We loss mom seven years ago today.....Today is the first time on this day (in seven years) that I have not dreaded it. The first time I can say I am at peace with the loss of my mother and no longer overwhelmed with the heartache. We survived and the peace did come but there are a few things I wish I had known before, losing a loved one...
No matter how prepared you think you are, you're NOT
Mom had been sick for a very long time and I honestly thought I had dealt with most of my grief before her passing. I thought her passing would be a relief, a chance to move forward. I was not prepared for the things I would miss. I missed her voice, would I remember it. The way her grandchild made her face light up. Would they remember her.
Never give your Mom's eulogy
"You have a way with words-you do it", is how I remember the conversation going with my Sister. Public speaking has never scared me, how hard could this be I had naively thought. I was not prepared for the title wave of emotion that hit me as I stood behind that pulpit. I sobbed through most of it. Do over- Write it and let some one else read it.
People will say stupid things and its okay
I could list so many things funny things, hurtful things, weird things...People would say "At least she's at peace now." and I would bitterly think well "I'm sure not!" But it was all better than people saying nothing. Nothing was the worse. Nothing didn't acknowledge that my mom had lived a life had done many good things. It didn't acknowledge my broken heart. Please always say something....One of the sweetest comments was "I cried for you today!"
Funeral directors are usually right
"Teacher's don't take days off to attend funerals" he told us, when we planned her funeral for a Friday afternoon. What the heck does he know I thought. As Kelli and I headed the procession into the chapel, my heart sank as I realized how few people were there...The lesson for all...Remember funerals are for those left behind and your presence can provide great comfort to those who morn.
Decisions, decisions, decisions will exhaust you.
You will never answer so many questions in an hour in your life. As we met with the funeral director I had no idea there were so many details to decide. Always take someone with you that has been there before and can help walk you through it.
Casket prices will shock you.
Mom's casket cost more than our Van did...was I the only one who saw the flawed logic behind this??? Maybe its cause I'm so cheap but still. we were very blessed that there were funds available to us and Kelli and I did not have to foot this burden.
You will never like the smell of carnations again
I have hated the smell of carnations ever since my Grandmother's funeral when I was thirteen. So when it came to flowers I forbid them....only problem is You can't get sunflowers(mom's favourite flower) in southern Alberta in February. They were however able to find Gerber daises that worked beautifully. Such a relief to me. I still have my carnation hang up. Its funny what you worry about in the middle of loss.
Peace comes in pieces, but it will come.
At the time I was hell bent on going through the grief process at super sonic speed. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance...Three months, tops Plenty of time, then I can just move on. I was just plain wrong. Grief is not a race. You will go through all the stages more than once and in no apparent order. The peace comes in pieces a fragment at a time. It is only now and with the gift of time, that I can look back and see the healing that is still in progress. Be patient with yourself.