Five years ago today we brought Moz into our home. The nurturers from hospice came in and showed us how to care for Mom. Moz and I spent the afternoon telling each other how much we loved each other. At the end of the day it became hard for Moz to speak, but I was greedy. I needed to hear it one more time. “You love me, don’t you?” And I’ll never forget the expression in Moz’s eyes as they locked onto mine and poured her love into me. I knew exactly what she was saying to me with her eyes: “You KNOW I love you!”
No one loved me like Moz loved me.
Early the next morning, as I lay sleeping on the couch next to her bed, she passed on. I could feel her brush by me in my sleep – it was this beautiful, joyful dream – full of peace and joy and love.
It’s been almost five years since then, but it feels like yesterday that you left, brushed by me as I slept, on your way to the other side of infinity. There are still days when I think I should pick up the phone and give you a call. But I know I don’t really need a phone to talk with you. I feel you with me – here and now. The sons are both married now; and Dad has gone – joined you on the other side of infinity; I’m retired, sort of; and we have a new president. Everything has changed and nothing has changed since then. I feel your love. You must feel mine. -Karen Molenaar Terrell, from Since Then
The Brush of Angel Wings
The end was like the beginning – the oxygen machine breathing, making the sound of the womb, a soothing rhythm in the room as she slept on the bed next to me. All is quiet, but for the pumping of O through her mask. In my dreams I feel the light brush of angel wings and fear is replaced by freedom and limitless joy that comes through an opened heavenly portal. I open my eyes to see the battle over and done. She has won. I rise and stand on holy ground. -Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Brush of Angel Wings
“…individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals…” – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
My beautiful friend and former teaching colleague, Jill Bailey, passed yesterday. This morning I’ve been going through our FB messages to each other, soaking up her wisdom and kindness, and I found messages she’d sent me just after my mom passed – messages about the process of grieving. But… it felt like these messages were fresh and brand new – like she’d just sent them to me – like she was sending me inspiration and wisdom to help me through mourning HER passing.
Today is also the second anniversary of my dad’s death. Finding Jill’s messages this morning couldn’t have come at a better time.
I want to share Jill’s wisdom with everyone who is mourning her today.
Jill wrote: “…Karen, my dad told me shortly after my mom died that he believed that the most important word from Psalm 23 was THROUGH. This scripture can be recited by many…The Lord make me lie down in green pastures, etc. The word THROUGH is only in the chapter once. People picture lying down in green pastures and God walking alongside them through the valley of death, etc..They see themselves THERE. But my dad said go THROUGH it. It is the only way to truly process and heal (get through it) the death of someone you love dearly. He was correct. We can’t shut it out, forget or not deal. The waves of grief crash and we have to dive through…”
And in another message, Jill wrote: “…this grief we go through tends to be solo and honestly no one can truly feel or understand its intensity (at times)…I am sorry that you are going through all the tough stuff that death leaves for the living. I know, I know people say, ‘everyone goes through it.’ It doesn’t help to hear those words. It just truly amazes me that so many people deal with this grief day to day without acknowledgement. And I guess I want to do that – acknowledge you and what is happening!…This is a very hard time. (As I state the obvious.) Please know you are hugged and understood. Jill”
Hi everyone! I just published another collection of poems. This one is titled “Since Then” and is a collection of poems I’ve written since my mom’s passing in 2017. The book contains poems about home and our kinship with others; poems from the pandemic; poems praising our connection to earth; and poems that celebrate the joy of being alive.Here’s a quick sample:
Can I Take Your Picture?
“Can I take your picture?” I ask the folks who sit in a line of rocking chairs in front of a Cracker Barrel store in Indiana. And they grin for me and I click. “Can I take your picture?” I ask Joanna and Mitch in the Anoka Independent Grain and Feed and they give me broad midwestern smiles and I click. “Can I take your picture?” I ask the international students in front of Mount Rushmore and they quickly line up in rows for me and beam and give me hope for the world – maybe we’ll survive after all – and I click. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
all we can be is what Life-Truth-Love made us for and wants us to be -Karen Molenaar Terrell
“Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; theconscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.” -Mary Baker Eddy
It’s been almost five years since then, but it feels like yesterday that you left, brushed by me as I slept, on your way to the other side of infinity. There are still days when I think I should pick up the phone and give you a call. But I know I don’t really need a phone to talk with you. I feel you with me – here and now. The sons are both married now; and Dad has gone – joined you on the other side of infinity; I’m retired sort of; and we have a new president. Everything has changed and nothing has changed since then. I feel your love. You must feel mine. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Sam the Wonder Dog died last summer. On her last drive to the vet’s her umber eyes were still bright and alert as she looked out one last time on the scene passing by – still engaged with this world.
And now I sit in the chair that we had accepted was her chair while she was with us. For the first time I no longer smell her fur in the fabric I nestle in. For months we tried to get rid of Sam’s smell – we vacuumed; we steam cleaned; we scrubbed with soapy rags – but the Sam-smell never seemed to leave us. And now, it seems, it has. And I think I might miss it.
I rub the fabric of the chair, and for a moment I feel like I am petting Sam’s sleek coat, and I feel her with me – warm and dear, an expression of Love.
Her body is gone, and her smell. But Sam’s still with us in her love. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Note to self: You’re not born with a finite supply of hearing, seeing, moving, being that’s going to run out at some point and leave you deaf, blind, arthritic, and dead. Don’t feel like you have to reserve life and lay some aside like some crazy miser, holding your life back for future use – your life needs you to live it right now. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
“Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof.” -Mary Baker Eddy
It’s a matter of trust. Without trust, we shut the door on joys and love that might have been ours and instead spend time analyzing and imagining the bad that could happen if we open the door wide to what’s outside and let Life embrace us. We limit what we can do and be and know and see and have in our lives. And when eventually our lives come to an end we look back and wonder what might have been if we’d just trusted in Life.
It’s a matter of trust. With trust, we can open our hearts wide to Life and to the endless possibilities and opportunities for being and sharing and giving and living without fear of lack, or hurt, or failure or loss – knowing Love will celebrate with us when we open our heart’s door and let Life shower and pour Its treasures on you and me in ways we can’t possibly foresee. -Karen Molenaar Terrell