by M. J. Joachim
Catholics are funny that way. We celebrate a person’s life, while mourning our personal loss in their death.
It was all so surreal. I chose not to be there for my Mom’s final passing. I had visited her several days before in the hospital, knowing in my heart it could be the last time. When I received the calls, first to let me know it was time, and then to tell me they would wait if I truly needed to be there, I said, “No. If Mom needs to go, there’s no reason to make her suffer any longer than she has to.” It was the right decision.
Over the next couple of days, my family and I prepared to go to California for the services. We arrived on the day of the Rosary, July 3, 2013. Upon entering Mom’s home – a place I lived for nine years, I was completely overwhelmed. The energy of my extremely large family, pictures in piles throughout the living room and dining room, poster boards being made for services to celebrate Mom’s life.
I caught my breath and made my way to the nearest couch, my oldest brother Smitty at my side, and burst into tears. Smitty hugged me, holding and comforting me like only he could – I love Smitty so much, always have and always will. Taking in the scene, catching glimpses across the rooms of Mom at various ages through photos being sorted and prepared…Mom was gone. This is not the same home I lived in and visited over the years. Numbness and memories continue to filter through my soul.
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