The last 3 lessons from Mum

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Personal Development

You may be wondering why I have been rather quiet for the pass 3 weeks or so…well it was because they were the most difficult weeks of my life. My beloved Mum passed away on the 19th of November 2010 after 171 day of battling cancer. She was diagnosed with stage four cancers on the 2nd of June and what followed were months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds of pain, suffering, questioning, caring, loving, forgiving, saying good bye…. and now mourning.


During these days, Mum faced the prospects of her impending demise with much courage even when her body experienced extreme fatigue, pain, discomfort, weakness, and immobility. Frequent hospital visits, appointments, emergencies and admission were occasions for much discomfort for her; uncountable X Rays, CT Scans, Blood Tests, Infusions, Blood Transfusions, Abdomen Taps, long waits and cold sterilized rooms brought with it a deep sense of isolation and alienation.


Then there were the restrictions of water intake, she was only allowed 800ml of water per day due to her failing heart. Imagine that…just 800ml per day in our climate. It had to be sufficient for her medicine intake which was a plate full! Throw in chemo therapy, frequent vomiting, constipation, mouth ulcers, sore throat, inability to sleep, severe back pains, the loss of appetite, difficulty breathing and uncomfortable mornings, afternoons and night due to the combined effects of all the above for a 76 year old lady!  


As the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds dragged on, Mum’s body grew weaker and weaker ravaged by the disease but her mind, heart, spirit and soul were cancer free! During her final 171 days, she left me 3 lessons. It honors me to share these 3 lessons with you which were also part of my eulogy of my Mum on the 22nd of November 2010.



The FIRST LESSON: the movement from “I hurt” to “I forgive, I accept and let go.”


As you could imagine, my mother’s illness brought her much pain and discomfort. She experienced severe loss of control over her bodily functions, her physical movements and even her feelings!  Her pain was physical, emotional as well as spiritual and it triggered past experiences of unresolved hurt to return. “I hurt” were words that my Mum not only shouted out; they were seen visible in her very being!  


From “I hurt” Mum made a journey towards “I forgive, I accept and let go.” Forgiving for her meant accepting what had happened in her past as well as accepting her terminal illness; it meant working through the emotions that denial, anger, bargaining and depression brought. This was never an easy journey.  But the fruit of this journey was acceptance, which brought with it a change of how Mum referenced these hurtful events and even her illness. It eventually brought her new meanings that allowed a “letting go” to take place within her.


More than anything, this journey gave her permission; the permission “to return” – to return to become the person she really was. Forgiveness and acceptance freed her to become her real self again in a more profound way!


This lesson from Mum reminded me about the importance of forgiveness. Past hurts can fester and cause bitterness. Stuff happens in life, stuff happens to us, crazy stuff from job loss to tragedies and illness.  These can generate defences within us that will suck the joy of living, relating and loving out of us. They kill enthusiasm, make living painful and can hatch a victim mind set within us which can snub out the joy living free, in love and in grace. Life in never perfect, neither are people; forgiveness and acceptance are hence the very ingredients which are needed.   


This was a lesson on becoming authentic again through the power of forgiveness, acceptance and letting go. You could call it a self actualizing moment, an evolution to a higher state of being fully human and alive even when Mum’s physical death was imminent….a lesson on becoming strong when she was physically growing weak.  


“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Mahatma Gandhi


      “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”

 Fulton Oursler



The SECOND LESSON: the movement from “I am alone” to “I will love.”


Mum experienced extreme loneliness in her sufferings. There were days when she felt forgotten, unloved, unvalued and isolated. As much as I tried to assure her, Mum felt terribly alone. There were days that I too felt equally alone, tired and inadequate to the point that I realized that I could very little to help her in her loneliness.


Yet, entering this aloneness brought about a metamorphosis of sorts in Mum, it lead her to the realization that “I am loved, I have loved and I will love”.  Her aloneness in the desolate planes of her illness was perhaps the very place where she discovery her true worth and value that could never be destroyed by pain, disease and even death; this was her very self, her inner core which is love. She was never alone as she realized that she was loved and that she too had loved much.


