Sunday, February 05, 2012

The weight upon my shoulder

My mothers funeral marked the end of many years together, we, our family, walked together through thick and thin and somehow stayed together; tied together in Love. 

Now my mother has gone it feels like the end of a era. A life lived so full has ended and it is the end of so many things. She gave her life in so many ways and now she has gone.

Never have my footprints on this earth felt so heavy, I have never felt so firmly attached to this world, the world that Mother has left behind to make of it as we will.

Strangely I am not sad. I will miss my Mum, but I am not sad – never has a chapter of life ever felt so finished, so complete and so peaceful.  She had to go and she went with such grace, such peace and such calm.  As she lay taking her last breaths I stroked her arm and I told her I was so proud of her and that I loved her, I thanked her for the life she gave me. It was true to the very core of my being.

And so as my mother carried us so we carried my mother into the church and then finally to her final resting place.  It felt good having the weight of our mother on our shoulders. We didn’t follow behind as we so often did, instead we held her, claimed her and did the one last thing we could for our Mum. Carried her. We walked the final stage together with her on our shoulders. Arms crossed over each other and under her.

The new life has started, the new chapter begun. Life for us is going to be so very very different. I await with curiosity to see how it will be. No longer can we hear the sound of her voice or feel her. She just is not here, but we are, those left behind are here together.

I am not sad my mother has died, I am more glad that she lived and she was mine. May she rest in peace and rise in glory with wings as eagles as in our hearts.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Card

I never understood the power of the card until my Mum died.  Just a card. I would send them, but I had never thought what it was like to be on the receiving end (which is remarkable considering how much death I have been on the receiving end of).

On the day my Mum died that changed, from the moment we started telling people there was a steady flow of people to the door and cards through the letterbox.  When there was a lull in proceedings we would sit in our numb automatic pilot state and open cards. Even days later there were cards to open and when I arrived to be with my Dad again there were still cards coming.  I counted 126  and 20 more arrived that day.  It isn’t the number of cards, but that each individual card is someone thinking of us. So many people.  A card sent in love, arrives in love. When you don’t know what to do opening a card, or reading a card is so therapeutic.

Often when someone dies we are alone and we have to tell people (in the rare moments they are interested) what that person meant to us, but none of us have had to do that with Mum. Each card, each greeting, each message lifts us and carries us through it all.

Our family feel carried and amongst the expected we have been carried by the most unexpected too.

I have sent cards before thinking mine will be tossed aside, read and put aside, but now I am on the receiving end I know how wrong I was. Cards aren’t just for the opening they have been sent and opened in love, they are looking at us, holding us up and each one says something different.

They are just cards, but they mean so much more than I ever dreamt.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


While Mum was poorly some heating was installed into the house.  My sister asked me to broach the subject of having the heating back on when we have visitors. 

AS I was sitting at the table enjoying some supper with my father, both of us in our coats and scarfs I asked Dad the question ‘can we have the heating on when we have visitors’.

My father informs me that the heating IS on and is on 24/7 as it is more economical that way. 

Excellent said I and we continued our meal.  The fact that we were both sitting there in our outdoor coats, two pairs of trousers and a scarf didn't seem to matter. We carried on our meal both marvelling at how lucky we were - if the heating wasn't on I expect we would have trouble picking up the cutlery due to the volume of clothes being worn to keep warm.