How to spiritually compost loss, death, and endings for healthy 2022 growth

Loraine Van Tuyl, PhD, CHT
7 min readDec 28, 2021

As I shared in my last story, My Lucky Star: Final Tributes to my Mother, my 88-year old mother died two days before this year’s Thanksgiving. She was a pioneering spirit who boldly followed her dreams and didn’t take No for an answer. Decades ahead of her time, she, a brown woman from Suriname — a South-American country that most people haven’t heard of — traveled alone with me around the world for 8 months in 1975 when I was just 5 years old. I have no doubt that she will continue to be a mover and shaker on the other side now that she’s crossed over. I’m already getting the sense that she has positioned herself at the frontlines of my dreamteam of spirit and ancestral guides even though it’s only been a month since she’s passed.

My mother was committed to her North Star and busted through ceiling after ceiling when her career peaked as a school principal. According to my dad, she didn’t take orders from anyone, not even from soldiers with machine guns who tried to tell her what to do after the military overthrew the government. Needless to say, losing control over her basic functions and muscles due to a degenerative ataxia was degrading, defeating, and excruciatingly difficult for her. After a slow decline of about 25 years, there was an intense period that started about five years ago when she told me almost daily, “I lived a full and happy life. I’m ready to go home. You guys need to let me go.” Her disease had caused her to be bedridden and she was frustrated that she couldn’t will her death. I explained to her that I would grant her this wish if I could, but it wasn’t up to me or us. Maybe life and mystery had bigger plans for her.

As if her soul agreed that her strong and sharp ego-mind was standing in her way, she developed dementia soon after. Unlike most people with dementia, she was spared the mental anguish that this brain affliction often causes them. We, her direct family, were also spared the heartache and devastation we’d feel if she stared right through us without any sign of recognition. Miraculously, my mother’s dementia primarily robbed her of her acute awareness of her illness. Her longing to die instantly stopped.

She retained many sweet memories of her life in Suriname with her direct family and my dad, her husband of almost 58 years, until her final days. She was once again ahead of her time and us in her readiness to transition but somehow found a creative way to wait for everyone else…

Loraine Van Tuyl, PhD, CHT

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