Saturday, December 30, 2017

She's gone

Mama and Daddy share the same gravesite
In a split second, her life is over. My sweet Mother has left this earth and slipped into heaven. The days have become a blur as we managed to say our last goodbyes and make funeral arrangements. So many details have gotten lost in the shuffle as our emotions ebbed and flowed.

And now that the funeral service is over, her casket placed with my Father's, we try to process everything that's transpired over the past days, weeks, months, and years.

We knew this day was coming. It wasn't a surprise, but we just weren't ready for it to be so soon. Mama was ready. She'd told us over and over that she wanted to go home to heaven, so how can we begrudge her that last request? She's gone and we celebrate knowing she's no longer in pain, no longer bound by the time constraints of this world, and no longer kept out of the presence of her Lord and Savior.

It's hard to grasp though. When you've loved someone for so long, how do you let them go? It's hard not to want to cling tightly and be selfish, but that wouldn't be the right thing to do.
Beautiful Allatoona

So in the days ahead, my brother, sisters, and I will find our own way of getting through our grief. I'm sure it will be different for each of us since we each had our very own and special relationship with our Mother. And I'm sure the grief won't be short. I'm sure it will come in waves, rolling over us when we least expect it. The memories, too, will be constant. Something we see or hear, smell or touch will remind us of Mama. And that's a good thing, I think.

Those memories will help us keep her alive. Learning how to accept the memories as they come and not be overwhelmed by the sadness that accompanies them will be the hard part, but I'm hoping I can choose to remember not only the memory but the way I felt when the memory was made. If I can do that, I'll be okay.

After her service, I spent the day at Red Top Mountain. One of Mama's favorite picnic spots. We used to go there as children with my Mother and my Aunt. It was an inexpensive day trip and we loved being out in nature.

As I sat by the lake and reflected, I could almost feel Mama's presence. Listening to the nesting birds in the trees overhead, I wished she were with me. We'd be having a heartfelt conversation, I'm sure. That's one of the things I'm going to miss the most - calling to share a bit of news with her or just hearing her voice. I sure hope I never forget the sound of her voice.

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