Posts Tagged With: funerals

‘Till next time

There’s no other way to say it than to say it: Mom passed away last week.

She’d been up & down and things weren’t getting better; but we’d been there before, collectively holding our breath.  And then the little bit would rally and surprise us all, over and over again.

Oldest sister sat with her last Sunday and they talked frankly about things; thankfully Mom made her own choices about being moved from the nursing home to the hospital.  “No way,” she said emphatically.  But the meds weren’t working as they had before.  Sissy asked if she was tired and Mom said yes, yes she was.  Sissy told her it was OK to rest that she would sit with her and she did. She asked about calling the others. Mom’s response was a typical Mom response, “Don’t believe that’s necessary.”  Sissy did anyway and they all visited the next day.  The morning after that, Mom slipped quietly away.

Even when you expect it, there’s no way to prepare for the loss of someone you love. You can’t.  All you can do hold on as hard as you can and brace yourself for the waves of grief that are sure to come. Some are Tsunamis, some are ankle nippers.  You try not to drown.  I’m still there, some days floating, other days gasping.

I had booked flights for my nephew’s wedding at the end of July; our oldest son’s wedding is this Saturday.  It was so like her to slip off before all that – not wanting to cause a fuss. It was so like her to put space between those milestones so as not to tamper anyone’s joy.

Tickets have been changed, I’ll leave sooner.

She wanted to be cremated and for us to hold a service “when it made sense.”  That was also so her. We laugh about how, even now, she’s still ‘large & in charge.’  Sobs come through our stories.

We’ll have a service at the grave site then a gathering in the town hall with several hundred people followed by a lunch. There’s no church big enough!!  And not having everything this week or next gives people time to come.  And they are. By the droves.  Not just locally but from all over Canada & the U.S. as well.   Mom was well-known and loved; friends & family want the opportunity to tell their stories and pay their respects.  I’ve tried to help where I can, making phone calls, sending photos, and just being part of things.  But I know when I step off the plane that grief will hit me in the face like a wet towel.  Drafting her obituary last night stung but I was  honored to do so.

As sad as I am and as much as I’ll miss her I know she’s free.  She’s with Dad on a date night, holding the winning ticket to a fast horse, enjoying a hot Rye, her purse just a-swinging.    I smile knowing Frankie’s tucked up under Heaven’s kitchen table getting fatter by the second; she always called that dog “the Gentleman.”  Her Mom and Dad are there, she’s with other pals and family.  Farm dogs, barn kitties and ponies we’ve lost along the way are all snuggled up close to her. How can we be sad at that?

Mom and Dad with one of their winning horses - and a date night. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom and Dad with one of their winning horses – and a date night. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

No, the sadness, that’s for us. The sadness comes in knowing we have to wait to see her again. And I’m not that patient.

But mixed with the grief is the gratitude: for all who she was, all that she did, and how deeply we loved her.

I’ve lived far from home for 32+ years. She and I enjoyed many happy visits, there, here, other places, plus other trips and adventures. We had a thing: we never said “good-bye” we always said, “’till next time.”  The last time I was home with her, when it came time to leave for the airport, she stood to hug me and laid her head on my chest. We stood quietly like that, her head on me, me supporting her, and her hugging me tightly. I’ll never forget that hug.  Breaking apart we looked each other in the eyes and said “till next time.”   She smiled and I smiled and headed out the door.

Soon my siblings and cousins, aunties and friends will gather – we’ll share her stories and we’ll sing her songs.  We’ll find ourselves saying the things she would have said. We’ll sip on a Rye and we’ll reflect on the gift of a Mother happy to be one.  On the gift that was her.

related:

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~ Kahlil Gibran  

angels-kiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Mom, Personal, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Random 5 .. Thursday ~ Love and Death

It’s Thursday already?   How did that happen?  I won’t be blogging tomorrow (more on that later) so here’s my very Random 5 for this crazy week:

1.  My supervisor’s mother passed away last weekend after a lengthy illness.  She was in her eighties and had lived a long, full live.  I’d met her a few times and she was a neat lady, so I was genuinely sorry to hear the news.  Stopping to buy a Sympathy card I suddenly had the thought that I should buy more.  I shushed the thought, bought the card and left the store.

2. The next day we received the shocking news of a young relative’s passing. Background: Hubbs brother passed suddenly 29 years ago, at the age of 29.  He left behind a little girl, Hubbs’ niece, who was 4 then.  The situation was tragic and life-changing and Hubbs talks of him often but always with that sad “what-if” look in his eyes.  Well this little girl’s Mommy went on to marry and have another family.  It was her son, niece’s brother, who passed.  At 28.  The similarities are just too close and when I told Hubbs the sad news, his eyes clouded over and his face went grey.

3. Feeling helpless, I did what I do in these situations – cook, clean or organize.  Since I was going to be on the road today, I knew cooking was out of the question.   And people wouldn’t be gathering at our house, so cleaning wasn’t necessary.  So I sent a private FB message to all the cousins and aunties and uncles to let them know the news and to rally support for our girl and her family.  Soon I found myself talking to the funeral home staff who said “sure you can bring food here for the funeral luncheon, c’mon over.”   We have a big family and all they needed was for someone to circle the wagons:  casseroles and desserts are being prepped as I write this.

4. Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Funeral Home, met the Director, and loaded up the kitchen with food I’d bought:  pre-made deli salads, veggie trays, chips, dip, rice krispie bars, punch and more.  I heard a door slam and found myself alone.  In a Funeral Home.  Let’s just say the speed with which I exited could have qualified me for the Olympics!

5. On my way home, I made one more stop and this time I bought 3 Sympathy cards.  Why?  Not to tempt fate but my experience is that these things always come in threes.

quotes_about_missing_someone_who_died_young

What is your family’s way of coping with grief? Do you band together?  Cook, clean, organize?  Have you ever been alone in a  Funeral Home?

Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Food, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The story continues

Nearly a year ago, a good friend passed away.  But her story doesn’t end there.

You see, through her friendship and the support group we formed at her diagnosis, new friends have come into my life.  And stayed.

Now I’m so glad I had made room in my friendship cupboard  – long before she passed I had Lysol-ed the energy vampires away and made room for some battery chargers.  But I hadn’t yet filled it.  Something told me to wait.

And, because of her, I met them – fabulous, smart, accomplished women with friendship and love to share. No snarping. No jealousies. Just people who love you and lift you up. People just like her.

We could have all just met last summer and had our laughs through the fall and cried together at her funeral and went our separate ways, and yes, there were some who did.  But there are more who felt the void and looked around at other marvelous people left standing and thought – as I did – “I wonder.” And it’s in the re-connecting now, the laughter now, the telling of her stories now, that she lives on.  In us.  And that brown-eyed girl, man, she would have loved this.

Have you ever made a new friend in an unorthodox way?  What has another’s death taught you about living?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Joy, music, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...