I remember the moment I realized I was going to have to summarize my son’s life into a few, relatively short paragraphs to be read by friends, family and strangers.
It seemed impossible.
But as the designated author of our family I had to do it so I did.
Today I wrote my mama’s obituary and though her death was not as surprising as Dominic’s it was just as hard to swallow.
Mama suffered a stroke a few days ago and along with her other health problems the prognosis wasn’t good. So our family gathered, said what needed to be said to one another and to her and settled in to wait and see if her will to live could overcome the odds.
She breathed her last in this world, fell asleep and woke up in Heaven at 1:45 am Friday morning.
I like to think that just after she saw Jesus she ran on to hug Dominic and her own sweet mama she’s been missing for seventy-one years.
I don’t know why I thought saying good-bye to my mama would be any easier than saying good-bye to my son.
Ain’t nothing easy about death.
Ain’t nothing easy about walking away from a hospital room or a morgue or an accident site knowing that whatever wasn’t said will never be said. Nothing easy about facing final arrangements, making phone calls, writing obituaries, finding photos for a slide show, wrapping up a life into a few words and a few songs and a few pictures.
My heart is used to the dull thumping pain of sorrow.
It’s grown accustomed to setting aside despair and doing what has to be done.
I know how to forge ahead and keep living and plan as if my world hasn’t imploded, making calendars and clocks and seasons and holidays irrelevant.
I’m sad today.
And I am all too aware that today’s sadness is small compared to what’s coming.
Compared to watching my son’s body lowered beneath the ground, watching my mama’s earthly shell lowered is easier.
She lived a beautiful, full and long life.
Still, there’s no way for the little girl inside this middle-aged woman to reconcile the fact that the world she inhabits no longer includes a mama she can touch.
I rejoice she’s safe and whole and pain free.
But I miss her. ❤