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Harder than the funeral...

gerbil runner

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We finally had the memorial for my mother yesterday at the church my folks belonged to for 10 years. It was pretty simple, just a few remarks by the minister and two songs played by the bellringers of the church as part of the normal service. We were supposed to host the coffee hour, but last week we got snowed out, and this week was the annual congregational meeting - no coffee hour.

It was just as well, because the first hymn was "Amazing Grace", which has been a family staple for singing and ringing. All I could think of was how Mom's beautiful, strong voice would have carried through the church, and I started to cry. I wept through almost the whole service, just feeling her absence. I never could have served cake afterwards.

During the wake and funeral, I was still feeling a sense of relief that Mom no longer had to endure her debilitated body. Also, there were so many people i hadn't seen in years, people who wanted to know about my brother Pat. I had put together a board of photos, and spent a lot of time telling people about Pat and the photos.

Now, 2 months later, the loss is so much more real. The hospital things are gone from their house. I've been to the cemetery twice. Every event, from holidays to school concerts, reminds me that Mom will never sit beside me for those events again. Normally, I can handle it ok, but the church service was too much.

Dad brought up the handchimes(kind of a beginner version of handbells), and Kyle and I played quite a bit. We helped Danny and JJ try them out, and even my husband Bob got in on the act. That was much better - and Mom would be pleased to hear the music.

So I guess this too shall pass. But I have a lot more tears to work through first.

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Oh, Jen, honey, I am so sorry.

Church always 'gets me', too.

I am envisioning your mom teaching Brian to sing.

He had an awful singing voice and he looked forward to being able to join in singing God's praises in Heaven. I know he can sing beautifully now, and that he has wonderful company to sing with him.

It still hurts, I am still so sad, but these visions really help me.



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Jen, I cannot even think of any words that might ease your feeling of emptiness right now. I remember how I felt soon after losing my dear, sweet mother. I realized, almost immediately, that I had lost the best friend I would ever have. I also realized that this beautiful woman was the only person that would ever love me, unconditionally. Soon after losing my mom, I began to feel that she was truly a part of me, living inside my heart. As time went by, I began to say and do things that were so very reminisence of the way my mom did them. It was almost as if she and I had become one person. To this day, I miss her dearly and think of all the wonderful things in my life that she has missed...like seeing my children grow into wonderful young men. I truly pray that your lonely times turn into better ones.

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I'm so sorry Jen, it must be so tough for you all right now. You will probably find yourself bursting into tears out of the blue for a while yet. I went into an elevator in a clinic the other day and there was a lady there in a hospital bed with all sorts of tubes and things hooked up to her. I held it back until she was taken away and then I almost collapsed. Seeing this lady brought everything flooding back and I was suddenly a mess again.

In time things will be easier for you and until then I will be sending my thoughts and prayers.


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Oh, my gosh, Jen. This really scares me because I can see myself relating to you in every way. I just lost my mom 13 days ago. Her funeral was last Monday. I have been to the cemetery several times since then. I swear, my brain won't let me quite "get there," I mean, process completely that my mom is gone. I can't explain exactly how I feel. I think I want to be there but my brain won't let me. I planned a beautiful wake and funeral for me mom; Ave Maria and Let There Be Peace on Earth were sung, and I of course lost it. My mom picked ave Maria for my wedding, and she always loved to hear my dad sing Let There Be Peace on Earth (he died in 1999 of LC).

Anyway, it's just been two months for you, and you feel overwhelming grief. I am honestly scared that something in me will just let loose, and I will be a mess. It's happened to me before, with my grandma. My grandparents and my parents all had cemetery plots next to each other. Now they are all gone. I am an orphan. I am delivering my baby next Friday and I'm scared this will be what will break down this wall my defense mechanism is building around me.

I don't know about you, but I live in fear of holidays--and I am dreading Mother's Day. I am on bedrest now for my pregnancy but once I have to go out into the world I'm afraid of facing things. Your talking about church really gets to me, because it was years before I could go into church and not break down uncontrollably after my grandma died.

I don't know what you wish for--for me, I feel as though I NEED to feel this grief right now. I swear I just can't understand that she's gone forever. My mom lived with us, and her things surround me. Whatever your wishes are right now, I hope they come true. My husband keeps telling me he'd do anything to make the pain go away, and while I'm sobbing in his arms, I tell him the only thing is to bring my mom back. He feels so helpless, poor thing, and I am inconsolable at times. What I wish is that I could being both of our moms back. I really do.

Thinking of you.

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When you lose someone so close to you every event or special day can break your heart. I happens over and over but that is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of the love you feel so strongly.

The hardest part always seems to be when all of the services are behind you and life is supposed to get back to normal but you find nothing normal about life any more. I can tell you that the time will come when the pain won't be as shattering as it is right now. I won't lie to you and tell you that it will ever really go away. You are a part of your mom and she is a part of you. If you lose a body part it can't be replaced you just learn to live without it. I doubt that you would ever stop missing it. Why would we stop missing the part of us that died with our loved ones?

As for grieving you do need to grieve. Maybe you should take a whole day and just turn yourself over to the grief. It won't get it out of your system but it will let you exhaust yourself for a while. The first few days and weeks you are in shock so you don't really get any cleansing from the tears. As time goes by they help to make some of the bad memories move to the background so the best memories can help you. My mom has been gone for nearly 21 years and I still close my eyes when I see the Mother's Day cards. It is even hard when I get them from my children.

It would be so wonderful if we never had to lose the ones we love. Then I have to ask what reason would we have to look forward to Paradise?

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