Saturday, February 3, 2018

One week later: THANK YOU!

My mother thought about her death. And she did so without fear of it. She planned her funeral and discussed her funeral service with me for many years. She had everything in place—she had purchased her urn, she planned the music and she picked the scriptures.  She did all of that just so it would be easier for me. That part was. The rest has not been.

When my father died in 2010, his funeral at Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church was packed—something that I guess really didn’t surprise either of us.

However, she didn’t seem to think that her funeral would draw very many people. I thank everyone who came to her Requiem Mass and I especially thank everyone for proving her wrong on this one.

My mother was a woman of grace and dignity and strength. She was feisty and she was funny. She loved to joke.   And she could be fierce if she wanted to be—you did not ever want to be on her bad side (there were actually only a few people who were—and God help them!)

I truly believe all those attributes are not gone. I truly believe she is not gone today.

My mother was the most important person in my life. My life literally revolved around her. That is not a complaint, mind you. She was no burden to me. That is just a fact. I did what needed to be done. I did it because I loved her and wanted the best for her. And I hope that I was able to give her the best possible life I could give her in these last years.

More than anything, I wanted to make sure she was shielded from of the pain from earlier in her life. I tried to shield her from outside forced that tried to disrupt the peace of her latter life. I hope I did that for her.

I realize now I was in some kind of strange denial about the fact that she was declining in the last two days of her life. I didn’t want to admit that she was leaving. I still don’t want to admit that she is gone.  

But despite that, I am especially grateful that she was able to die in peace, in the home she loved, without pain, without struggle. She died happy and content and knowing she was loved.  I am grateful that this independent woman died on her terms, in the way she wanted, knowing she was loved, going quickly and in peace. 

I loved her so much. And I am so grateful that the last words she said to me as I left her

that morning were, “I love you,” and that she heard my response in turn. Those were the last words we exchanged. And I couldn’t ask for better final words. Our 48 years were summed in that last final exchange of words.   

Earlier on Sunday morning when I last saw her, she asked me, “Where did your dad go?” as though he had just been there in the room with her.

I believe my father had been there with her that morning, and that he came back for her later that day. That has been a consolation for me in these last very horrible days. And I do believe that she now dwells, with him, in a place of beauty and light, where “sorrow and pain are no more,” as we heard Friday morning at her Requiem.

I believe she is with the God whom she loved so deeply. And I believe that all her beauty and strength and dignity are alive, without flaw, right now, right there, in God’s loving and light-filled Presence.

I thank you all for all you have done. Thank you for being there for her when she needed you.

And thank you all for being here for my family and me as well.

Sunday January 28th was, by far the hardest day of my life. I survived cancer, car accidents, my father’s death, but the day my mother died was worse than any of them!  The reason is not a complicated one: I feared my mother’s death for a long time. And now…here it is.

You have helped make all of this so much better. I thank you for your friendship. I thank you for your love and your care and your concern. I have been quite simply overwhelmed by the prayers, the outreach, the concern and the love from all of you.
But thank you most for being there for my mother, for showing her that she was loved and she was important and she was special.

She was loved.

She was important.

And she was so special.

Oh, how I miss her and will continue to miss her!

Remember her.

Celebrate her.       


And please, please don’t forget her!


2 comments:

Linda Liebert-Hall said...

She truly is the poem that is never finished in your life. Her love will remain with you forever. Love to you in your sorrow.

Prairie Political Ponderings said...

May all the precious memories of her soon replace your sorrow, Jamie.