Please log in or Create a Profile to post a comment.
I am moved to post today May 2nd as I reflect on the life lived by Gorden Lightfoot.
Gratitude to have gained the benefits of the gifts of the journey travelled.
And the notion that may all live in societies, situations that promote developing and bringing their talents forward.
My Mother died 23 years ago on Mother’s day. I am grateful that all of her children were able to travel back to be with her in her last hours. I was also grateful that she was no longer in pain after she passed and that she was up in Heaven with the good Lord and now watching over us all.
When my mother died, there was much gratefulness for the possibility to be with her in her last 3 weeks, together with my sisters. We all were looking after her, every day when she withdrew silently, wanting to leave. A couple of years before I could send a letter to her, acknowledging all she was able to give and to offer to me and to my sisters, saying thank you to her for all her support and deeply wanting us to grow and to unfold to the best of our ability, which was denied to her and which was quite common in her generation. At that time, she was so moved and wept being touched, my father said, and when I spoke to her later, she was full of relief and gratefulness, saying that she had thought she had done all wrong. This deepened our relation very much and during her last days, it was possible to tenderly refresh her body with some Rosewater, to sing for her and to lovingly be with her and assist when she wanted to sit in front of the porch door for her silent last good bye to nature in front of her. In all my grief about her leaving, I was deeply grateful for the loving moments we could share nevertheless, and not only me and her, but us as a family. Despite all grief, to gratefully accompany loved ones on their last journey no matter what has been was a most deeply touching experience, for which I am deeply grateful.
Yes :). My son died almost a year ago. He was 32 years old and struggled with addiction for many years. He was my youngest and I miss him every day. At the time of his death I received love and support from my family and many friends. Their kindness then and now has helped me tremendously and I am grateful for the support, hugs, conversations, walks and the list goes on. I am grateful too that my son is safe and no longer suffering. There is so much sadness but I am grateful too because I know he is with me and will be forever.
I am so sorry for your loss, it is so so difficult dealing with the disease of addiction. I hope you are finding much needed peace still with your supportive friends and family.
I am so sorry for your loss, heartbreaking how the illness of addiction takes our loved ones. I too lost someone I love eight months ago, young and vibrant, but her illness took her away from us. I love how you are grateful that your son is now safe and no longer suffering. I feel that too. But this journey is hard. Sending lots of love your way and thank you again for sharing.
My mom had vascular dementia for many years before she died, so the woman who had raised me essentially packed up and left, a little bit at a time. But her innate friendly nature remained. When I would visit, often with one or both of my daughters, we interacted with her by paying attention to her body language and tone of voice (a suggestion from my younger daughter who majored in musical theater). She seldom said anything that made sense but we loved and hugged her so she could feel our caring.
One particular weekend I went down the day before Mother’s Day with my older daughter. We had a really good visit, then I went on to a conference I was speaking at. While I was there, in rapid succession she fell, broke her hip, and died. Of course I felt grief, but perhaps softened a bit since she had been gone a long time in many of the ways that we think matter. And I had had that really good visit! I wrote a blog post to capture this feeling of being glad within the grief. http://biketoworkbarb.blogspot.com/2014/05/goodbye-mom.html
This is reminding me that we never know which visit will be the last visit, which moments are the final ones. Every one of them matters.
What a beautiful tribute to your mom, I am so sorry for your loss. Lots of love to you and your family.
I thank you so much for sharing your blog site, I am enjoying it a lot! Great posts and great work on behalf of your community! I love your list of your favorite podcasts too. I will check them out!
Thank you so much for reading!
As with others, I am grateful to have been with my brother at the time of his death. I had several days to be with him and care for him. I had no idea that death would come so fast. We were arranging care for when I had to leave (he was many hours from my home)…it was unnecessary…he died the day I was to leave to return home. I will always be grateful that I was able to tell him I loved him and that I provided some physical and emotional care at the end of his life….and he told me how much he loved me. He will always live in my heart.
When my pain levels are high, I remind myself that I can still walk (Most can’t when they have this many compression fractures). I am immediately grateful for the strength that my body still possesses. That is not to say that I do not grieve my loss. I do but the fear that reared its head is put to rest. Today, NOW, I can walk.
When my mom died, she didn’t want a funeral. I had the need to do something, so I gathered a few close friends of ours at the cemetery. I wrote a letter to her to read for the graveside service. It seems to answer today’s question. Here it is:
I remember you telling about us being together when I was born, about the pain of childbirth and how you forgot the pain. Well not quite. I hope you are now some place where you remember none of the pain in your life. You have had much to deal with your whole life but I know it got even harder the past few years as you dealt with so many losses. I tried so hard to help and I hope that I did.
Many years ago I wrote you a poem thanking you for the many ways you helped me in my life. I didn’t find the poem at your house or mine but I do remember the spirit of gratitude that it expressed.
Thank you for sending me to schools where I received a good education and attention for my accomplishments.
Thank you for keeping me physically safe. I remember nights when I went to Aunt Edna’s or Mrs. Schuler’s to sleep while you were at work so you wouldn’t worry about me.
Thank you for allowing me to have friends and for driving to pick them up, even when you didn’t want to, so we could go places. I am sure having friends then has taught me how to have friends now.
Thank you for anything that has helped me have my spirit, determination, perseverance and independence.
Thank you for providing me a nice and clean home to grow up in where we had enough to eat. Now that I am older I realize many people in the world have little access to food and some don’t even have clean water. You also taught me that we had to finish the old potato chips before starting on the new bag. This lesson is applied to almost every situation sometimes inappropriately by me.
Thank you for providing a setting where I could learn to cook, clean, and do laundry.
Thank you for teaching me to sew. You did a much better job than my junior high teacher. I make things now that people think are beautiful and you got that started.
Thank you for buying, sewing or helping me sew my Halloween costumes. I remember being Cinderella and Pocahontas.
Thank you for taking me to church even when you decided we had to leave early because of the teaching and for letting me go on my own when you didn’t want to go.
Thank you for forgiving me when I did something wrong or when you didn’t understand what I was doing and you thought it was wrong.
Thank you for teaching by example that we should make amends where possible. You bought me a new blouse when one of mine was ruined in the laundry and you made my doll a new dress when hers was also ruined in the laundry. I also remember you taking my doll to the doll hospital for new hair. I don’t remember why she needed it and I really don’t remember why she has blonde curls now instead of her own red braids like I remember.
Thank for being the mama bear protecting her cubs when necessary, like the time I caught the skin disease Impetigo, the time I was attacked by Bango the dog, and time I crashed my bike and turned my sailor dress red with blood. It is amazing how many times my mom put medicine of my skinned knees considering I was an indoor girl.
Thank you for taking my husband Jerry into your heart. I am glad you two hugged before you left us.
Thank you for the times you came to our house and the times we came to yours. It means a lot to me that you liked our dogs. I know that you loved babies and my dogs were my babies that I could share with you. You have a daughter and granddaughter and I have tried to do what you wanted me to do for them.
Thank you for the cards and gifts that you gave me through the years.
Thank you for crocheting warm and beautiful scarves for so many people in Battle Creek.
Thank you for letting me help you in the last years of your life. I know it wasn’t easy for you to accept my help because you valued your independence and for many reasons we had problems being involved in each other’s lives. I know that you didn’t want to be an interfering mother-in-law from the feelings you had about your own mother-in –law. I think we just thought differently about what that would be. Like you told me, “Any two women just do things differently.” I also remember a counselor telling me once, “You and your mother did the best you could.” May that thought bring both of us peace.
We have found new homes for almost all of your possessions. I like to think that means that your spirit might be all over the world. We tried to do a good job getting your house ready to put on the market. Thank you for keeping such a good and organized house so the job was easier than it would have been in other circumstances. Thank you for all the things you sold and donated to make our work easier. The house is sold now and we got a good price. There were some issues but they seem to have settled down. Did you help with that? And while we are on that topic thank you for not leaving a bunch of bills and for having such good financial records. I think you wondered if I could handle the financial responsibilities so I just wanted to say, “Mom, I am an accountant.”
You told me something I especially remember in the last days of your life. You said, “Live your life and enjoy it.” I will try to follow that guidance and maybe these wonderful friends here today will remind me of that philosophy.
Even though I won’t see you with my eyes or hear you with my ears, you will continue to speak to me. I will try to use your wisdom and live in a way that would make you proud.
God bless both of us in our different worlds. Have faith that we will know each other again and it will be so much easier.
I agree with Barb, there are many parts of this that apply to my mom too. Thank you for sharing.
I could write so much of this about my own mother, who died several years ago. I especially appreciated this: “Even though I won’t see you with my eyes or hear you with my ears, you will continue to speak to me. I will try to use your wisdom and live in a way that would make you proud.” Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for sharing.
When I read the question, my heart did a leap of sadness and joy. I chuckled at some of the memories but also the practices I engage in because of their legacy. My father had the practice of saying a short prayer when he heard a siren or saw a funeral procession. I do the same.
I do that as well!!
YRAM I do that, too!
Of course! Gratitude, grief, love, loss,
anger, guilt, relief, and a few other
emotions, can be and usually are
right next to each other, and can be
difficult to sort out when I’m in the
well of grief. As with most situations,
practicing gratitude can be very helpful.
My dad passed away right before Christmas and he had been sick for years. It was difficult because he had so much pain. I’m grateful for having known him. He was my stepfather, but I didn’t know my biological father at all so for me he was my dad. I’m grateful for him and I’m thankful that he is no longer in pain.
My 90 year old father had a stroke about 14 years ago. Over the ensuing years he regained mobility, but his left hand and left ankle never recovered. This past November covid hit him and he was hospitalized for 11 days or so. He had gotten very depressed when he was at home and could not function even at his previous impaired level. For almost 6 weeks after that he would not talk on the phone and his behavior was very concerning to my three sisters who still live close by. I would grieve a bit each time I spoke with my sisters and stepmother after they would take him the phone and he said he did not want to talk. I needed the ideas and thoughts I have gleaned from this site to stay grounded and grateful he had given me half of my life force and to recall fond memories of such a good man. He has eventually regained some mobility and improved mental state although once in a while he still wishes to not speak. Last week was a victory of sorts as we had a nice long chat.
Was his speech impaired from the stroke and maybe that is why he did not want to talk? I’m glad you had a nice long chat with him last week.
It was just earlier this year that I finally learned how to deal with grief. In the process, I learned that praise and gratefulness were a part of that process. I made it thru the initial pain over the physical loss, and while I was still sad, I was grateful that I got to experience the love that I did. That there was fun had along the way. That we supported and took care of each other. Where there is grief, there is also love. And while bodies may pass, love never dies.
I was, and still am, grateful for the counselor who helped me grieve a death but also helped me find my way out of the intense anger I felt over a dysfunctional marriage.
Laura, I hear you loud and clear.
I miss those I have loved and who loved me in return. Grandmothers, parents, friends, pets. But I am so grateful that they were part of my life and taught me so much. I have many precious memories that bring tears to my eyes, even many years later, but also deep gratitude that I have those loving memories.
Give yourself the gift of free bi-monthly inspiration including uplifting articles, diverse stories, supportive practices, videos, and more, delivered with heart to your inbox.