Being a mom has been the greatest joy of my life. I believe that one of my main purposes in this life was to play the role of mother. No mother could ask for better children than the ones I have. I have always said that I am the most spoiled mother in the world. All one needs to do is look around my house and they will see the many gifts I have received from my boys over the last three decades.

It has always been extremely important to me that my children gained independence, freedom and a knowing of their true selves. Therefore, I made it a point to grant more choices and decisions as they grew. I did my best to make these options age appropriate.

I always made myself available to my children should they need me. My one rule was that if I was busy or in a conversation with someone, please do not interrupt unless blood was involved. In other words, it must be an emergency. John was able to deal with this concept much better than my youngest, Christian. John takes after me and had no need to be the center of attention and could easily occupy himself on his own. Christian is my natural born entertainer and the life of the party. He needs socializing and attention and, therefore, had a more difficult time with this rule.

Letting go of the reigns was easy for me until they reached adulthood. That is when things became more difficult. I had the privilege of raising my oldest and youngest sons; however, my two middle children, Tina and Ricky, crossed over as babies. Both of my sons have/had wander lust. As soon as they could, they both began to travel. My saving grace is that there is a ten year span between the two of them and I did not have to endure this with both at the same time.

As John became an adult I naturally saw less of him which was very difficult for me but I knew this was how things are supposed to be when a young person is beginning their adult life. When he would call or come for a visit, I would immediately drop everything and my full attention would be on him. I would be so excited that I just had to announce to everyone that my son was coming for a visit or my son did this or that for me.

I am now finding that I am doing the same with Christian who will be turning 19 years old in two weeks. He has spent the last year abroad or out of town for the most part. When my phone rings with his ring tone, my excitement is near unbearable. These are the happiest moments of my days. Although, the circumstances are not ideal, he will be arriving home in a few days and I am extremely happy about this. I am already planning foods to make, etc.

After John crossed over, our new relationship was very difficult to grasp. Just because I have been able to hear and see Spirits all my life, does not mean that it makes it easy when a loved one crosses over. Especially when it is my children. It has only been recently that I have been able to get my head around the fact that our relationship is not the same as it was three years ago.

I spent at least two and a half years trying to maintain the relationship we had before he crossed over. If I were busy and John would be trying to get my attention, I would immediately stop what I was doing to see what he had to say. I eventually realized that I still had the concern that he might need me for something. Recently I realized that since he is now in Spirit, there is no emergency that he would need me for. This is very painful for me to realize.

For the first time in thirty years our relationship is totally on my terms. I now have the ability to respond on my own time frame, when I am not busy or not too tired. After all these years of being a mother, it is a difficult concept for me to accept. On the upside, I still have Christian to attend to.

Last evening John and I were discussing how I have finally realized how our new relationship now works. This is so painful for me that I began to cry. Most mothers are happy for this freedom, yet for a grieving mother nothing could be more painful.

I have always said that we can maintain relationships with our loved ones who have crossed over. This is very true and I take full advantage of it. We must, however, realize that the relationship has changed shape. My children no longer need me. It is more that I need them.

I feel that there is something to the terms “letting go” and “moving on” (terms most grievers loathe); yet, I believe they need to be redefined. These terms should mean that you carry on with your new life, live it to fullest with joy and happiness, while maintaining a relationship with loved ones in Spirit and having the freedom to talk about them. Talking about a loved one who has crossed over does not mean you are not recovering. In fact, talking about your loved ones is the most healing thing a griever can do.

We must let go of the way our old relationship was with our loved one, yet move on in forming a new one with them and living our new lives. Although this new relationship with John is difficult to accept, I prefer this much more to the old paradigm where a griever was expected to not be able to maintain a relationship with their loved one in Spirit or they should not. The griever was expected to nearly forget that their loved one exists. I am very happy that the old paradigm is on its way and the new one is coming in. The new one is much healthier for healing grief. – Michelle