Sending you good vibes (even though I’m a complete stranger :)

  • I’m sorry.

  • Crying like a baby here too, but smeared on that peanut butter of love and peace for comfort. Sending peanut butter comfort to you, dearest Eden. Thank you for writing this even though you must be smarting with pain.

    Always your fan and friend,

  • Oh Eden, I’m so so so sorry for your loss. Please know that I’m thinking of you and your family.

  • I am thinking of you and glad you are surrounded by caring folk. Peace be with you!

  • Lovely and honest. Best wishes and so sorry for your loss.

  • I’m so sorry; it doesn’t make it much easier when you have time to adjust to the idea — just a different kind of hard.

  • You and your family are in my thoughts, Eden. Peace to all of you.

  • Eden, I’ll be sending good vibes your way…I’m sad to hear about your mom. Thanks for sharing that great post with us all. It was very moving, and even made some tears leak out. :)

  • In the midst of your grief there is such beauty and peace, but it does not stop my heart from aching for you.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I just found you on the NaBloPoMo Ning page.

    Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • That is a beautiful post. Many hugs to you and your family.

  • I am sorry for your loss Fussy. That post was one of the most moving I’ve ever read.


  • I am so sorry for your loss. The visualisation was beautiful.

  • Is there any more that can be said than the final line of that visualization? I hope you continue to find your breath and that you are able to keep finding a voice to tell her you love her, for as long as you need.

  • Eden, I am sorry for your loss.
    She raised one strong and incredible daughter. This know by a friendly stranger across the WWW

  • Eden, I am sorry for your loss. I lost my mom last year and you are in my thoughts as you work through this.

  • I’m so sorry for your sorrow. Goodbyes are so tough.

  • You are an amazing woman and your mom did an amazing job. Thank you for sharing this.

  • I’m so very sorry for your loss. Surround yourself with all the love that is out there…peace, strength, and comfort to you and your family.

  • bless you both.

  • My condolences. Three losses so close together seems especially rough. Take Care.

  • well mrs kennedy, i am so sorry for your loss. what a beautiful meditation. just be for a bit now….love and light

  • Aww…damn. I’m so sorry to hear this news. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Sorry for your loss, Eden.

  • I’m so sorry.

    I am going to try this visualization for those I’ve lost I miss so much. It seems like the thing we need. There are some people you love so much that it’s not just that they are gone but that you can’t tell them you love them anymore. There was an infinite amount of love you wanted to give and when they go, you are still not done.

  • Three things.
    1. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    2. The healing power of yoga never ceases to amaze me.
    3. That visualization at the end of the post was incredible…moving…surreal. Thank you for sharing that.

  • I am so glad you loved your mother.

  • I’ve enjoyed following you and your story for three years; I’m delurking to say how sorry I am about your mom. May you and your family find peace and love in one another in the days ahead.

  • Thank you for letting all of us in to your world. I have been motherless for 10 years, whenever something is hard I miss her like crazy.

  • Eden, please accept my sympathy for your loss. Like you, I lost my father suddenly and my mother unraveled over time. Both are shattering. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • I tried but can’t articulate a coherent comment…just one more soul here who is sorry for your loss.

  • I’m really sorry. We just went to a funeral for the mother of four daughters this weekend. It’s so hard.

  • So very sorry for your loss…I just lost my mother two months ago, and it still hurts and doesn’t seem real.

    Take care of yourself.

  • So very sorry for your loss.
    But thank you for this post. It is so valuable to share these experiences, and find ways of handling them that hopefully make some sense of all this. I am always preparing for the moment my mother will pass, and you have given me a new way to think about it. This is so valuable, thank you.

  • I’m so sorry, Eden.

  • Sorry to hear about your mom.

    That visualization made me tear up right here in Starbucks. Circle of life shit always does that.

    Take care.

  • Eden, thank you for the beautiful post; it’s a heartfelt and gracious way to mark your mother’s death. I am so sorry for your loss, suspecting that for you it may feel as if the earth has shifted on its axis. All the best to you and your family.

