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 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