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Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll Miss You, Mom.

Last Friday, November 6, 2009, my Mother passed away. She had been ill for a long time, suffering from diabetes and dementia.

I took care of her for several years here at my home, and when it was evident that I could not provide or afford the care necessary for her, she was living in a local nursing home, but I never stopped caring for her or visiting her. I knew her death would happen someday, but as much as I tried, I could not prepare for it.

Now that the news is out, we are receiving an enormous outpouring of support from friends, family and acquaintances. The big question is: When's the funeral? Are you going to hold services? After careful consideration, I have decided we are not going to hold public services or have a gathering for my Mom's passing.

There was an obituary in the paper, though. You can view it and sign the guest book online until December 10. My entire family thanks you.

Here's my reasons:
This year my Mom got to experience two really great things that she was able to attend. The first was my wedding, and the other was my siblings and other family members getting together to take her out to dinner. She had really good days for both of those events, she enjoyed them as much as she could, and a few days after the latter event was when the big downward spiral began for her.

Her remains will be cremated and buried in a private place. When my Dad and my brother passed away, we did receive family and friends at the house, and that was for my Mom more than anything else. These "services" and "gatherings" are for others, and I find no need to prolong my grief or bring others down through this tradition. I feel there are better ways to get over a loss such as this. My memories for funerals are so dismal, and I don't want to remember a close friend or relative as a corpse in a fancy box, I want them to live in my memory for all the things they were, because that is all we have left.

I do hold my friends close, and most everyone I care about and who cares about my family has already contacted us, or I have contacted them. I'm sure there are more phone calls to make. We will continue to celebrate her life as well as our own and embody the good spirits and loving thoughts my Mom held dear.

Personally, I have a strong dislike of the traditional funeral system. It is a vacuum of money and hypocrisy in my opinion, but I do not want to deny anyone who participates in it the opportunity to grieve and heal from their loss in the way they choose. I don't think that I am dishonoring my Mother. A lot of the friends that she did talk to on a regular basis before she got sick are unable to attend any sort of event anyway. I've been spending time with my immediate family and thinking about the stuff that made my Mom happy.

The love that she gave to this world is immeasurable. We will never forget her. The good memories of her will enrich and educate us for the rest of our lives, and for that we give thanks.

Now...let's get on with our lives, shall we?