Mum would have been 67 today. Instead she is not here. We are.
Mum isn't here for her birthday. Our Mum is free. She can't share anything we do any more but we held her, carried her, and saw her life unfold and eventually end. We loved her unconditionally and we all walked the road we walked, together. Isn't that an honour? Our Mum had to die at some point and that point, for her, was when she did.
My mother is not here any more. She lived, she died, she is free.
The last years of her life were extra special. My sister thought the same. I remember them tenderly as we had time together as we got to know our mother in her bedridden way. Our mum could certainly live even in that state - utterly amazing. She maintained and built her friendships and relationships and lived. Our Mum, I think, said everything she wanted and needed to say. We had the time to say everything we wanted and needed to say which, at the end of her life, was just to say 'I love you'. What a blessing that is. Had my Mum died suddenly years ago I would have been hanging onto the grave stone wondering, asking, questioning, wishing. Instead I am there in peace with Peace.
My Mum left a note for me written 18months ago in it she said (amongst other things) 'When I die don't be sad darling, and if you are remember I love you, I am proud of you....." If I feel sad my mother has gone it is more for the love that has gone because I don't think I could be any more proud of her and part of that pride is how she was peaceful in the face of what was, for her body, an agonising process of death.
Grief often catches up with us, but when I think I feel sad I remember that when our Mum was in the last couple of days of her life the whole house was enveloped in Peace. When you stepped into the room with her bed the whole atomosphere said 'Stop. Be Still' 'Slow, Calm, Peace' and one couldn't help but be there and sit in those last few moments in peace, enveloped in Peace.
Our mum has gone, and life goes on. I am not sure what that life will look like amongst all this change but isn't that part of the fun of traveling the long road that is set before us.
I am not sad, I am utterly honoured. Does it get better than that? I don't think it is any easier being honoured than sad; both are overwhelming but perhaps one is easier to understand than the other.