Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Do You Say Goodbye to Someone You Love, or Can you?

The funeral mass for my Mother-in-Law yesterday was comforting. Comforting you might ask. Yes, it was. There is a long explanation for this but I will skip it right now. We were comforted in remembering what a God fearing, loving and kind person she was. Although we were sad, every one recognized that she was a very special gift to all who knew her and we were blessed to call her ours. She is incredibly missed.

As we rode back home I reflected on the event, the commentaries and interactions of the day, my memories and the people present at the event. I reflected on her and our relationship and my feelings for her. I reflected on my husband's attitude and behavior. My sister-in-law's tribute, commitment, resolves and pledge to her Mom to honor her legacy.

As I went through the day again today, I kept going back to the question; how can you say goodbye to someone you love? Do we really say goodbye? What does saying goodbye, particularly at the end of life really means? I wrestled with this all day. Actually, I am still wrestling with it as I write this. I am at the point however where I am coming to terms with it and placing it in the scheme of things in life.

I feel comfortable in placing it among the times and events and opportunities like visiting friends, or families or a place far, far away and I only see them once in a while. This is not a completely accurate placement because at some point I'll see them again. Maybe I'll even travel to that place again, but not in her case. I will never see her again as I have. Putting it this way is painful but I will take comfort in knowing that she is at rest and she gave herself in love and in prayers.

I will miss her beautiful and disarming smile.
I will miss her warm embrace and gentle touch.
I will miss the conversations and discussions of politics, friends, families, and the children and families of her beloved school.
I will miss her refrain; "God will provide".
I will remember her words: "just pray, and God will help you."
I will miss her recollections of my husband's youthful antics.
I will remember her wise caution to our daughters to be good, to respect others and to always do their best.
I will miss her admonishing my husband and her quick reminder, "I love you and want the best for you".
I will remember her fervent prayers and her reminders to always pray.

Most of all I will remember her love for us and her faith in God.

These thoughts and memories will keep her present with me as I recall, recount and remember her words. They will provide the strength and the peace to hold her close and dear in my heart. So although we said goodbye and we will never see her again in this life, she will remain with us in spirit and in thoughts. She will always be with us.

So I realize that although we said goodbye to her, she will never be gone from us.

God Bless you, Mom!
May you find eternal rest and Peace in God's presence and grace.
I thank you for being you.

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