Good Bye, Mom

It’s never easy to say final farewells to those we love, even if we know that the day approaches. Sometimes the day arrives much sooner than we expect. Such was the case today when a local police officer arrived at my doorstep to inform me that my mother’s caregivers had discovered her lifeless body in bed early yesterday morning, having passed peacefully in her sleep, just six weeks after her nintieth birthday and two weeks after her homecoming after six weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Admittedly she had not been herself following her time away from home. The old energy was gone, she was weaker physically than she had ever been, and her memory, already in rapid decline, had deteriorated to the point where she couldn’t remember events of the previous 24 hours. The Lord, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, had decided that it was time for her suffering to end and take her home.

Guilt is an emotion some of us feel when we want to prolong the suffering of our loved ones by keeping them among the living, even when they’ve lived as full of a life as possible and can no longer enjoy a life free of pain, immobility, and dependence on others to do what they’ve always done for themselves. We tell them to be strong even when we know full well that they can’t. We tell them that we will attend to their every need, even if that’s the last thing they want. We tell them that we still need them even though they know we don’t. As much as they love us and know that we love them, they also know that God loves them more and that His plans for them are not theirs or ours. He blesses us and them by doing the right thing even though we cannot. Love can be painful, but sometimes pain is necessary for right to prevail.

It’s a strange feeling, knowing that the last link to your immediate past is no longer there to provide continuity, to provide sage advice that only the wisdom of years and the love of one who brought you into the world can provide. You realize that YOU are now the oldest generation, the repository of wisdom gained by years of living, the source of guiding love to your immediate posterity. It’s a daunting feeling to realize that the torch has been passed.

Already I have caught myself wanting to call Mom, to share some bit of good news, some accomplishment or event that would make her happy or proud, only to realize that it’s no longer possible. It’s something all if us either have experienced, or eventually will, and yet it’s a unique experience for each of us from our own perspective.

But it’s time now to be unselfish, time to realize that eternal life with Our Lord Jesus is the greatest reward for what will ultimately be proved to be this brief and insignificant life in the temporal realm. Mom now joins Dad in this life eternal, where one day we will all be reunited and this brings us untold joy to contemplate.

There is still the tying up of loose ends, the acts of closure we must perform to wrap up the remains of our loved ones’ life on this earth. This is an occasion for a mixture of sadness, nostalgia, contemplation, prayer, and ultimately a celebration of lives well lived. My mother was a loving, caring, Christ-following woman dedicated to her family and her faith, and my siblings and I were blessed beyond words to have been her children. I would not be the man I am today without her influence in my life, just as she and Dad together were instrumental in faithfully carrying out God’s plan for raising a Christian family. I could never have repaid her for all she has done.

As we prepare to celebrate her life, I recall my father’s celebration a decade ago in which over 500 people packed the church to share their stories of how he and Mom had touched so many lives. I look forward to seeing many of these old friends in the week that follows to join me in this celebration of a life lived to its fullest.

Farewell, my beloved mother. Although I grieve your passing, I rejoice even more knowing that you are safely in the arms of our Lord Jesus.

I love you.

Your eldest son, the most blessed and richest man on this earth.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:51‭-‬57 (KJV)

Published by feeriker

Just an ordinary, flawed man grateful for the redemptive blood of Jesus who struggles to extend the forgiveness and understanding to others with which he has been blessed.

24 thoughts on “Good Bye, Mom

  1. So beautiful. I cannot imagine a more perfect tribute that could bring her anymore joy than this. May God continue to give you comfort and peace as you walk the rest of your path on this side of the veil until you meet again and never have to say goodbye. And may God fill you with His wisdom as you take over her role leading and guiding those following you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ame. That is exactly my most fervent prayer, and always has been: for wisdom, and for the spiritual maturity with which to apply it. As we all enter these times of tribulation, in which death and suffering will be a major part, may He grant all of us the wisdom and the strength to not only endure, but to prevail in the ways of His kingdom.

      May He shower upon you also His blessings and His boundless love in this time of great difficulty for you. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. I know that you have been a pillar of strength for your loved ones as well under great adversity and that God has blessed you with the strength to carry on, even though at times you’ve felt you couldn’t take another step forward. Hang in there, for He never forsakes His children.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Feeriker. I read this comment earlier during a ‘moment’ when despair was trying to overcome, and it brought me great peace and encouragement 🙂 .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My sorrow is with you, bro. I lost my parents decades ago, but still at times will see something, or have a thought and wish I could share it with them. Now, today, you are all they hoped for. Pass that one. Even when it seems the next generation ignores it, it sets inside them just as it did you. Come the day and you meet at the Gates of Heaven, you’ll shout for joy. Peace to you. Remember their love. You are the sum of that love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Be thankful that you had a good mom that you were close to. Not everybody had that.

    “Already I have caught myself wanting to call Mom, to share some bit of good news, some accomplishment or event that would make her happy or proud, only to realize that it’s no longer possible.”

    I had a very different experience. Although my mother was a good woman, and took care of my physical and spiritual needs, emotionally she was abusive and was at unresolvable enmity with me from before I was even born. She often told people that I had tried to kill her in utero, and she actually believed that. during my teen years I finally figured out that it was best not to share my joys and accomplishments with my mom, because that would just give her the opportunity for her to badmouth all my good news, and she always eventually did that. Even if she initially said, congratulations, somehow my good news ate at her, and if not immediately, she would eventually have to return to the subject to say something snide about it. She seemingly just couldn’t refrain from trying to put me down, especially if I had some new reason to be feeling good about myself and my future prospects. I had really felt a great loss when my father died, and I had presumed I might feel orphaned when my mother later died, but I didn’t feel much of anything but relief, that she would never slander me to another person, and never insult me to my face again, and never call or show up uninvited at my place just to pick a fight and rail against me.

