Emo-shopping is a term invented by one of my family members around the time my mother was gravely ill and later indeed succumbed to old age and complications of several illnesses.  Two of my three sisters and I had promised our mother to stay with her as long as she needed us. But when after a few days she became much weaker and less conscious of our presence, and we realised that we actually lived in a nursing home, we took off that same afternoon and went emo-shopping.

I’ll never forget that mad rush into shoe shops and department stores, cute boutiques and after noticing that none of us really fitted cute boutique style clothing, we hurtled ourselves into shops more tailored to the middle aged wider kind of body type, and for honesty’s sake, we also frequented a jeweler. I was surprised by this maybe understandable but none the less not very spiritual reaction to the emotional strain we had been in in the previous weeks.

My mother lived in The Netherlands, in a mostly late medieval small town, surrounded by water, with beautiful trees, not so wild nature, ancient churches and chapels galore. It gave enough opportunity for me to be spiritual in and I didn’t. My sisters and I off-loaded our emotions by pressing our hot-flushed bodies into too small a size cute clothes. I have to say, finding a garment suiting our body types caused much excitement and satisfaction, albeit short lived.

By the time my eldest sister had arrived from South-America, our rush was over and hers had yet to begin. We assisted her in the end in making some good choices. She was the one who found the best shop to buy the champagne in we would drink while we were dealing with our mother’s estate. We had locked ourselves into the office of the sister in whose house we all stayed, and within two days we had harmoniously divided my parents’ lives.

After that initial emo-shopping rush, we found our inner resources again. We talked to Spirit, we talked to our father who had “gone” before. We did a big ceremony with all our husbands and much of our children to help our mother get into the flow of her transition. We drummed to our ancestors, we sang, we meditated. We offered food to the waters surrounding this lovely small town and talked to the spirit of water, and how she, through her flowing and streaming could be a help for our mother and for us as well, so we could fully understand how life goes on in endless loops of arriving and leaving, of change and pain and joy and acceptance of what is and will be.

I wonder if the seemingly endless consumer-rush the world seems to go through (maybe a bit hampered for some due to changing economic circumstances) is the equivalent of my emo-shopping, to still the heartache and the emotional pain of the loss of our natural (inner) resources and the loss of our Mother, the planet. If that is the case, there must be a happy ending/beginning for us, humans too. We will come to our senses again and will look inside us, into our hearts and we will look again to our family and friends and neighbours  and use and re-use our own resources without over-using those of others.

-Karin Schluter Lonegren