What is a "soul?" That word made no sense to me for the first 22 years of my life. You can't see it, but you're supposed to believe it's there. I viewed this the same way as I viewed Santa and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, just some made up shit. Something that a group of people came up with a long time ago to try and get others to behave.
Lets rewind to January 13, 2003. The day my mom died from a very long battle with cancer. The image of her lifeless body in her bed in our Illinois home is permanently engrained into my brain. It was at that exact second that I knew I was forever changed. Religion was never a part of my life. We were Jewish, but that didn't mean much to me back then (not to offend anyone here). I didn't have a connection to it growing up. We quietly observed Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah in our home. I never told people I celebrated these holidays because I felt like an oddball and as a kid I just wanted to "fit in." Where I grew up, I didn't know of any other Jewish people. We didn't talk about God or heaven or even death in my house. In a town filled with Christmas lights and Santa, I was stuck with a menorah. To make matters even more confusing, my parents would get my brother and I a Christmas gift every year. No Christmas tree, just an unwrapped gift on December 25th. I knew my mom grew up Jewish, but she definitely did not carry any traditions into our family. One day as a kid I asked her why we don't go to Temple and why all my cousins had a bar/bat mitzvah, but my brother and I did not? She told me point blank, "I stopped believing in God when I was 9, the day my father died. If there was a God, he would never have taken him away from me." Fair enough I thought and didn't ask her about it again. She was never one to force anything on me. I heard her and I took what she said for what it was. Maybe she was right? I went on my way. Thinking the exact same thing when the matastasized cancer came raging back into her body when I was 15 years old.
Let's go full circle here with the beginning of this blog post... So now I was on the same page as my mom, "maybe there was no God?" Maybe there was nothing and we were all just here? Then the day of her death came... Her body was under the covers in her bed in Illinois with only her head poking out on her pillow. I looked at her face after she took her last few breaths. In that exact second, every single cell in my body shook. My skin lifted with goosebumps. It was plain as day. As obvious as the sun's existence in our sky. My mom's body was there, but she was no longer in it. It was in that exact moment when I saw an empty human body for the first time in my life. It's hard to put into words. It was like a hollowed out Easter egg with the yolk and whites drained from it... just a shell that remained. I could only describe her body as a hollow weightless shell. It looked like the leftover skin shed from a snake found on the ground in a desert. At 10:30am on January 13, 2003 there was NO DOUBT in my mind what a "soul" was and her soul was gone. I wasn't sure where it went or where it was, but it was not in that lifeless body I saw right in front of me.
I can tell you with absolute certainty and with everything I know up to that point in my life, that the body I saw laying in my mom's bed was just her soul's carrying case for the last 52 years that she was on this earth. I've described it over the years that a soul is kind of like an astronaut's body floating around in outerspace space. It can not survive without it's spacesuit on. I now understood what the purpose of our body was. It Is the carrying case of our soul.
It is ironic because when my mom's father died she stop believing in god. And here I was never believing more. I am telling you I could feel her soul’s energy out in the universe that day and I still do today 14 years later. I have more to say about this topic, but that is a story for another time.
Music has always been the soundtrack of my life. I walked away from my mom's bed that day and over to her window. I stood there motionless for what felt like hours gazing out the window. To this day I don't understand how this happened, but every single word from the Norah Jones song, "I don't know why" played through my mind. I'm not sure how but I immediately knew all of the lyrics to the song.
"When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away.
Instead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand.
My heart is drenched in wine
But you'll be on my mind
Out across the endless sea
I would die in ecstasy
But I'll be a bag on bones
Driving down the road alone
My heart is drenched in wine
But you'll be on my mind
Something has to make you run
I don't why I didn't come
I feel as empty as a drum
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come"
My eyes were locked on the sky. The thin clouds and the brightness of the sun on that cold January day. I felt God for the first time in my life. I felt my mom's soul. It took me years of therapy to find the peace I have today with the cancer she fought and her death but on January 13, 2003 I discovered a secret about life and death and I have never been the same since.
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