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Today it is one month since my mother died: 5th November 2015. Here in the UK this is Bonfire night, Fireworks’ Night or Guy Fawkes’ Night. It’s a British tradition dating back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I. Maybe she decided she wanted fireworks and partying to accompany her departure. I saw her a couple of days before and felt she was leaving. My children and I held her gently as she only wanted the lightest of touch. We could feel her physical presence lessening.

I was teaching in Paris and the day afterwards one of my students came up to me and said she saw my energy like a small child, surrounded by a white light, which she felt was my mother. This white light she saw as connected to the Cosmic Mother energy. I had said nothing to my group: as I didn’t want them to feel they had to care for me. Naturally I told her of my mother’s passing.

It didn’t surprise me as I felt my mother’s presence more strongly in those days than in the days before she physically left. I felt protected by her light and connected to a greater source. I had a similar experience when my dad died 9 years ago. I still feel his presence supporting me. This is an aspect of the Jing: our ancestral connection, which never ends, even if the soul has left the physical body. I feel also that the Jing is connected to our greater mother, not simply the earth, but the whole universe. I am still digesting what it means to no longer have my mother’s physical body in this world. There is an absence, a longing, but also a new type of presence.

Mum's 80th birthday, a few years ago

Mum’s 80th birthday, a few years ago

I was back in Paris last week, teaching about the Extraordinary Vessels. These are the vessels which circulate and maintain the Jing in our body.

I would like to share a poem which I read at my mother’s funeral which I feel expresses some of this. I read it at my dad’s funeral but added a verse this time for my mum: to express the twin pillars of her life: her music and her faith. The first stanza is by Mary Elizabeth Frye  written in 1932. I also chose this poem because the last time I took my mum out, was in a wheelchair, provided by the nursing home she had just moved into in Bristol, Aabletone, which I chose partly because of its location right next to the Botanical Gardens in Bristol. It was a beautiful autumn day and my daughter and I wheeled her round. There is a beautiful Chinese herb garden

Chinese herb garden at Bristol Botanical gardens

Chinese herb garden at Bristol Botanical gardens

Now I can see that she was taking her leave of the world, saying goodbye to the beautiful flowers, trees and plants. Yet she is still there within them.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night

(Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932)


Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there I do not sleep

I am the melody of cello strings

I am the love inside the hymns

I am the healing hands that care

I am the memories you all share

When you pause in the evening’s light

I am the softness of your sight

Of a world where my daughters live

I am the joy you each can give

Do not stand at my grave and cry

I am not there I did  not die

(Suzanne Yates, 2015)

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  1. Lilian Privé on 14/12/2015 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem, Suzanne. A beautiful way to understand the sequence of life and dead, and the endless connection through our jing. And the support and endless nourishment through our ancestors.

    I wish you all the best, Lilian

    Lilian Kluivers

    > Op 5 dec. 2015 om 15:05 heeft Well Mother het volgende geschreven: > > >

  2. Katy Nicol on 06/12/2015 at 10:31 am

    This is very lovely Suzanne…How are you?xxx

    Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 14:05:21 +0000 To:

  3. Rosa Lia on 06/12/2015 at 4:13 am

    Beautiful! I love it. And amazing when you can connect the meaning in your work to the meaning in your personal life.

  4. Catherine Tugnait on 05/12/2015 at 10:51 pm

    Suzanne, much love to your and your family at this sad but reflective time for you all. What an insightful poem and experience of transformation of ourselves and our ancestors to another realm. I feel this about my dad too, who died on my daughters 6th birthday. He lives on through her in her wonderful approach to life. I never visit his grave, as i feel he is not there, but with me everyday in my home and my heart, guiding me and my children to health and happiness.
    Catherine x

    • suzanneyates on 06/12/2015 at 10:20 pm

      Interesting to hear how you feel similarly about your dad. I am glad you also find that he is with you every day. Hope all well with all your family and thanks for your well wishes

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