supposed to die

What I said at my mom's funeral

It was so hard to stand up and speak these words, but I managed to make it through without breaking down. I think I have cried more in the days since she died than I have in all the rest of my life put together.

My mom was no ordinary mom.  I think sometimes she wanted to be ordinary, she wanted to blend in, but that wasn’t how God made her.  She was tall, she was an extrovert, she followed her heart, she spoke her mind.

She taught me so many things, but three were most important: to laugh, to listen, and to love.

Mom had a crazy sense of humor.  I remember one April Fool’s Day I watched her pour cat food into the cat’s dish.  She said, “You know, this actually looks pretty good,” shook some in her hand, and ate it.  It turned out it was a new cereal that she had noticed looked a lot like cat food.  She had put the bag inside an empty box of Friskies.

Back in July, mom was hospitalized for three days.  A few days after she was discharged, a nurse called to follow up. My mom was in the bathroom and so I answered and started talking for her. Figuring the nurse would want to talk with her directly, I handed her the phone when she came out .

The first thing she said - and mind you, she knew this was a stranger - was "Help! Help! They've got me tied up in a closet and they're not feeding me."

A week or so before she died, we were talking about how everyone has something at their core. Mom said she realized hers was to listen. She made friends everywhere she went, and it didn’t matter if they were young or old or homeless or rich. She loved meeting new people. A few months ago we went for a walk in the Eastwood Cemetery.  She was so weak that she only made it a few feet inside the entrance. But then a young woman she had never talked to walked by. And of course Mom perked up and said hello and learned all about her.  It completely rejuvenated her.

And finally, Mom was all about God and about love.  And for her the two were the same.  When I go back and look in my emails, there are dozens from her that have the word “love” in the subject line. She said love is the only thing, that love is all there is and that’s plenty.

I’m going to try to be more like mom - to laugh more, listen more, and love more.
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I do not know how people deal with the death of a child or a spouse. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers a loss - which I guess is all of us, at some point.
She must have been a wonderful human being. The way you talk about her says it all.
I'm thinking of getting a little tattoo on the inside of my wrist that says WWND (What would Nora do) but I should probably wait.
The glimpses you've given us of your mother show that she was a very special lady.

It takes a long time to grieve the loss of a mother. It's almost two years since my mother died, and I still miss her terribly. But the fact I have so many happy memories of her help a lot.
I have lot of happy memories, too. I have been surprised by how hard this has been, because she has been sick for years and was happy to go.

It is so helpful to hear from people who have gone before.
I remember speaking at my mother's funeral about the time when she and I went to the movies - i must have been 12 or 13 - and we sat in the front row of the balcony. "I always wonder what would happen if we just started to throw this popcorn down over people's heads?" she told me making a hand gesture of broadcasting the popcorn in a wide ark over the theatre. We didn't do it but we both giggled and talked about it. Some mothers are more unusual than others.
I think you hit the "mom" jackpot with that one. She seemed like a true gem. I think when you lose someone as special as that, it's bound to leave you reeling. You're never really ready for it, even when you think you are. It's like preparing to get hit by a mack truck. You can brace all you want, but it's not going to lessen the impact.

That is the perfect analogy. Also I think some of my mom's "This is all gonna be fine" spirit rubbed off on me. It was hard to imagine her absence.
I must have been looking bedraggled today, because even my barista hugged me!

I miss her a lot.
Nine years ago, I lost both of my parents within 5 weeks of each other. I felt like they were the big trees in the green wood and it was left to me, the middle-sized tree to look after the saplings. It was a truly horrendous time. Grief didn't run to a time table and I knew it had to be an organic process, no matter how long it took. There would be time for numbness/tears or even laughter remembering good stuff.

Your Mom was an incredible lady - and so I believe, is her daughter. Take care of yourself :-)
Within five weeks of each other? It's a miracle you even made it through. My heart goes out to past-tense you.
Thank you - I adjusted over a very long period of time. My only advice is to remind yourself that everything you are feeling is absolutely normal - give yourself the permission to feel whatever it is that you feel.

:-)