My mother slipped quietly away last evening. I was there with her to watch her last breath, along with my cousins Shawn and Andrea – the three children she brought up over the course of her short, fruitful life. I watched as the pain etched in her face like a scar finally disappeared.
She was 55 years old. She was young, she was beautiful, and apart from the aggressive cancer that seemed determined to consume her, she was healthy.
Outside the room was a throng of people; a rich blend of family and friends, old and new. Ward 43 was used to the constant stream of visitors by then. They noted how she never had any shortage of willing and helping hands. They noticed how they came, how they practically set up shop and kept vigil. Her doctor told me it was obvious how she had touched many.
Amidst the hurt that strangles, amidst the searing loss so hot, it temporarily blinds memories, I am deeply proud that strangers can wonder aloud about the kind of woman my mother had been. That a life so honest and humble could also speak so loudly. My mother loved life and loved people.
I’ve been sitting in her bedroom since a little before dawn, and it’s here that I’m learning how grief can be disconnected from the part of the brain that summons memories. This bedroom is a heartbreaking blend of sepia-toned memories and her excruciating final months. I shared a bed with her in this room. My toy boxes were in this room. Long talks into the wee hours of the morning were in this room. Shouting matches were in this room. Forgiveness was in this room. And in the final weeks, a lot of pain was suffered in this room.
Right now, knowing that she will not walk into this room again hurts more than I can ever hope to put into words. I miss my mummy terribly. Thanks for listening.
27 March 2013 at 9:06 am
27 March 2013 at 9:10 am
oh chevelle, the tears are flowing here as you struggle to comprehend this loss and transition. i am so sorry she is gone. she was an amazing woman of faith and its beautiful to hear how lovingly she was farewelled from this world. having you by her side would have meant everything as that is what you were to her. you have honoured your mother so deeply through all this – and I know she felt that. love you muchly, sweet friend, and am bearing just a fraction of your burden today.. wish i could do more xx
27 March 2013 at 11:54 am
It is a dear loss indeed. My heartfelt condolences. May the support of your loved ones carry you through this difficult time.
27 March 2013 at 12:29 pm
I’m a bubbling mess right now, your words are so beautiful. She’s an incredible woman and i pray for strength for you in the days ahead.
27 March 2013 at 1:21 pm
My condolences. I am sorry for your loss. Prayers of strength to you and your family.
27 March 2013 at 8:10 pm
Your words are so moving. I’m sorry for the pain of the loss of your mum.
28 March 2013 at 12:47 pm
We can all only hope to make an impact on other’s lives as it clear your mother did. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. ((hugs))
29 March 2013 at 6:01 am
I wish I knew what to say… this post was written beautifully and your mother sounds like an amazing person and I know my mom means more to me than words can say… I’ll be praying for you and your family…
1 April 2013 at 5:55 pm
Take care sister. Thanks for sharing with us ur grieve.