My mother left the world we know on May 22, after two weeks of intense illness preceded by several months of slow decline and discomfort. Discomfort to her, to my Dad and to all of us who had to watch her slip away. Throughout however she remained herself and there were many happy memories nonetheless.
We are all thankful that circumstances conspired to fill her final few days with comfort and peace – for her and for all of us. We are also thankful for the support of all our family and friends and that we all got to say our “farewell for now” to her with her consciousness intact.
While Mom is not here now in a way that we can directly interact with, whatever your belief, there is no denying her presence is as strong as ever. In me and Linda, in my brothers, their wives and the grandchildren, in Dad and in everyone and everything else that she touched in her life. Her legacy (and DNA) is here to stay. She has completed a metamorphosis to a place in the cosmos beyond our ken, yet it too is greater still for the addition. To me the flowers seem brighter than ever, the air sweeter and the joy of living more intense. Thanks Mom!
The following words sent by a friend (thanks Chris!) and originally inked by Henry Scott Holland, may convey some of this sentiment and comfort to those that have yet to make the transition:
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you, and the old life we lived fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak of me in the easy way you always used and put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow, laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we always enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant, it is as important for you to continue as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere within, just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Based on “Facts of Faith” by Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral