Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rest In Peace, Mom

My mom, Nancy passed away last Tuesday on March 6, 2007. It was completely unexpected. She was in the back bedroom, which she had been redecorating. She was sitting up in the bed with a phone in one hand, her Amex card in the other and a mail-order catalog on her lap. Her eyes were open. We still don't know the cause of death. What could have happened?

My dad started wondering where she was when she didn't come out for lunch and he and Michelle (his health care worker) went looking for her. My brother Jeff had also arrived for lunch. They discovered her body and knew she was dead. They called 911 and went through the motions of attempting to revive her but it was too late. The paramedics came and left and then the detectives. I wasn't there but I have the impression that this took a very long time, with photographs and questioning etc.

I arrived in Florida the next day to help with the "arrangements."

My entire family is shocked and devastated by this.

The service was on Sunday afternoon and I returned to Arizona on Wednesday evening. My oldest son Matthew stayed behind to help my dad.

I feel like things will never be the same.


Anonymous said...

Laura - I am so sorry.
My mom died of colon cancer in Oct. 1998, and life has indeed never been the same. To have this happen with absolutely no warning must be devastating beyond belief. I never knew before what people meant when they told me that their mom had died "when I was 12 years old", or "when I was 48", or "last year".
It all means the same - your momma is gone and never will be there again to ask - "why won't my bicuits raise like yours did", or "how does an invisible zipper go in?", or "how and when did you and dad meet?, "or "how do you get grass stains out of silk?"
My mom could have and has answered all of those questions, and now I have no one elso to ask. Even with 8 sisters and 2 brothers - there are huge gaps in our family lore knowledge and just general having lived life knowledge.
It is such a life altering moment in every persons life, to lose a parent, especially your mother, I think, that when it does happen to you, you finally understand what everyone was talking about.
This morning I attended a memorial service for a very gracious 93 year old lady friend who had become my second mother. It hurt just as badly, and I am grieving my own mother all over again. I cared for this woman when her daughter in San Francisco couldn't be there. Through all the nursing homes and doctor appointments, I know that this is why I'm feeling this again - the grief counselors say I am having "a corrective emotional experience" because my mother was in western Kansas during her illness, and someone else was able to help her. So - this is helping me, now.
Now, to add hope to all this sadness - here is what I know - it will always hurt, but it will get better - with time. You will laugh at her funny memories, and talk and remember, and the huge gaping hole in your heart will start to heal. It will never heal completely, but the hurt gets farther and farther away. It becomes protected a little bit by the good memories we share with others and knowing they loved this person, too.
The most important thing is to keep remembering her, and telling others about her, so she can always remain right there beside you and inside your heart.

I'm sure you've seen this poem before - it was read at my 15 year old niece's funeral (leukemia) and my husband's nephew's funeral (drug overdose) and now I share it with anyyone who has lost someone they love. It comforts me to read it. I hope it can bring some comfort to you.
Be at peace and love her still.

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there. I did not die.

Please know there are friends everywhere wanting to help you through your pain and loss. I count myself as one of them, even though we have never met.
Tucson Patty

Heidi said...

Oh I am so sorry. How devastating for your family. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Laura.Y said...

I'm very sorry to hear. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Lori said...

I am so sorry. It's a tragic loss for you and your family and I feel so deeply sad for you.

Peace and condolences to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.


Lin Moon said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. It is a difficult and trying time, I know. I tried many different ways of coping and time is really the only healer - but it takes lots of time. And meanwhile you suffer - my heart goes out to you.... I remember asking my step-dad for some of my mom's things after she passed away and he said, "well you can't build a SHRINE to her, for goodness sakes!", but my DH said yes I could, if I wanted. So I have a case where I keep my mom's pretty things. I am keeping you in my prayers, know that lots of people care for you, even if we don't know you....

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know this only too well having lost my Mom and my Dad within a year of each other. I am an only child and felt so alone. I hope you have family to help you cope with your loss. Others have said only time will help and this is so true. May peace come quickly to you. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Laura,

I'm so sorry.

