Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Love never dies...............

Well, hello there bloggers.

It's been a very, very fast week since Mum passed away. And there's lots, yet not enough to do to organise a funeral. A myriad of minute details that all have to be addressed for the Funeral Directors to do their job to the best of their ability. Which is ok, except that most of them you really can't be bothered with. And there can be some genteel resistance (raised eyebrows and a quizzical "OK, how/why do we do that?") if you wish to do something a little out of the ordinary. But anyway, Mum's funeral is done. And it was, in my opinion, a Good One. A real celebration of her life. And very much ( I hope) the type of send off that she wanted. It's hard to do that if people don't tell you what it is that they actually want, and most people don't tell anyone what they would like at the end. It is intensely personal. So you have to fly blind, really. But to me, it was important that Mum's funeral was significant and really about her. A unique individual, she was.

A few people (well, lots really) have asked why and how I delivered Mum's eulogy (AKA yoo-goo-gally, for those fans of "Zoolander") at her memorial service. I'll answer "Why" first. Actually, I just couldn't bear the thought of some stranger telling my mother's story, based on a half hour meeting with family members who are too upset to really think about the importance of their answers to generalised questions. And I had decided quite a few weeks ago that I would like to do it; last year after I spoke at old Jess' funeral, actually. It is such an honour and privilege to speak about someone at such an important occassion. You can't underestimate how much it helps the people who are attending to remember the real person that they know and love at such a sad time. It also goes without saying that I loved my mother, and I wanted to protect her memory and make her proud of me. And, my heart and my gut (and maybe my mother) told me that I must.

How? As I said to Lovely Lisa way back when things first started to get away on us with Mum's care, Mum and I had been discussing her potential death for quite some time, so on some level, the idea wasn't quite so scary for me. Too horrid to really consider, but a possibility none-the-less. And after watching my mother suffer for too long, the Monday before she died, I was able to ask my Mother had she had enough of her life, and she nodded. So together we made the decision that we had been discussing for years. Her trust in me is amazing.... And then we had to wait a little while for the "healthcare professionals" to convince others that it was time. Which, thankfully, they did. Then I had two beautiful, peaceful nights alone with my mother; for some reason, my family decided that I would be the one to stay with Mum each night. And I am eternally grateful to them for this, as it allowed to me to share my innermost thoughts with my Mum, and grieve in private, in my own time. A wonderful gift, to be sure. And even though the dialogue was one-sided, it gave me the time and space that I needed to face the task ahead, and deal with the grief of others. As my mother would have, and would expect me to also. She was always the strong one, my mother; the family matriarch; the rock. And now it's my turn. That's not to say that I am finished grieveing for my mother. I will never stop missing her. But rather than turn into the "wailing woman" that my daughter suggested I ought to be (tongue-in-cheek), I am a bit of like a tap that needs a new washer, or re-seating. Self-preservation whilst others are distressed (ie not taking on their emotions) was important to me, and enabled me to provide them with comfort when they needed it. And just writing Mum's story gave me an outlet as well. And on the day of her service? It is amazing how the presence of all those people gave me the strength that I needed. In their face of their loss and the depth of their love, I found strength. As I looked around the room, I could see the teary smiles as people remembered their roles in Mum's life and it helped me enormously to press on. And my family were unfailing in their belief that I was the right person to represent them and Mum. Faith can carry you far, can't it? My mother made me believe that just about anything was possible. I used to bring her home carnations from off the compost heap at school when I was little and we would plant them in the garden together. I was delighted to watch them grow. It wasn't until I was a lot older that I discovered that Mum used to buy carnation plants of the same colour and plant them so as not to disappoint me......
As kitchy as it sounds, I was wrapped up in a big warm glove of love on Monday.......
And I really believe that my Mum was right there with me, encouraging me and giving me strength. I am my Mother's daughter, after all.......
And my kids needed to see that even in the worst possible scenario, good things can happen. As awful as funerals are, the people who are left behind need them. The uplifted feelings afterwards and subsequent relaxation in the people that came to my Uncle and Aunt's home afterwards was a wonderful thing. The house was full of life and laughter. A lot of folk who haven't seen each other for a long time were brought together thanks to Mum, and plans have been made for re-unions. She will be pleased.
And later on that night, as I curled up on the lounge to sleep, my beautiful Mother smiled at me from a photo on the cupboard. And I'm sure her smile was broader than before.........

I will be forever thankful to my Beloved for his un-wavering and un-questioning support over the past few months. He has coped well with my absence, with my grief, as well as that of the children and his own. I really haven't been there for any of them lately. And most important of all, he seemed to understand my need for my own space, especially around the time of Mum's death. He was there for me, but quietly, if you know what I mean. I am quite sure that a lot of men end up dis-enabling & dis-empowering women with their urge to protect them at times, even though they seek only to help them.

I thank you all. I'm sure that your thoughts carried me through as well. And Lisa, your gift is now in my handbag, and carried at all times. As is Mum's little Buddah that was always in her handbag. I hope that they don't counteract each other... both are gifts of love....

That's enough for tonight. You can't suffer too much of the inner workings of the Blogmuggle in one sitting. Tomorrow I will blog some pics of the house. The renos are progressing, and all the ridiculous hiccups not withstanding, am loving the way it is looking!

Goodnight *mwa* zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

By Rick Price

By the creek there's a church yard and a tree so tall
She was only forty-seven when she passed away
And though the years go by, still it feels like yesterday
Sitting there by the wood stove
On a cold winter morning
I can see her in her dressing gown
Saying "You'll be late for school"
She had such a gentle way
She'd understood, and with a mother's heart
She loved me like no other could

Now I know that love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies

Midnights and country roads
In the old blue Holden
Saying "Son, if you work hard...
Well you're bound to be a star"
Every show we played from Tamborine to Kerry Town
She was always there
That special face in every crowd

Now I know that love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies

I swear sometimes I feel her
Smiling down on me
How I love that woman
And what she gave to me

So God be her shepherd
And keep her safe and warm
Never let her heart grow weary
Never let her feel alone
And when the angles come to take me
Tell her I won't be afraid
'Cause I know in heaven she waits

For love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies


Lisa said...

i have anew understanding of grief now thanks to you
blessed be
budda and the angel will work well together for sure

Anchell said...


I will be calling on you when the time comes for me Im sure. It was a lot like this for me when my nan passed.

Im glad you did it your way


The Tall Red Head said...

spoken straight from the heart Cyndy, and so honest. You have done well, and your Mum would have been proud of you.

Kathleen said...

Beautiful and heartfelt, Cyndy I had chills the whole time I read this post. Blessings to you and your family.