Mom’s funeral was one week ago today. One week, and so much changes and so much stays the same. She had been fading for a month and a half – decided she was done eating. And she drank only when we asked her to. And so we watched her light fade, hard as it was. She remained calm and seemingly content, a remarkable woman with no regrets. She said to me just three short days before she died, “I’m okay.”
And so we stood on the precipice between this world and the “other”; we felt the power that only those that accompany death receive. I wish I could hold on to that unnamed enlightenment, but it grows weaker by the day. Still, I fancy that I am changed. That I have left behind fickle tendencies, matured somehow – more aware of what actually matters in this life.
I can’t explain it entirely, but when the mystery was in my hand, when my Mom was taking her last breaths, in and out, I felt that all was as it should be. The glorious unknown was playing its hand - and I was witness.
My daughter emailed me from New York City. She said simply, “there is beauty in endings.” And so it is true . . . but why? Perhaps it is only in the ending that we truly embrace and appreciate what we had – and what we still have. It is in the margin between life and death when that life becomes most precious, most remarkable.
I told her that last morning, “You can go, Mom. We’ll take care of Dad and we’ll be okay. Everything will be all right.” Whether she heard me or not, she was gone soon thereafter. My sister was sitting with her, and I was walking out in the pasture with Dad when she died. We had walked past the trees Mom planted and stopped briefly to gaze out towards her beloved mountains. And when we returned to the house she was gone – like the words said about artist Charles M. Russell’s cowboys, “gone far and grazin’.”
Mom sharing her love of flowers with