One year ago today my mom left us and this physical world to be with Jesus. At 11:30 am March 13, 2010, she drew one slow final breathe and just like that she was gone. We checked for a pulse and it was no more. Her chest no longer slowly rose and fell.
We stayed gathered around her, holding her hands, caressing her forehead, telling her how much we loved her. All of my siblings, my dad, and my aunt Bonnie (my mom’s sister-in-law) sat there quietly crying. John & Charity had literally sprinted in the door just as mom took her final breathe – I’ll always believe she waited to die until they arrived. I am so thankful that she held on until they got there. It was so precious to have all of us around her as she left this world.
I softly kissed her face again and again, stroking her hair, wanting desperately to remember how sweetly she smelled, how her hair and soft skin felt against my cheek.
Soon we called hospice and the nurse appeared quickly to confirm that mom was gone. Not too long after, the funeral directors arrived to take mom’s body. It was sad to see her go, even though her spirit was no longer in that body. Although as a Christian I believe that I’ll see my mom again one day in heaven, the loss of that physical body was still devastating.
As the funeral directors drove away, I suggested that we all wave to mom one last time. It sounds a little weird now that I think about it, but Mom was always HUGE on waving goodbye any time on of us pulled out of the driveway. She would wave and wave and wave until she could see us no more. And so, in her honor, we waved goodbye one final time.
The first 6 months after her death were excruciatingly painful. Every little thing, song, thought, picture reminded me of her. I cried pretty much on a daily basis.
The second 6 months went a lot quicker. I think it was partly because we had moved past the first initial grieving and partly because now I had a newborn baby AND a toddler to take care of. My mind was distracted often, although my thoughts still often stray back to Mom.
Overall, I would say that today the agonizing pain is gone, and in it’s place is now a soft sadness – a feeling that will probably always be there. My heart still hurts a little when my kids do something and I wish I could call my mom and tell her about it (although I will definitely say that Dad (click here to check out his awesome website) has done a great job of filling in here as best as he can – I bet he never thought he’d hear so much about potty training details and bizarre little factoids about my kids, haha.
One year later, what I see is that God provides. He knows what we need, he knows what we’re lacking, and he fills the voids in our lives. He knows our hearts, and he sends people into our lives to help us in our times of hurt. One example was a new friend who reached out to me when Mom had cancer. Her mom was also battling cancer at the time, and ended up passing away 5 months before Mom. But God put us together and we were able to be a comfort and encouragement to each other in the months of illness as well as the months after our moms had died. Like I said, God knows who and what we need!
I’ll never stop missing my Mom. Her fingerprints are all over my life and she was a very special lady. But life goes on, and I hope that I will live my life in a way that Mom would be proud of.
I love you, Mom!