Recently I worked with two clients in their sixties, both women, who were still experiencing trauma from childhoods of emotional and psychological abuse from their mothers. For one woman the damaged relationship with her mother could be traced back through generations of harmful parenting, but for the other her mother’s treatment of her linked back to undisclosed sexual abuse of the mother. Regardless of the cause of the relationship trauma, in each reading the client’s mothers ,as well as grandparents from both sides of the family, came through. In both cases insights were provided as to why their mothers treated them in this way, love was given and forgiveness asked by all family members. Each mother expressed her heartache at the long-term damage caused, damage that they only fully became aware of once they had passed and completed their life reviews. Whether the client was able to express forgiveness at the time of the reading or not, each mother asked for permission to be able to mother them now from spirit and to be the mothers they had not been able to be in life. One client felt able to forgive and a great healing took place for both the client and her mother and their troubled relationship began to heal. For the other client forgiveness did not come so easily, nevertheless healing was begun by the telling of the story and the acknowledgement of hurt.
I have seen this many times before and am awed every time by both the capacity for forgiveness by the human spirit as well as the love and need to ‘make right’ from those in spirit. Being able to forgive while still in this life is immensely important to our own health and wellbeing while on this earth. It is also important to our soul’s growth and evolvement and sets us up for the next life already having experienced the lesson of forgiveness.
At the time of my father’s accident I was thirteen years old and beginning to feel better about high school and life in general. My best friend from primary school was with me, and things at home had settled into a bit of a rhythm. My younger sister and I were quite infatuated with our little sister who was pretty and out going. My mother still struggled with her health, both physical and mental, and would run the house from her bed. Despite this, or maybe because of it, Heather and I had a lot of freedom riding our bikes and our horses around our local streets and the large paddocks at the end of our road.
All of this came tumbling down on the day of the accident. I can remember it clearly. My best friend and I were on our way home from school when her mother unexpectedly pulled up along side us in her large station wagon and beckoned for us to quickly get in the car. As I got into the back seat I saw the burlap from my father’s motor bike that he had had made to protect his legs from the bitter cold as he rode across the mountains and back to teach at the TAFE college. It was explained that I would be taken home to my mother and that my sister Heather was being picked up and taken home as well.
At home my mother sat both Heather and I down and told us that our father had been in an accident and was seriously injured. Afterwards Mum pulled me aside and told me that Dad wasn’t expected to live. She asked me to explain this to my little sister Anne, who was 5 years old at the time, because my mother didn’t think she had the strength to do it herself. As asked I sat Anne down and told her that Daddy wouldn’t be coming home because he was going to live with Jesus in Heaven. We had been attending Sunday school all our lives so I hoped that she would be able to understand.
My father did survive, but remained first in hospital and then in rehabilitation for many months. When we first visited him he seemed pleased to see us, though he didn’t remember our names. I was shocked by the crew-cut misshapen being that had replaced my beautiful father. Before me was a dribbling embarrassment whose every second word was a swear word. Nevertheless, I felt certain that he would recover fully and return to us the intelligent and proud man he once was. Needless to say this didn’t happen.
When my father was eventually discharged we all arrived at the rehabilitation centre to bring him home. The trip home in the family car was a slow one. My father could not cope with the stimulus of the car travel, finding it frightening to travel at the speed limit. So my mother drove the 28km home at 30km/hour. I remember feeling embarrassed and terrified. If my father couldn’t even travel in a car, how could he ever get back to work?
By this time my family was existing on a disability pension and the food hampers that the local Catholic priest delivered. Mum’s own church community was conspicuously absent. The two horses, Lady and Billy, that Heather and I had charged around on were found new homes because we could no longer afford to feed them. It was a sad parting but my sisters and I knew that it had to happen. Our mother was very stressed and this worry over money made her illnesses worse.
Photo by K Baker
This week a number of the clients I worked with had a loved one with Alzheimers disease. This has led me to share what I have learned and experienced over the years when connecting with people who have this disease.
During readings I am connected with people who have passed and shown those that are still living and who are important to the theme/purpose of the reading. When people with Alzheimers are introduced into a reading I am able to communicate with them as though they too have passed. Their soul is very actively connected to the spirit realm. Because of this they are able to talk to their loved ones who come to the reading and share their love and gratitude for the visits and support currently provided to them by those around them. Even though their bodies and minds are not able to acknowledge these valued and important gifts of time and love, their souls gratefully receive.
A beautiful example of this was a father who, during the reading, acknowledged to his son that as a father and husband he had been emotionally distant, denying his family the love and nurture they had required. Because of this he was amazed and humbled by the love and attention that he was receiving from his family and the staff of the nursing home. This particularly since he was now incapable of responding in even the smallest way. He identified one son in particular who came for regular visits and for the first time in their relationship opened his heart to his father and shared his life and love during these visits.
For this man Alzheimers had allowed him to truly see his family for the first time and to willingly acknowledge and receive their unconditional love. So even though it seems that your loved one is lost to you because of this disease, they are in fact more aware of you than ever before and are always grateful for any kindness you are able to show them.