My mother’s funeral


She passes away and things are a blur for a few days.  I know there was a Sunday, tho the Sunday paper laid on my couch till Tuesday. I know there was a holiday in there too, Memorial Day.  It’s the end of the suffering at the end of a long and good life.  The last 3  years have not been easy, in a wheelchair in a nursing home.  But she stayed active on her computer, reading blogs and sending emails and looking at web sites where she could still  learn something more about animals or flowers or another interesting subject.

There was the job of clearing all her belongings out of her room at the nursing home.  We found a lot of things I knew were there, cos I had brought them to her from her house when we cleared it out and sold it, since she was never going back there.  But we found things I didn’t know were among things I brought, like all her report cards from school. There was the reality of leaving her room there for the last time. It was still her room while all her stuff was in it.  Then it wasn’t her room any more.

There was making arrangements for her funeral.  The special dress she had chosen a couple of years ago.  Several mementos she loved, to go in her casket, including a picture of her and my father shortly after they became a couple.  He has been gone now for many years.

The viewing was nice, with lots of family and friends of hers and of mine coming to say goodbye to her and express their thoughts to my son and me.  The graveside services were well done and her preacher read several things she had written and given to him years ago for this occasion.  He said she always had to have the last word, but in this one case, her words would have to be the next to the last, because God’s words had to be the last words.

At the end of his  prayer, rain began to hit the tent most of us were under.  Then the sky opened up and there was thunder and lightning and buckets of rain for 10 minutes.  Someone suggested that Ethel had actually had the last word anyway.  We all laughed and those who really knew her enjoyed and understood that.  She would have liked that.

When I got home, my peonies had opened.  Many others were already blooming but mine were still big buds when we left this morning. Now there are many beautiful dark pink flowers.  She would have liked them too.

She had recently turned 87.

14 responses to “My mother’s funeral

  1. I wish I could’ve come to the funeral, it sounds lovely. The flowers are your gift Nancy, a visual reminder that life goes on. Sounds like you’ve been a wonderful daughter and caretaker for many years and that she was ready. Thanks to you her wishes came true. Sweet.

    • Thanks Sam. She was ready and she passed very peacefully; well medicated and just went to sleep. I saw the peonies blooming even before I pulled into the driveway. And we were all still wet from the rain. It’s been quite a day.

  2. I am very sorry to read about the passing of your beloved mother. It must be a difficult time and very painful for you, your family and your friends. Please cherish all the warm memories of your mother deep inside your heart. Know that I am thinking about you, dear friend, and you are in my prayers. Much love and hugs.

  3. This brings up strong feelings in me as I am the caretaker of my elderly (85 years old) mother. It was difficult for me to read and also to say anything. My mom is in good health for here age but age has slowed her a bit, too. That is something she finds frustrating. Like your mother was in her last years my mom is active, working in her garden, baking bread, reading lots of books.

    I know this may sound like a formality but you have my deepest sympathies.

  4. sorry for the loss of your mother. The empty nursing home room reminded me of my mother’s bedroom at her house, all her things were still there, but she was gone.

    • The harsher realities seem to set into our brains in stages. I think it’s our brains’ defense mechanism, not to take it all in at once, because it’s all too much at once. Thank you for your thoughts, I appreciate each one.

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