    I believe she is in heaven, but for some reason she had chosen enmity with both me and my oldest sister, and there was seemingly nothing either of us could do to change that, and my other brother and sister could seemingly do no wrong in her eyes, and there was nothing bad that they could do that she wouldn’t just ignore, while inventing bad things about my oldest sister and I, in her mind, and then even telling them to other people as if those things had actually happened.

    It must truly be hard to lose a mother who was reliably on your side and would share your joys and be proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, brother. I’m sorry that you were denied the kind of maternal relationship that every man deserves while growing up. Is it possible that your mother had undiagnosed mental health issues?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Although my mother was a good woman,

      Sharkly, what you described is NOT a good woman.

      And I know you think your dad was a great man, but the presumed fact that he did not protect you from this terrible woman gives me pause and causes me to question that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad to hear he gave you respite from her.

        I also hope you know she was a liar. She was wrong. And what she perpetrated on you was cruel and evil and wrong, and she is fully responsible for those choices, as and they were in no way a reflection on you or because of you. It was all about her.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. feer,

    As I care for my own nonagenarian, I am equally torn between making plans which may amount to false hope, versus advancing goals which may be pushing her beyond her increasingly limited abilities. No two days are the same.That you were able to be with her, to spend time and care for her, that she was able to remain in her home until her expiring are testaments that she was a rich woman in life. Your conscience will be full of joy (and heartache) for your part. You are a good man, feer, of which the world has short supply. A testament to the father and mother the Creator chose to shepherd you in this life.

    She was only ever on loan. All of her caring, her laughter, her birthing you and your siblings.. all gifts. Everything a gift.

    She won her race. Praise Christ! She rests with her Creator. May you carry her memory in your words and actions until the Creator calls you home as well.

    There is a party for the Remnant and Faithful awaiting us in the halls of the Father’s House. She is only gone ahead.

    As you mourn her passing, you have my condolences and prayers. My thoughts also go out to your bride who was unable to be with her in her final days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, IKR. Much appreciate your words of encouragement. As you seem to be in a situation similar to mine, know that constant prayer is an essential part of coping with the responsibilities, as well as the occasional frustration. If the aging parent is a Christ-follower it’s even easier, as their prayers are added to yours.

      At this stage I’m less in grief mode than in stress mode, trying to keep on top of closure activities. I also live in dread of the potential mess that will be the legal/estate part of the closure, as I have a “sibling-in-law” who always resented Mom (and Dad, too, while he was alive) because Mom (and Dad) didn’t tolerate her manipulative BS. I fear that she may choose to make the estate settlement process ugly (see has my brother’s gonads in her pocket), and I have no desire to “go legal” on her and my brother. I pray that God keeps things peaceful. This is the part of a parent’s passing that can tear surviving families apart. That’s the last thing I want.

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    1. Thanks, Rock.

      Yes, she was. I got a call this afternoon from the assistant director of the funeral home in the Bay Area that is handling her burial and she said “I thought I recognized your Mom’s name! She and your dad attended the church at which my husband was the assistant pastor! She and your dad were very special people!”

      It gives me comfort to know that she lived such a full and rewarding life that touched so many others in such a positive way.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, D. My wife is taking Mom’s death especially hard. She had her heart set on caring for Mom as soon as she could get back home and she never got to have a lot of quality time with her. She also feels guilty about not being here to help me deal with all the closure activities, even though it’s not her fault and there’s nothing she could have done about it. I just pray that out of the sadness of Mom’s passing springs new hope for the future. I may be going south soon to begin the reuniting and homecoming process, and Mom knew that I couldn’t do that and worry about her, here too. We’ll see what God has planned for us soon.

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  5. My deepest sympathies, feeriker. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may your mother rest easy in heaven.

    My God – your wife is trapped in Venezuela… for 3 years??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, deti, for your kind words. The hardest part of this has been wrapping up Mom’s personal business in the wake of her death, doing it pretty much alone. My brother is on the other side of the country and not only is too distant to be of any practical help, but is in thrall (for the last 40 years) to a connivimg she-beast who epitomizes everything we talk about in the manosphere. I expect the estate settlement process to be especially contentious and ugly, not because of my brother, but because of the 350-pound parasite that has completely absorbed him (I’m gonna need not only a good CPA, but probably a good family law attorney, too). I’m flying up to California for the funeral Thursday nightand plan on flying right back home at zero dark thirty on Saturday morning, not wanting to spend another minute more than necessary in CA to bury Mom next to Dad. I pray that I can keep my cool on Friday; between dealing with my SiL, my cousin (a carbon copy of my SiL, but at half the bodyweight), and pocket-picking funeral directors, I’ll need all the inner strength I can find.

      Yeah, still involuntarily separated from the wife. She really took Mom’s death hard, and is really upset that she’s not here with me at this time. Not her fault, though, so I keep telling her to stop beating herself up. One silver lining around Mom’s passing is that if I have to make my way down to Venezuela I won’t any longer have to worry about Mom being left here by herself.

      Like

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