Monday, March 26, 2018

A Week Goes By

It's been a long week since my mom's passing. We had one day of sunshine, and then it rained and rained and rained. Not much to do but stay inside and write the obituary. My mother read the obits in the newspaper everyday. She loved the stories, the details of people's lives. So, we absolutely had to honor her memory with her own story and photo.

On the only day of sunshine we went for a walk at the marsh and saw our first Swallowtail of the season. That was a lovely sight.

Then, later in the day when the clouds came in, there was an iridescent and corona display that was particularly beautiful. I loved seeing that, it lifted my spirits.

A few days later, on Thursday we had two little earthquakes. I posted this on Facebook:  
I'm not a particularly cosmic-look-for-signs kind of person, but I had been thinking that I would know when my mom was fully gone from our earth. It would take an earthquake, and that's just what happened. Yesterday, on the fourth day after she died, there were two little shakers, a 4.6 in the morning and a 4.7 in the evening. Her two steps into the universe were so big it briefly shook our earth.
In the Jewish tradition, we sit shiva for seven days after the death of a loved one. And so I have been saying that I've been sitting shiva in my mind.  And now the mourning is done.

The weather forecast is for a sunny week. We will walk and see the world anew.

37 comments:

  1. The butterfly is superb. Better days will come.

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    1. John-- Yes, better days will come. Glad you liked the butterfly.

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  2. Sitting shiva is such a sensible ritual after a significant loss. Now, by all means, walk. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

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    1. Colette-- In long-ago days of community sitting shiva was truly a thing. I like the idea of it so much (well except for the no showering or hot water). Glad you liked the photos.

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  3. Grief work is a long process, and I'm sharing in that walk just a few weeks further along than you are. But I'm glad you've got family and community in which to share your loss. I am feeling somewhat an orphan in mine. Maybe some unrealistic expectations here.

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    1. Barbara-- We are working through the grief. Do you have a blog where you are writing about your grieving process? I'd like to read your words.

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  4. That IS a beautiful swallowtail. I'm sure the mourning will come and go for some time -- but I'm glad you have a sunny week ahead.

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    1. Steve-- Yes, I remember how long after my father had died how it would just hit me out of nowhere that was truly gone. Glad you liked that swallowtail.

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  5. It's that time of year for the rain to wash things off.

    I use to read the obits at breakfast when I got the paper. We don't have a good one anymore. It's been bought and sold more times than a used car. I loved reading them and sometimes wishing I had meet some of them.

    Remember your mom for the wonderful person she was and the great things she did. That eased my pain when my mom and dad passed away.

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    1. Dave-- I used to read the obits too, when we had a newspaper delivered. We don't do that anymore. I do read some online, but it really isn't the same. I am remembering all the good times right now.

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  6. Perhaps the rain was the earth weeping for the loss of such a beautiful soul. But of course, your mom is now a part of all around you, in the rain, in the earth, carried in the wind.
    That swallowtail is nearly emerged, I think. Nothing ragged on its wings. May it feed and mate successfully so you will see its children next year.

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    1. CCorax-- Yes, my mom is definitely part of all that is around me. She joined my dad and all the others who left before. There's so much comfort in that. I love knowing that the swallowtail is newly emerged. Very cool!

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  7. That should be "newly" emerged.

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  8. "We will walk and see the world anew."

    Thank you for sharing the obituary you wrote, along with your photos from this week and the story about the two earthquakes. Wonderful to see the photos of your mother when she was young. There is an astonishing radiance in her smile. Unforgettable.

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    1. am-- Interesting thing about that photo and my mom's smile. That was taken just six weeks before she died. She had just come out of the hospital after battling the flu, pleural effusion, and various other ailments. She was sitting in the manager's office of the Memory Care facility, and the manager snapped this shot. It truly captures her amazing strength and vitality.

