Posted by: Kathy | November 16, 2009

A Year Has Passed

One year ago today I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. I can’t believe a year has passed already. It’s been a long day, and the significance of what today was, is starting to weigh on me. I can feel it in my heart. The day itself wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Seeing the gravestone wasn’t the shock I envisioned it would be. Although I know myself very well and the impact of today will hit me soon. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about this day, fearing it, preparing for it, so that when it came, I’d have the strength to get through the day without a complete meltdown. In the days to come, I will “process” this day in my mind and my heart, and only then will its impact be known to me. Although I’m going to try and not be so hard on myself, and hopefully working through this won’t be as painful as other times over the past year.

It was a beautiful day – sunny and warmer than usual for this time of year. Although on the hill where my mom’s grave sits, it was cool and windy. Two pastors and their wives joined our family today for a small ceremony. One of the pastors opened with familiar words from Psalm 23 and then the other spoke about my mom and of Heaven. What each one said was touching and I deeply appreciated that they shared this time with us.

When it was my turn to speak, I “admitted” that I hadn’t written anything, that I’d tried but couldn’t, nothing felt right. I spoke from my heart about how much I missed my mom, that I still hadn’t truly accepted her death, and how I never realized how close we were until she was gone. I spoke about things friends had said to me as words of encouragement. I read a quote from Rabindranath Tagore:

Guests of my life,
You came in the early dawn, and you in the night.
Your name was uttered by the Spring flowers and yours by the showers of rain.
You brought the harp into my house and you brought the lamp.
After you had taken your leave I found God’s footprints on my floor.

The book I took this quote from talked about how God allows us to share our lives with other people for a certain amount of time and then they’re gone. I believe this in my heart, even though it’s hard to accept. I ended with a quote I used in my mom’s eulogy and one that I still hold close to my heart: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die” – Thomas Campbell.

My dad also spoke, words he had written a little while ago but came straight from his heart. He spoke of his love for his wife and his family. The ceremony ended with each of us placing a pink rose on my mom’s grave. I walked up with my daughter, kissed my rose, and leaned it up against the gravestone. My daughter did the same thing. I explained to her that Grandmom Angel was in Heaven and pointed up to the sky.

As we left my dad’s tonight, each one of us sent a balloon to Grandmom Angel. We stood there looking up into the dark night sky as 7 balloons floated quietly toward the stars.

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