Thursday, August 21, 2008


It's toughest in the mornings. Upon waking - when the first conscious thoughts flood into my head - I feel last month's loss of both of my parents more than almost any other time of the day or night. This morning, I saw my mother laid out on the bed in which she'd died only minutes before. She looked lovely, washed and dressed in her favorite purple silk pajamas. The mid-afternoon summer sun bounced off of the silk and highlighted a peaceful face that looked so much younger than that of most 91 year olds. Her full hair, not yet completely gray, held its natural wave. I styled it one last time.

She died with her left eye slightly open. And as the time passed before her body was picked up, my sister and I got a bit spooked. It was if she were going to keep an eye on us, even in death. "It's okay, mom," I said. "We'll be fine. We promise." Before long, we started to laugh every time we walked past her. We felt like school girls under the watchful eye of our favorite teacher.

Some mornings, I try to erase the images from my mind; other mornings, I dive into them, knowing that the only way to make it through this sad and lonely time is to acknowledge the full spectrum of my emotions. I'm a middle-age woman who was blessed to have had my parents for so long. But losing them so late in life doesn't make their deaths any easier. In some ways, it may be even more difficult - I've relied on them for their love and support longer than most. It's tough to let go now.

I wear a piece of my mother's jewelry every day. It helps me feel closer to her and reminds me of her exquisite taste and her sense of beauty. This morning, I've put on a gold and quartz ring that she had custom designed. I wear it on the middle finger of my left hand, a proud badge of a close and loving mother/daughter relationship.

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