My Mother: A Life Well-Lived. A Departure Well Done.


My mother. My anchor. She steadies me. Holds me in place.

My mother. My rock. She gives me a place to pause, to be still.

My mother. My model. She shows me how to adapt to limitations. To be present to the here and now without complaint.

My mother. My past. She remembers my beginnings. My changes. My challenges.

My mother. My present. She accepts me just as I am. Demands nothing of me.

My mother. My joy. She has a wry sense of humor. Makes me laugh. Surprises me.

My mother. Always a mother. She watches out for me. Worries about me. Ministers to me.

My mother. Constant presence. Countless blessings. In the here and now. For eternity.

My mother.

My mother is dying. The woman who has been a big presence in my life now looks so tiny sitting in her recliner. My mother is dying.

My mother is dying. Even in her smallness, she is big. Big in courage. Big in determination. Big in love. My mother is dying.

My mother is dying. How will it be without her? How will I be without her? For all of my life, she has been there. Wanting the best for me, her first born. Allowing me to create my own life, even when she did not understand it. My mother is dying.

My mother is dying. I look at her. Wonder how it is to know that one’s days are numbered. That a goodbye might be for just a day or forever. To feel the sadness of leaving. To struggle with the letting go. My mother is dying.

My mother is dying. I distract myself by making mental lists of all the tasks that will need to be done. Viewing. Graveside service. Flowers. Future memorial. Deciding what to do with her belongings, her clothes, her furniture. Selling her house, our house. My mother is dying.

My mother is dying. Will she be alive for Christmas? Her birthday? What does she want to say to me? What do I want to say to her? My mother is dying.

Silent. All is silent. The labored breathing is over. The oxygen machine has been turned off. The heart beat has stopped.

She lies still in her bed. No more struggle. No more tears. Tiny yet strong to the end.

We look at one another: Lola, Christine, Sue. Know that we have witnessed a life well-lived and a departure well done.

In our silence, we treasure the shared experience. Profound. Mysterious. Feeling privileged to have walked with another human being.

There will be time to notify friends and family. To plan services. To manage finances.

But for now, this part of our sacred task is complete. We ponder all of the little miracles that have led to this moment. And in our hearts we say, “We love you.”

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