This gave her a resolute commitment to move beyond her loneliness of her present moment, of feeling forgotten, to reach out and love. Cancer can destroy the body, it can make one feel very miserable but it can never destroy love, it can never destroy ones lovability and the desire to love!     


Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be.

 Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope.

- Tom Head


Our worth, esteem and value is a given. The very fact we are born as human persons, we are a love testament. Life, hurts, disappointments, betrayals, illness, tragedies, misfortune, etc. can sometimes leave us feeling unloved, lonely and forgotten. My Mum’s second lesson left me with a profound reminder of the fact that my true value and mission in life is to realize that I am loved by God and by her, that I can be secure and certain of this love no matter what happens and that I can choose to love. In doing so, I can never be alone!     


Mum’s last weeks and days can best be described by the words that she blesses all who visited her, “I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH”!  They were said with much firmness, honesty and gentleness. If she felt that you did not hear her or get her well enough, she would repeat them until they were acknowledged and felt…..


 “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.”

- Sophocles


The THIRD LESSON:  the movement from “”I’m afraid” to “I have courage and I am grateful”


We are all visited by fear in life and Mum was no different as her aloneness, vulnerability, pain and physical deterioration lead her to experience fear in intense ways.  Yet she faced her fears with faith; not a caramelized, candy like “alleluia” faith, but a matured faith. A faith matured by the trials and tribulations that she had faced for 76 years, matured by the sacred promise she made at the alter to my Father before God to love him and to raise her children by giving her best. A faith that was built on the promises of God that went beyond today’s “smart psychology”, self help commercialized wisdom and the success principles of materialistic gurus.


Perhaps this was a much needed lesson for me.  Life is not made certain by wealth, intelligence, smart medicine, longevity, networking contact, political connections, etc.; it is made certain by faith. And faith did not mean an absence of fear, struggle, doubt and even death; faith means facing our fears and doubts, it’s about embracing our struggles that will test our resolve, mature us and prompts us to grow by grace.


The gift of this struggle is the realization that the promises of God are real, not so much our expectations of how HE is suppose to realise them. They are real in this world and in the next and that this life is not meant to be permanent; it is but a passage to a better, lasting and eternal one. Minus this faith, we can grow bitter, angry and be paralyzed by fear, doubt and darkness in the face of our mortality, illness and tragedies which can cause all courage to desert us!


“The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not be in want.”  

-The 23 Psalm


This was the third movement that Mum made, a movement from “I am afraid to I have courage and I am grateful”. During her last week, Mum grew a strange resolve, a courage based on faith to move on to what seemed certain for her; God, Eternal Life through God and her reunion with her loved ones who had gone ahead of her. She expressed intense gratitude especially to those who had come to see her, pray with her and who offered her much consolation. “THANK YOU” was the words that always slipped through her tired and blistered lips. Her very last words on the 18th of November 2010 before she lost consciousness was; “I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, I’LL MISS YOU, THANK YOU.


“He who has faith has… an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well –

even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.”

B.C. Forbes


It is my hope that these 3 lessons that my Mum left me during her last 171 days would offer you much help, assistance and consolation in living life more abundantly. It has for me. I have described them as “movements” simply because they involved a process, a journey that Mum stared years ago and which was brought to a closure on the 19th of November 2010 in a very intense way before she returned home to God.


I love my Mum very much. I will definitely miss her very much too, her smile, her presence, her cooking, our little “fights” and jokes….and above all else her presence. But her lessons have left me with a lasting gift…together with the memories of the years gone by which my wife and I will cherish with love and gratitude.


The following song is my final tribute to Mum; I hope you’ll enjoy it to. 

Thank you Mum for all that you have done, I love you very much and I miss you! 


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources. He has more than 14 years experience in Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Talent Development. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, is a Certified & Licensed Trainer of Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.  You can follow Conrad on facebook!