Memories of Mother

My mother as a child

My mother as a child

A few weeks ago, my family started hospice care for my mother. She had been hospitalized, and when she returned to her assisted living facility, she had great difficulty eating and swallowing—a typical progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

She passed away on Friday, July 4, 2014.

Needless to say, these recent weeks have been a time of reflection, of waiting, of grieving. No matter how anticipated, death comes with a finality for which we are not prepared. It is a new loss, no matter how much we have lost already.

And in the face of death, we turn to memories and stories.

My mother before a high school date with my father

My mother before a high school date with my father

Just before she died, my father, sister and brother were gathered at her bedside. I called, and found them telling family stories—about me, apparently, which is only fair, since I have written about all of them in this blog.

My mother giving me an early reading lesson

My mother giving me an early reading lesson

We had a good chuckle about my shenanigans as a toddler. I like to think my mother heard them tell the stories, though she seemed to sleep.

I’ve been thinking of other stories as I have helped my father find pictures representing my mother’s life and plan her funeral service. And I have turned to this blog to jog my memory and to find inspiration.

Here are a few of the posts about my mother I reread in the last few days:

My mother, Mary Claudson, rest in peace

My mother, Mary Claudson, rest in peace

What helps you when you are grieving?

Posted in Family, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , .

17 Comments

  1. Writing has always helped me in times of sadness. Someone shared the following with me years ago.
    Peace in the midst of conflict, Light in the midst of darkness and Joy in the midst of sadness.

  2. I so like seeing these photos. And I like seeing your face in your mother’s. What a gift. The photo of her reading to you and your concentration on the page even as a little tyke is priceless!
    Quite frankly, I don’t know if there is any help for the grieving process except time. It helped me to know the stages of grief…when the anger came up, I could go, oh. There’s that part. But “getting over it?” I don’t know that we do. We learn to live with it. And the pain gets less over time.

  3. My thoughts are with you, Theresa. Like Janet, I think time helps. A good friend died a couple days ago, maybe the day after your mom. My parents’ deaths were hard, but I’m surprised at how physical grief is this time. Maybe I’m just older and more tuned in. I’ve got a craving for something, and I don’t know what it is, and I don’t have the energy to go get it, even if I did. Hungry and no appetite. Sleepy and can’t sleep. I also think acknowledgement helps. The way you tell the stories in this post, the photo of you and your mom reading. They really help me. I hope they’re helping you, too.

  4. I am so sorry to read of your mother’s death, Theresa. I’m discovering, too, how devastating dementia can be as my mom is suffering from it as well. Thanks so much for sharing your memories and stories in your blog — it’s been so helpful to me!

    I’ll sure keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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  6. I send my sympathy on your mother’s death. I lost my mother fourteen years ago in June. I remember what a tender time it was. Be kind to yourself.

  7. Many thanks to all for your condolences. I’m spending this week with my father, making funeral and other arrangements. There’s a lot of work that comes with dying!
    Theresa

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  9. Theresa, so sad to hear of your loss. I think there is great comfort in remembering a loved one in stories, and that you do quite well. Loved the pictures. I know she must have been a wonderful mom, no only by your writing, but also in knowing you, the apple which hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
    Praying for you and your family as you walk this difficult path. Praise God, this life isn’t all there is!

  10. Theresa,

    My deepest condolences. You have included some wonderful photos of your mom and yourself. Your post honors a beautiful woman and soul. May your heart find solace in the wonderful memories you have, the stories that your family tells and these exquisite photos. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Regards,

    Nareen

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