Monday, March 21, 2011

Sail on, Sweet Momsie

My mother left this realm yesterday. She was one of my very best friends and I will miss her dearly. The grief is mixed with great happiness that she is free from the struggles she recently experienced. Ellie was surrounded by many loved ones for the days
preceding her journey, and we experienced great joy and laughter
as well as sadness and tears during the days we spent together.

We were all guided by the wisdom and grace-filled hospice workers, Julie, Carol, Lisa, and Amanda, as well as the kind and capable hospital nurses and techs who made certain that our mother was comfortable and that our family had everything we might possibly
need in order to continue to focus our energies on her.

My heart is filled with gratitude and love for the role my mother filled in my life, for the family who loved her so, and for the army of people who made her passing the gentle, quiet experience it was.

That gratitude and love extends to the multitude of friends who have lifted me up with words of comfort, supported me when I felt weak, and strengthened me when I feared I couldn't continue.

Mostly, I'm filled with awe and gratitude to the Divine Creator for this experience, which was not unlike the experience of witnessing a birth. As in childbirth, we had time for preparation, the gathering together of family and friends for love and laughter and tears, days of anticipation, some hours of long labor, and a final release into
a new world. I am proud to have known this woman
who was my mother, and honored to have been with her
as she prepared to take this sacred journey.     

"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is dying."

- Henry Van Dyke


  1. THis is beautiful, graceful, multi-layered and incredible. What a post! Thank you for this. Love to you

  2. Beautiful. Perfect in every regard. Much love Jo.

  3. This post is so touching in it's poignancy and love. Thank you for sharing these precious experiences. I am sending prayers for continued strength back to you. xoxo

    ‎"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings
    where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."
    ~ Innuit Legend ~

  4. Jo, what a beautiful journey you have described. Your mom and dad are so proud of you. Sending wishes of peace and comfort.

  5. Just perfect.....Love you...

  6. jo - i know this moment so very well and it might seem odd but i would like to express my gratitude to your mom's existence for having brought you into the world. i am in awe that you are able to share her flying away in terms that i intuited in my own understanding but couldn't articulate in the flying away of my grandparents and then my dad. your mom must have been an exceptional person to have brought you into the world as you are jo. i'm grateful for her. steven

  7. I can only imagine the woman your mum must have been. The fact that she nurtured and inspired a loving family says so much. My heart goes out to you and yours. My you be a comfort to one another because you know your mum will rest in eternal peace and that eternal light will shine on her.

  8. Love and thanks to you, dear Reya. ♥

  9. Thank you, back to you. ♥

  10. What a beautiful sentiment, Linda F. I love the image of the shining stars being our happy loved ones. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much. ♥

  11. Dear Vicki...much much love back to you. ♥

  12. Dear Jan, thank you for your very kind words. I can only hope that I make my parents proud. I'm so grateful for our new found friendship! ♥

  13. Dear Steven, it's so good to hear from you. Your message has touched me deeply, and if I am able to put words to your thoughts and feelings, I am honored, indeed. Thank you very much for your kindness.

  14. We used that same verse at my mothers funeral...I've always thought it a lovely way to think of death.
    Blessings to your mom on her final journey home and to you for the difficult days that lie ahead. Thinking of you.

  15. Thank you, Pondie. You're so mother was nurturing and inspiring. Perfectly put, so I'll leave it at that. Many thanks. ♥

  16. Thank you, jojo...another beautiful synchronicity. I appreciate you coming to visit and leave your condolences. ♥

  17. Dear Jo,

    My deepest sympathies for your loss. Your mother sounds like she was a remarkable woman - she was lucky to have you at her side at the end of her life as you were fortunate to be at her side and help her make this powerful life transition.

    Sending blessings, love and prayers to you and your family,



  18. What a beautiful post, Jo.

    Peace and love to you and your family - the same that you gave your mom. Love, Kathy G.

  19. Thank you very much, Amanda. She was a remarkable woman in so many ways, and I will always treasure these last few precious days with her.

    Your thoughts and wishes are greatly appreciated. ♥

  20. Kathy, thanks for your kind words. much love back to you, old friend. xoxo


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