Monday, April 22, 2013

Mourning

It has been two weeks and time has been kind.  I am learning about the stages of grief, how it is not a linear process. I have gone forwards and backwards through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining/guilt, depression and acceptance.  I have particularly felt a lot of guilt - things left undone or unsaid.  Which I find really interesting.

The last time I was with my Mother, I spent a week caring for her night and day while my Father was out of town.  By the end of the visit, I told myself that I was prepared for her passing.  (Obviously, though 'prepared,' I in no way shape or form envisioned her passing just 6 weeks later.) I think it is virtually impossible to be 'prepared.'

I know there are so many ways we can try and beat ourselves up for imperfections - almost as if these nearly inconsequential actions or in-actions completely negate the great love we have for the person we lost.  And that is simply not true.  I know I wish I had been a better daughter in so many ways to my mother.  And I also know that the love I have for my Mother is so real, and that she knew it.  I really do have to let the little things go.

A very special time for me is that during my week with Mom in February, My sister Karen and I were able to take her to the temple, to do one brief ordinance and then go to the celestial room.  I distinctly remember holding my  mother's hand and telling her that I loved her.  That I looked into her eyes and made that statement.  That is the moment that I got to tell my Mother goodbye.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was granted that tender mercy.  It was nothing short of miraculous that we got Mom out of the house and to the temple that day.  And that is one of my memories that I am going to treasure always.

I love you, Mom.  I would give just about anything to go back to February and have one more day to care for you and spend time with you.  But I can't.  So I will remember the times we did spend together, and the wonderful qualities of your character.  And I will share those times with my children, so they know how blessed they are to be your grandchildren.  Instead of lamenting my perceived mistakes, I am going to celebrate your life.  I miss you.