Friday, August 20, 2010

Mourning Is Electric


A complete stranger, during a business call on Wednesday, became an articulate and insightful grief counselor who had lost her own mother a few years ago. "It's a life-shifting event," she told me. "Lean into the pain. Let it out, whether it be a whimper or a sob fest."

I’m doing well, I think. Sad for me, happy for my mom, full of memories good and bad, feeling like an orphan, being businesslike in attending to Mom’s estate, juggling everything at a time when I feel oddly weak and incapable. Following in that stranger's footsteps, my daughters and I held a wonderful ceremonial gathering at the ocean in memory of our mother and grandmother.

I took an armful of my garden flowers. We went to a beach where my mother and father used to take my brothers and me.


One by one we took a flower and thought of some wonderful thing embodied by my mother when she was younger, before the Alzheimer's took her away from us. Then we threw the flower into the sea.


It was a powerfully lovely thing to do.

Mom seemed very near, free at last and whole again.

22 comments:

Martin H. said...

A truly wonderful thing to do.

Birdie said...

That's great Chris, throwing flowers into the ocean to celebrate your mom's life is a wonderful thing to do :-) hugs!

Scott said...

Chris, how touching... great on so many levels. That had to feel wonderful, focusing on the positive, living in your loss, sharing with your girls, reliving fond memories while creating new ones.

the walking man said...

May you now find the peace you've longed sought and may she sleep comfortably in the house of her ancestors with the scent of fresh flowers blanketing her.

Elisabeth said...

This is such a powerful celebration of life in the face of death. Inspirational.
Thank you.

The Bug said...

What a beautiful thing to do! Healing does take time. You were probably too busy to properly mourn the mother you lost to alzheimer's, so now you're doing double duty. Sounds like you're handling it very well.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Beautiful post, lovely way to honor her life, and my therapist said the same thing about grief. Losing my husband was monumental and to let grief come, in waves, but not to let it knock you over...

Woman in a Window said...

Chris, everything about this is beautiful, your pain, your lightness, your daughter's, your day, and your future. Gorgeous you.:)

xo
erin

Shakespeare said...

Heartbreaking and glorious all at once.

I am still dealing with the death of my father... your healing seems far more positive than mine.

Bless you.

PattiKen said...

That is such a beautiful ceremony to honor your mother's memory. I can't help but think it will help cleanse away all the pain you must have felt as you lost her to Alzheimer's and leave you with the wonderful memories of who she really was. And that's as it should be.

Magpie said...

Dying is hard on the living...it's those of us left behind that have to try and pick up the tattered pieces of ourselves and move on. You and your daughters found a lovely way to celebrate your mom and embrace her legacy to you all. Blessings, Chris.

Indigo said...

Beautiful tribute to such a wonderous soul. (Hugs)Indigo

Monkey Man said...

This was very touching, Chris. We have yet to disperse my mother's ashes. I hope it is as cleansing as your expeience. You inspire.

Word Verification: momands

Tari said...

I love it when a stranger steps into a life, gives a message that helps, and then steps back out again. Always feels like a sign from a Higher Power to me, like someone out there is really listening to me.

I'm glad you had such an experience Chris.

Karen said...

All I have to offer are hugs and kisses and prayers. Through space. To you.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Beautiful idea and beautiful photos to match!A wonderful remembrance I hope someone does similar for me when it's my turn.

RNSANE said...

I can't think of a nicer farewell to your mother than a seaside goodbye with flowers and your daughters there to join in the ceremony. Sharing good memories must have helped ease the recent anguish of your mom's struggles with Alzheimer's.

I'm thinking about you and sending you love.

Rachel Fox said...

A friend said to me earlier this year 'grief is a slow dance'. I don't know if that is a quote from anyone... seems pretty accurate though.
x

e said...

What a fabulous thing to do--for all of you--and your business acquaintance who told you that this was a life-altering experience--spot on. I wish you and your daughters sweet memories and the courage to look life and loss in the eye.

Marion said...

Beautiful, beautiful post, Chris. I'm so glad your mom was there with you...when I've said my goodbyes I have always felt the deceased right there beside me.

Lovely photos...a really inspired post. Take care and I'll be thinking of you....xoxo

Suz said...

My heart hurts for you... and at the same time it is beautiful to see how you honor her. (((hugs)))

C.M. Jackson said...

beautiful tribute to your mom -peace to you and yours-c

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