|DateCreated||2/28/ 2008 7:41:55 PM|
|PostedDate||2/28/ 2008 7:41:55 PM|
Good afternoon, and thank you all for sharing this time with me.
I had not given this moment any forethought until a few weeks ago, when I started writing this eulogy in my head…
None of us imagined it would be upon us so soon.
My task here seems momentous to me, how does one summarize a lifetime, no matter how short, into a few words or paragraphs?
What can I say, what message could I convey, that would make this moment in time truly a reflection of her?
There are a litany of words that I could conjure to describe Pat…. Wife, mother, Inga, sister, aunt, friend….
This beautiful fragile graceful creature who was the heart of our lives. Who in the end became our every breath.
The woman whose arms comforted without fail, with subtle but majestic movements.
Her last energies were expended on hugs to comfort her family… and attempts to return the words I love you…
Attempts to survive the unsurviveable for the sake of our broken hearts.
I could tell of her courage, like the time she ran into a burning house to fetch the neighbors pets…. This a week after major surgery.
The scene was unbelievable as my father arrived home from work to find his home safe, his children (and the neighbors children) giddy in the bay window watching the excitement unfold, and his recuperating wife… in the burning house across the street over a pair of cats.
A generous heart. If you let mom know what you wanted for Christmas, you always got more of it than you could ever hope for.
The year most parents were in fisticuffs over cabbage patch dolls… my sister Angela opened a pair of twins….
One year, I was decked out in so much neon, you needed sunglasses to look at me.
A heart which could not walk by and let loneliness alone… Her warmth and compassion for people often led to lifelong relationships from chance meetings.
A steady and loyal friend.
She was not only my mother… she was my friend, my mentor, my voice, when I could not speak…
The flesh and blood that was my mother is now gone.
In it’s absence I am left with her spirit. That to which I cannot put words, nor do I have pictures to show you which prove her ongoing existence. Yet she is everywhere.
Like the wingspans of the crows who have crossed our paths incessantly this week, the breadth of her spirit continues to comfort, as in life, without fail… with subtle but majestic movements.
The entire of the nature she loved and nurtured now interceding to bring her peace, the peace she found in them… to us her grieving family.
If life is a test, then my mother has moved onto the next level, and I am left with the lessons she left behind. I sat with my mother in November, in what I knew then, and look back upon now, as one of our “last” conversations.
That afternoon, the phrase she uttered which most stuck in my mind was “people need to be made to feel better”.
So we turn to each other, those she left here in her absence, to follow her example, and make each other feel better.
I can’t attempt to stand here and sum up my mother in a few words and paragraphs.
To do so is a monumental task, and would lessen the vast perspective we all share…
That perspective she now enjoys peacefully in Heaven with those who went before her.
My mother is best described by those who loved her… And she was, well loved.
I would ask that you reserve expressing your condolences unless you know me personally. Thank you.
To those of you who have expressed your personal condolences, thank you. Your warmth and touching support made this, one of the darkest periods of my life, shine with light.
The above was the eulogy I read at her Funeral last Thursday. I have been sharing some feelings here, but I’m afraid that I haven’t kept you up to date in some time, and for that, my apologies. Some things take a little longer to process…fully.
I don’t know that I will ever process this fully, but like all things, they come full circle only in time.
I have spent the better part of the last three months watching my mother die daily, and well… that’s a little much for me to bear, let alone all of you. I try now that it’s all over to recall it, and it all seems like a dream, but after the reality of delivering that speech… I’m quite aware it’s for real.
I tried the feeling on yesterday, actually accepting the future without my mother in it. It was pretty fucking frightening and I shut that door right tight rather quickly thank you. I’m just not ready to consider that possibility yet.
And I must confess that I can’t quite consider that she’s altogether gone. She’s been sending me her love all week in the forms of crows, blackbirds, songs, and all the other signs that indicate her presence… without her actually being there. Quite magical actually.
I took my cues from her in the end and simply observed. She wasn’t able to do much else. The problem is none of us actually know for sure what she took with her. That’s a whole lot of information to process, I have outlets and I can hardly put it together. All a dying woman had were… as I mentioned in my eulogy… subtle, yet majestic movements.
I have only a few memories I choose to retain of what I’ve experienced over the last few months. In the end she reminded me very much of “The Screamer”, although to be frank, she was a very peaceful passing…. Although I suppose suffering is relative.
Writing her eulogy and delivering it are what I would consider one of the most significant works of my life. I practice writing and speaking as a craft, and you don’t get any more personal than this. You don’t get “one shots” like this every day. I also consider this post an end to the Season II blog… the story is finished, the footage is in the can, and we’re polishing it up now.
Like the brass on the Titanic…lol…
The amount of pressure I felt over the last week or so seems to me now as I look back monumentous. I feel pride in myself that I was able to sail through it gracefully… without giving way to the backwash of guilt and regret that sometimes drag even the best of people to lower their standards of behaviour.
Or betray those of our dearly departed.
My mom gave me a pair of earrings before she died. They are the neatest thing, never seen anything like them. They’re little buddhas carved out of jade. Jade is heavier than other stones, so I have no problem remembering to listen when I’m wearing them.
Smart woman my mom… finally found a way to shut me up without using tape….
Give me jewelry….*giggles*