It was hard leaving my mother in Maine. I’ve been her voice for quite some time and there was no need to leave a voice there with her.
Her funeral was very nice. She would have loved to see those who came, including Karyn who was in one of my mother’s first grade Sunday School classes. She is now forty-two. She flew in from Texas to sing at the funeral.
Denise was such an amazing support; I was so grateful to have her here in Pennsylvania with me and then in Maine. She thought of things that would have been missed had she not been there.
I wanted to share what I was able to say at the funeral. I was very nervous, but knew these were words that needed to be spoken on my mother’s behalf:
“When my mother left Maine to live in Rhode Island, she had to leave behind a very special group of people each of you, who she loved so much. Thank you for being here today. Her move was an adjustment for both of us. People would often comment about the care we provided for her. As my mother needed more care, I realized she had been providing all along what I needed, providing care for me. I wanted to share a few of those life long gifts that she gave to me:
*My mother introduced me to friends that I would have never had the opportunity to meet. Friendships from those involved in her care.
*She was responsible for a support group for caregivers that began in Pennsylvania. A group that will continue on because of her inspiration.
*She helped me find my voice, a voice that began in speaking up for her and her needs.
*She also gave me a place. I learned so much about myself and what I enjoyed doing.
So over the last few days I’ve been trying to think about what I can continue to do for her. I can pray and thank God daily for the opportunities my mother so graciously provided for me.
I love you Mom and will miss you so very much.”
Coming through the door this afternoon was so difficult. I decided this evening I was going to open up her rooms in the morning and close them at night, just as I’ve done for so long, leaving lights on as needed.
On our way back from Maine we stopped in Rhode Island. We were able to get together with friends. I was explaining to a friend about feeling as though I had an empty place inside me, and I was trying to understand how to fill that spot. She commented that maybe the spot was to fill in, in time, on its own. That maybe it wasn’t suppose to be filled by anything. Another friend who was there and had lost her husband years ago, offered this to me; she said, “Grief is like throwing up – you don’t want to and yet you feel better after grieving”.
We’ll take one day at a time here. My mother has been such an important part of our lives and my mind for a very long time. She was a constant, a presence that I loved leaning on, always there when needed at just the right time.
I’m grateful I was with her when she passed away. I know if she were here she’d listen and console, so with these in mind, I know I can move forward, with the reassurance that moving slowly is just fine.
I’m so grateful for Caregiving.com; being able to offer help here as Denise needs, for feeling a part of a very special group of people where I feel like I belong. Caregiving provides so many life lessons.
I’m grateful for AfterGiving.com as well. I know I’ll only be a “click” away from each of you.