Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the pain of loss

The last two weeks have been probably the worst I have ever had to experience. Some of my previous posts tell what was going on during part of it.
Last Wednesday, we lost our Nan. This is my husband’s mother. Truly having joy and optimism after she came through bypass surgery and then losing her a few days later to something unrelated is so very very hard. The pain in my heart sometimes overwhelms me. She was more than just a mother in law to me. I truly loved her as a mother and she was a great mother to Tim and amazing Nan to all her grands and greats.
Walking into her apartment on Thursday morning of last week was so awful. I could smell her but she was not there. Then, we started going through the box that she kept her final affairs in. She had left a couple of letters for everyone. You have no idea how much peace those letters have given me and I’m sure everyone else. Excerpts of them were read at her memorial. It was so hard going through her things.
Yesterday was her memorial and it was beautiful and I believe that it would have been just what she would have wanted. Afterwards, we were blessed to have a good friend of Rheba’s, provide us with a wonderful lunch. We took it and went out to Merritt Park and had a great time being together. It was awesome to watch my kiddos play with all of their cousins, big and little. The older guys are so great playing with the smaller kids. I am so happy that they have so many cousins, aunts and uncles who love them dearly. I was not privileged to grow up around a lot of family; most of my family is not close except my biological father’s family. I’ve only gotten close to them since I was high school age.
One of Rheba’s requests in her letter was that we all stay close. She would have been so happy to see us all together yesterday. Oh, how I wish she could have been there. I cherish the times that we all come together as a family. You never know when it could be the last with someone. We miss her dearly and there will always be a hole in my heart, but there are so many great memories to reflect on. I only hope that I can be a great mother and Nan like she was; to love and enjoy every child and grandchild. Like she said, “I always thought that’s what a mom and Nan does.” What a blessing it was for Keith, Karen, Tim and Tammy to have such a wonderful mother. Trust me, not everyone is blessed with such a loving and giving mother.
My children are still very young, but I hope they know and will remember how much she loved them and how proud she was of them.
Yesterday evening, the entire family drove up to Petit Jean mountain. It was a perfectly beautiful day.
We all stood at a beautiful overlook and said our final goodbye to her as we spread her ashes out off of the mountain and over the river valley where she lived most of her life. She is free from pain and with her Lord.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there, I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

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