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Rest in Peace, Mom

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Just back from 9 days very tough days in California. My beloved mother died early yesterday morning. She had a couple of days where she was semiconscious and knew I was there. My younger sister and older brother were there with me sharing the vigil for days at momís bedside. The other two were missing, and I am struggling not to resent them for not being there. I need to instead focus on the good things Ė a loving and kind mother, the caring caregivers, and that we were able to ease her suffering.

Mom was awake and alert for her 95th birthday at the end of May, but she has been very ill for a long time. She is in the arms of the Lord at last. She had last rites, and was awake and at peace for prayers from the hospice chaplain.

My mom wrote this short poem for the staff of her nursing home a few years ago at Christmas, before she became too ill to write. She was probably 89 when she wrote this poem. Iím reprinting it, to remember the good things about this long tough journey.

To the Nursing Home Staff

This season of Christmas, this month of December,
Is the best of all times for us to remember
You who work hard to make our life brighter
So the weight of our years seems a little bit lighter.
We can be cranky and hard to please,
But our worst complaining you handle with ease.
For your patience, politeness, your smiling ways
As you put up with us, we offer our praise.
For all the kindness and help weíve received through the year
Youíve grown close to our hearts,
Youíve become very dear.
For all your work and your warmth and your wonderful attitude
You deserve now and always our love and our gratitude.

RIP Mom, I hope I can emulate your caring and forgiving attitude.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BROOKLYN_BORN 6/26/2014 7:18PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you had some siblings with you. I'm an only child and the only time I've missed brothers and sisters has been at the passing of my parents.
May your memories comfort you.

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    I didn't see this till now. Glad you have so many good memories of your mom to remember her by.

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LUVS2BIKE101 6/21/2014 4:06PM

    You were so blessed to have such a loving mom. If only there were more moms like her in this world! I know you will always remember the joy she brought into your life. Thank you for sharing her lovely poem with us. May God comfort you.

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    What a lovely poem and beautiful picture! Thanks so much for sharing your Mom with us.

Well at least her suffering is over. And at least you got to be with her when circumstances could have very well dictated otherwise, regardless of your best intentions. That is a priceless gift as well.

Concerning the other two, remember the horse with blinders on, and pretend you are the horse. There's nothing you can do about other peoples' choices, so just don't go there. Just cut those thoughts off b4 they start. In your mind picture a huge pair of clippers, hedge shearers with long wicked blades that take both arms operate, and just go after those thoughts with a vengeance and cut them right off. Sometimes I had to sing, outloud, to get my mind off thinking about those things. And I can't sing, either. When I burst into crude song in the middle of an aisle in a store, I got alot of looks. Especially if there were also tears. The thoughts seem to attack at inappropriate times and places. Very inconveniently. I hummed alot in polite company.

All of these things (including the other 2) are things to grieve b/c they are hurtful, they are & will be part of the grieving process. The circumstances and everything involved during this time, and leading up to it, will be part of your grieving process. Give them neutral acknowledgment when the thoughts come, but then immediately switch the page to something else or start singing or whatever it takes; keep the blinders on especially with your thought life, and keep those shears handy, going after those thoughts like a madwoman. We are told to guard our hearts with all diligence; and keeping a tight rein on justifiable anger, justifiable resentments, and anything else you have no control over, is one way to guard our hearts. (It's the justifiable ones, that are the hardest.) The helmet of salvation protects your head; it's there to protect your mind. The emotions follow what the mind dwells on; so neutrally acknowledge but then cut off the thoughts before they have a chance to grow and produce stalks and roots and effect your emotions, which will damage your heart. No roots of bitterness allowed to grow in your heart's garden! Guard your heart! Don't allow your mind to linger there, and dwell on them. You are doing this protectively for you, not for them.

Don't force yourself to try to forgive them right away, either. That will come as part of the grieving process. Don't let well-meaning believers tell you otherwise. Sometimes it's all you can do to struggle with today's grief added to today's living tasks, you do NOT have endless resources. They just don't appreciate that. B/c they are not grieving like you are! Forgiveness starts as an act of the will, so yes you can do that initial part; but don't let people push or rush the grieving and forgiving process. The 5 stages of grief are true, but every individual navigates them differently, out of order, with different expressions, and repeats many of the steps, many times, out of sequence. It is your own journey, not theirs, so don't let well-meaning people tell you you must forgive, you must do this, and you must do that, and you need to move on, she's in a better place, blah blah blah. Duh, you already know that. They don't know what to say in the face of your pain, and are clumsily trying to say something helpful.