  • My condolences.

  • Words of condolences warm the spirit, but love and memories heal the soul.

    My warmest condolences for you and your family.

  • WOW! I’m so sorry for your loss but so moved by your words.

  • so, so sorry, hon.

  • It seems trite to say, but I am so sorry for these losses, especially the third.

  • I am so sorry. Your post is a beautiful tribute to your Mother. Just absolutely perfect and she knows it.

  • I don’t know what to say except I’m so sorry and you made me cry.

  • I’m so very sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful post.

  • I hope you find your breath.

    I hope you continue to create fond remembrances of your mom.

    I hope you know how much love and comfort is being sent over the internet.


  • I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. What a lovely post – thank you for sharing that. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers…

  • Sending your so much love and light. Your Mother clearly did a magnificent job.
    I promise you, it gets easier.
    Keep on doing what you do.
    Nessa x

  • So sorry, Eden. With the loss comes the gift to describe it.

  • I’m so sorry.

  • So sorry, Eden.

    Peace and strength.

  • I'm sad to read that your mother died, because I know it must be terribly difficult for you. However, I'm also glad that wrote about it so directly, and with your usual mix of humor and grace, because it indicates that you'll be OK. Only in time, perhaps, but OK nevertheless. Thanks for this very personal post, which was very moving and may help all of us cope with death better.

  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

    What a beautiful release to let your mother go with such a strong visualization and blessing. It gives me a lot of peace just to read it. My thoughts go out to you and your brothers.

    How tragic and senseless about the couple who was murdered.

    Your sharing about both your parents' deaths has been incredibly helpful to me to read as my own parents have begun their decline.

  • Eden, I'm so sorry.

  • Oh, Eden, my heart goes out to you! Thank you for publishing/processing with us. I am grateful for the visualization you passed on, and how you plugged in your own choices.
    I pray for grace for you as you grieve your loss.

  • I am so sorry.

  • Visualizing releasing your mother to her and your ancestors was just beautiful.

    So much love to you and the family as you grieve through this.


  • I'm very sorry, Eden.

  • I'm sorry for your loss.

  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

  • Oh, man, Eden, I'm so sorry. Rita

  • Eden, we are on parallel planes. I don't have quite the volume of it you have, but it's been an odd few weeks thinking about death in general, just situations near me. I plan on making a post about it, but am still rumbling around inside.

    "Sorry for your loss" just sounds officious to me. I guess what I will say is advice that a friend of mine gave similar to what you received from your envisioning: "They're really just in the next room. That's all you have to know. Why would you miss or worry about them, knowing that?."

    Sounds a bit blank, but I like its tone of normalcy, of its undisturbed quality. May you have that feeling soon.

  • You've written so beautifully about loss here. Your mother isn't the only one to whom you've given a gift.

    Sending psychic hugs your way.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Dear Mrs. Kennedy,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Eden, I am so sorry. I wish you peace. –jilbur

  • I'm so sorry.

    My mother died a couple of months ago, and this post made me weep all over again. Thank you – that sounds weird, I guess, but reading through someone else's grief is strangely focusing for my own.

    Take care of yourself.

  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

  • My father died May 27. Suddenly. It still takes my breath away to say it or type it.
    I'm sorry we've lost our parents. I'm sorry my sons will not get to spend more time with their beloved grandpa, mostly. He was a fine man with a keen sense of humor and a kind way.

  • Oh Eden. So so sorry. But I really, really love what you shared from your Howard experience (ok, that sounds–weird) and the visualization your friend suggested. I am a big believer, even though it sounds a bit wackadoo to my over-rational brain, in the transmission of pain from one generation to the next, and yes, that whole idea does feel remarkbly Sarno-esque. (I dig him, too.) But I am so glad you were able to send your mom on her way with a warm sweater and plenty of heavenly currency, and I'm sure that wherever she is, she's loving you and loving all the digital love that's coming your way these hard days.

  • thank your for sharing. my prayers are with you and our family

  • Oh Eden, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. The visualization was amazing and I hope it soothed your soul…