Monday, May 25, 2009

Saying Goodbye

On Mother's Day, May 10,2009, mom passed away after suffering another stroke. As we've always done in the past, we faced all momentous occasions together, and this proved no exception, as I was by her side holding her hand when she took her last breath. Those last moments are indelibly etched in my mind as ones of incredible peace and sorrow, and beauty, because in the end she looked truly beautiful. With the sorrow, there was a full measure of gratitude to God for allowing me to be by her side in those moments so she didn't leave this Earth alone. Right to the end, she felt my love.

As my brother said in his eulogy: "God has chosen to take one of his most beautiful creations back to the heavens." I will be forever grateful to the Lord for blessing me with her as my mother, and I will love her today, tomorrow and forever.

I'm at peace because I know she's in a much better place, that she's no longer suffering, yet I'm brokenhearted that she's no longer with me. It's not easy to say goodbye to the most important person in your life. The person that defined who you were. But it's in moments like this that I'm so grateful for my faith, because without it the grief would be unbearable. Thanks to my faith, I take heart in the knowledge that God willing, after a life well-lived, we will be reunited and that her beautiful face will be the first I see in heaven.

I found great solace in this beautiful poem:

When I Must Leave You
By Helen Steiner Rice
When I must leave you for a little while-
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years.
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same.
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!