Please know how much your internet friends love you.

God bless you.

-- Tilli (desertwind)
March 26

woof nanny said...

Laura, I am just catching up on blog reading. I am so so sorry. Even when death is expected, we are never ready. Just hold on to the closeness you shared, and be thankful for those moments. It is within those moments that one can find peace.

tina nealis said...

laura, i haven't visited your blog in some time. i thought of you this morning..with project runway coming back...and i thought i'd drop by.

i'm so sorry to hear of your loss. my thoughts are with you and your family.

tina nealis said...

when i lost a friend a couple years ago, my husband sent me helped me and i hope it helps you.

Love never disappears for death is a non-event.

I have merely retired to the room next door.

You and I are the same; what we were for each other, we still are.

Speak to me as you always have, do not use a different tone, do not be sad.

Continue to laugh at what made us laugh.

Smile and think of me.

Life means what it has always meant.

The link is not severed.

Why should I be out of your soul if I am out of your sight?

I will wait for you, I am not here, but just on the other side of this path.

You see, all is well.

--St. Augustine

Manualidades said...

realmente fue una casualidad que di con tu blog, no nos conocemos pero me entristeció mucho lo ocurrido, solo espero que Dios y el tiempo curen esa profunda herida que dejó la partida de tu madre.

Anonymous said...

I just found you blog. My mom died on March 24. I miss her so and know what you are going through. It helps knowing I am not alone and others can understand my grief and regrets. may both of our sweet mothers rest in peace.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I know the feeling. almost the exact same thing happened to my mum on the 14th of this month. i still can't believe she's gone. she was my best friend as well as my mother. what makes things worse is that people stole off her while she was dead and then only hours later did they "find her" life is sick sometimes and i may never find out the real truth but may she rest in peace

And to the rest of you who have lost someone close. Its really tough sometimes and people don't actually understand how you feel until it happens to them. Pray, God is with you no matter what. He is always there to listen

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry to hear about your mom. It's crazy because my mom died on march 28th of 2007. It was a a very unexpected tragic accident. We live in Iowa and my mom went to texas to get back together with her husband. While down there they went ona motorcycle ride. Out of nowhere this 22yr old boy with no license and no insurance t-boned my mom and step-dad. The driver made it along with my step-dad, but they said my mom died instantly. They too try to revive her, but the detective said her body was taking its last breathe when i asked why try to revive her if she died instantly. I no how hard it is. I struggle every day with it. I have a 21 yr old brother and a 12 yr old sister. My step dad has nothing to do with us. i paid for everything, am still fighting for custody over my sister. So don't feel alone. I miss my mom so much. I feel so lost without her. SHe was more like my best friend then anything.

Anonymous said...

I Can definitely sazy I understand what every one is going thru, when they say they lost their mother. I too know the pain of not being able to seek the comfort that only your mother's arms and voice can bring. My mother passed away March 21, 2007 asnd it was the worst day of my life. My mom had died of hear failure and she wasn't expected to live as long as she did, but a higher power has a way of making miracles happen in life that just can't be explained only accepted. When I imagine living the rest of my life without her physical presence I get overwhelmed with sadness and often cry for all the things in my life that she will not be there for. When I get married, she won't be there to help me get ready, when I graduate from college and look out to the crowd, from the stage she wont be there to witness my accomplishment. I just try to remind myself at times like this that she will be there, because the mom I have would never leave me under any circumstances. I am her and she is me.
A poem I wrote for my MOM Anita Daniels:
When I Cried U were always there to wipe my tears
When I I reached for u, Ur hands were always there for me to grab
When I didn't believe in myself U had the strength to believe for the both of us
U were happy In my Happiness
When I miss U, Ur Love will Fill the Void I have inside

I Love you mom in this life and the next, Kaleasha

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura, I stumbled across this, I'm coming up to the 1st anniversary of my mothers death. She was 52, I was 27. I miss her and was searching for words to ease my burden. I'm sorry for your loss. I know it doesn't get easier, even though they all say it does, but I wanted to tell you I thought of you all the same.