Look up, and at least get the free emails if you don't want to attend a local group. You might want to attend group later. I highly recommend GriefShare - they really GET it, all the subtleties of things you are feeling and going through that no one else talks about, and all the ramifications and impact in all the parts of your life - they REALLY get it. In group where people get it, would be a safe place to share about struggling with resentment, your journey overcoming it, etc. It is so comforting. Others might mean well, but, GriefShare really gets it. They never take advantage during a vulnerable period, never push, judge, or unintentionally say hurtful things.

Respect your need to grieve. No matter what that looks like, how it's expressed, how long it takes, or even if there are inappropriate timings of memories and tears and emotions. Our loved ones going Home to be with The Lord is our loss, heaven's gain. But it IS a bonafide loss. Take care of YOU on this journey.

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OPALMOON 6/19/2014 10:55AM

    What a lovely photo of your mother and what a beautiful poem she wrote. My condolences go out to you and your family on your loss. Mothers are very special and I hope in time your treasured memories bring you comfort. God bless.

emoticon emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 6/18/2014 10:35AM

    Your mother was a special, beautiful woman! Sending my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Hugs.

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/18/2014 5:28AM

    Such a beautiful poem, saying a lot about a very special lady... I am very sorry for this time you are going through though, dear Alison. I can imagine it isn't easy, but you have the right attitude, trying to focus on the good things. Thinking of you lots... emoticon

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CHEBBA 6/17/2014 6:39PM

    Your mother was indeed a lovely lady - that shines through in hr poem. The pain of losing her must be terrible just now, but gradually the memories and all that she was in this life will make you smile again. And she would want you to smile.

I wish you peace and tranquility and the ability to know that your Mum has 'simply gone next door', to somewhere else. Everything she was in this life will be hovering around you forever.

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DR1939 6/17/2014 10:38AM

    My condolences.

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MARITIMER3 6/17/2014 10:23AM

    I'm glad that you were with your mother, Alison. It was a privilege that you shared with your sister and brother. I would probably feel resentful about the two who weren't there too, but try not to let it affect your relationship with them.

Your mother lived a long, productive life, and suffered a lot at the end. I know that, as much as you miss her, you are glad that the suffering is over.

The poem that she wrote for the staff was wonderful. I hope they have framed it and posted it somewhere for everyone to see.

Keep all your happy memories close, and let your friends take care of you for a bit. This has been a long, hard struggle for you too.

Hugs and prayers,
Gail emoticon

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MARITIMER3 6/17/2014 10:21AM

    I'm glad that you were with your mother, Alison. It was a privilege that you shared with your sister and brother. I would probably feel resentful about the two who weren't there too, but try not to let it affect your relationship with them.

Your mother lived a long, productive life, and suffered a lot at the end. I know that, as much as you miss her, you are glad that the suffering is over.

Keep all your happy memories close, and let your friends take care of you for a bit. This has been a long, hard struggle for you too.

Hugs and prayers,
Gail emoticon

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MENNOLY 6/17/2014 10:02AM

    I am sorry for your loss. I loss my mom nearly 6 years ago. It is a bittersweet time. Take peace in knowing she is no longer suffering. You of course will miss her. I still have regrets that I did not spend enough time with my mom. She lived with me the last 2 years of her life but I was rather stretched at that time since I was working and still had a young teen daughter as well as caring for my parents. Try to let go of your resentment against your other siblings. Not every one has the strength to take care of an elderly parent. Not everyone has the strength to face the end of life for a loved one. Take comfort in that you were there at the end and helped your mom let go. My mom was not alert for the last week of her life but she knew when we took her out of the hospital and brought her home to pass away. God bless you and may the early days of your grief be gentle. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2014 10:03:13 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/17/2014 9:18AM

    Very sorry for your loss. What a lovely poem and mother!

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    That was beautiful. I am so sorry for your lose, she sounds like a wonderful woman. I was at my father's side when he passed and I feel very fortunate to have been there. It was painful, but it was truly one of my blessings.

"What the caterpillar perceives is the end; to the butterfly is just the beginning."


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-NORMA- 6/17/2014 3:22AM

    I'm sorry for your loss. I know you wanted to be there; I think it's good that she knew you were by her side. emoticon
A lovely poem.

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RUNNINGME 6/17/2014 1:33AM

    May happy memories of your mother comfort you in your loss.

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  I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that your mom is with the Lord.

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