Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Mom's Passing...

Thanks to all for the amazing love and support my family and I have felt this past week since my Mom's passing. One friend of mine commented this past week how grief can be such a "sweet sorrow." In Mom's case, that's certainly true. She was ready to go home; had been for some time.

I'm stretching a bit out of my comfort zone here, but wanted to share with you all something I wrote in my journal the morning after Mom passed, perhaps as a part of my own grief process:

My mother died on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Time of death: 12:30 pm

It was Autumn, which in Texas means simply that it was not as hot, and the skies were very blue that day, without a single cloud. I noticed this, paid special attention, wondering how God would set the stage for Mom's crossing to Him. I know He thought about such things for the simple reason that I did, and how could I be more compassionate, more sensitive to my mother's circumstance than God is? I liked the clear skies, the lack of wind, the not too hot. Mom hated weather of any kind--even a stiff breeze could keep her home when she had errands to run. And so He made it very still, and swept the sky of every hint of rain. The sun was high in all his glory, the welcoming door flung open wide. He was ready for his little girl to come home.

I was happy for her.

I did not know this at first, not until several hours after she had passed and I could find a name for the tears rolling down my cheeks. But I was very happy for my mother's death. Not the death itself--that part is sad beyond explaining, like seeing your mother disappear behind a door as it closes, knowing it will never be opened again. But my loss is her joy, and this is what makes me happy, because I know what lives on the other side, and, more importantly, Who.

The dementia that for so many months had ravaged her mind and stole her dignity, is gone. Her mind is clear again. And she can hear! My mother, who had been deaf for decades, and hated every second of that state...can hear again. Who knows what a joy that must be to her.

No more dizziness, or weakness in her limbs. No more disease at all. My Father's little girl, the one who was my mother here on earth, is finally free. Finally home.

At last, she knows.

And I am happy for her.

This is Mom's song to me--a poem of her that has become very dear in recent weeks and now, I know, will be with me for life.

Farewell Letter

She wrote me a letter after her death,
and I remember a kind of happy light
as I sat by the rose tree
on her old bench by the back door
so surprised to receive it
wondering what she would say
looking up before I could open it
and laughing to myself in silent expectation.

Dear son
it is time for me to leave you
the words you are used to hearing,
are no longer mine to give.
You can only hear those words of motherly
affection now from your own mouth
and only for those who stand
motherless before you.

As for me I must forsake adulthood
and be bound gladly to a new childhood.
You must understand
this apprenticeship demands
of me an elemental innocence
from everything I have ever held in my hands.

I know your generous soul
is well able to let me go
You will in the end be happy to know
my God was true
and that after so many years
of loving you so long
I find myself in the wide, infinite mercy of being
mothered myself.

P.S. All of your intuitions were true.

(David Whyte – A great poet. I highly recommend his work. Get it here.)


Michelle Brown said...

Thank you, Michael, for being brave and sharing your joy and sorrow with us.

For your mom, I rejoice. For you, my heart hurts.

May our loving Heavenly Father take you by the hand, hold you so close that you feel the warmth of his sweet presence as a tangible thing, and walk intimately with you as you process through your loss.

Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Michael. And how typical of our loving God to let you feel happiness amidst the sorrow.

Lisa said...

Having lost my own mother five years ago, I know something of your pain. Not exactly your pain -- I am not you, and your mother is not my mother, so our pain is different. But losing your mom, at any age, under any circumstance, is just plain hard.

I remember wanting to call my mom, to see or hear her, for months after she died. Each time, I'd pull myself up short as I remembered that was no longer possible. In your case I suppose the grief process had already begun -- and of course there is the joy of knowing your mom is with Jesus -- but of course you'll still miss her terribly.

You will of course continue to be in my prayers.

Renee Lockey ......... Austin, TX said...

While reading this post I cried for the first time all week. Thank you, Michael, for sharing your heart and your Mom with us. I can only imagine the mix of pain and joy I'd feel if I lost my own mother today. I join in your sorrow today and send a hug with this message.

Yet, while I'm sad for you I am most jealous of her. At this very moment she is sitting beside her loving Father, content and at peace. How blessed a place to be. She has escaped the sorrow and pain of this world and has found true joy. She is home. Hallelujah!

Peace to you, Michael.

Sara said...

I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your mom. I can't imagine what that must be like. I'm so glad God is near, and able to comfort you like no one else can.
Thank you for sharing with us. You'll be in my prayers.

Sara said...

Hi Michael,

I've stopped by here a couple times with the thought that I would post a comment, but then stop short due to lack of words. However, I suppose sometimes simplicity is best, so here it goes: Kenny and I are so very sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. For good or bad, there is no one like mom in life. When you find yourself alone, may you feel the love of your heavenly Dad like you've never known it before. Thanks again for all you do and share here and with the leaders at Gateway. I love the changes I've seen in my husband this year as he has had an opportunity to work with you all.