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  9. You know, ever since I was a kid, I always liked reading obituaries. Like your mom, I was (and still am) fascinated by a person's story. Your mom's is great and quite funny too (the Trump reference). I think maybe the next time Trump does something crazy, I will let her know too. Can't wait until I see some swallowtails here in NJ. I'm tired of looking at snow.

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    1. Sharon-- I love the idea of you shouting out to my mom about Trump's craziness. She'll love that! Thank you. I hope you see some swallowtails soon. It sure has been a long, hard winter.

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  10. Well done on her obituary. Wonderful picture of her smiling face and I also smiled at the Trump reference. At least now she is watching the chaos from a safe distance.

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    1. Arkansas Patti- Yes, now my mom is watching from a safe distance. That's a lovely thought!

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  11. And so it goes on, life, nature, we are all in it. Your mother's gifts will return to you in so many new ways.
    Wonderful obituary.

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    1. Sabine-- We are all in it, life and nature. The living and the dead... all at once.

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  12. Reading the obituary made me think of Donne's "No Man is an Island." I may be more susceptible to emotions these days, but your mother's death leaves me feeling diminished, even though I never knew her.

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    1. Mark-- It has been uplifting for me to find how words on these internets could bring my mother into the hearts of others. Thank you.

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  13. So now our dear mamas are out of the horrible fray of life these days. Not that they were aware of it at the end of their lives.
    Now they are out on a magical mystery tour of the universe!

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    1. isabelita-- Yes, our dear mamas are out of the fray of life. I love the idea of them on a magical mystery tour of the universe. That's the best!

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  14. Beautiful photo of the swallowtail ands the neat iridescent cloud formation. It's been about 7 months since my mom died. I still have very mixed feelings about everything -- wondering if medical mistakes were made -- glad that there is no more discomfort and fearful hospitalization -- missing our everyday conversations -- sad memories of the final couple of days -- happy memories of life before she became ill. I find that the feelings come and go -- often triggered by the weather, or seeing her handwriting on papers I have to take care of -- or many things too obscure to comment upon. Similar went on after Don died -- more strongly as his death seemed so untimely -- but these feelings still come and go ten years later, so I know I will be thinking of my mom every day for just as long -- as I do with my father who has been gone even longer. I like that thoughts of them still occur daily. I think that's my way of having them all with me forever -- and that's a good thing. Peace.

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    1. bev-- I wish the end of life were easier than it has turned out to be. It makes me wonder about death with dignity plans and physician assisted suicide. I would like to make my exit as easy as possible on my family and on myself. We remember our loved ones always, everyday. They are with us as they wander on their magical mystery tour of the universe.

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  15. The corona of light, too, was your mother, sending you a sign. Oh Robin, I have no words. The world is not quite as bright as it was with your mother in it. Sending so much love and wishes for peace.

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    1. 37paddington-- I saw that corona as a sign as well. I loved the shape and the soaring colors.

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  16. Hope you do have a sunny week, not sure our Easter will be up to much I hear we could have more snow.

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    1. Bill-- We're having a sunny week...finally!! Sure hope there's not more snow there.

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    2. Lucky we did not though we did have quite a bit of rain

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  17. I love the fellow who commented on your mother's obit by saying he didn't know her but was drawn to her story by her beautiful face. She's charming people even from the great beyond! I, too, am gonna shout out to Bea when reading the NY Times or seeing the News Hour -- what a good way to connect and release the tension of the Drumpfian news. Spring has sprung, and the rains are all a part of it. Love that you got out while you could. xoxoxox

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    1. Tara-- Thank you for reading my mom's obit and commenting there. I also loved that person who commented even though he didn't know her. She's going to love hearing all Trump stories while she's dancing with my dad in the great beyond.

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  18. Really nice photos Robin. I know that we get signs relating to events. Everything that happens in our lives can't just be shrugged off as coincidence. Those earthquakes are a perfect example. I'm happy to hear that you are getting out and doing things that you love.

    I almost forgot. Great photos!

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    1. Pat-- The earthquake definitely spoke to me in a way I needed to hear and feel it. Really glad you liked the photos. Thank you.

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