On My Mother’s Death

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My mother passed away Monday evening. Since then, I’ve received more expressions of sympathy, prayer, etc., than I can count. I’m humbled and grateful for everyone’s concern and kind words.

How do I feel? Well, I miss my mom. I was able to be with her for the majority of the last two weeks of her life, and to have some of the last meaningful conversations before the dying process took her ability to converse. 

I’m impressed (if that’s the right word; I don’t mean it in a good way) at the relentlessness of that process; it was like watching someone being hollowed out from the inside, step by step, ability by ability.

I’m not grief-stricken. I’m not shocked; she’d been fighting cancer for nearly a year, so her death wasn’t unexpected.

Mostly, I feel sad. I feel hollow and empty. I’m thankful for our shared faith; for friends who care. I’m thankful for the hope of the resurrection, that my mom is now with her loved ones who have gone before, all at the feet of Jesus. And I’m thankful for the knowledge that I will one day see her again; death is not the final word. John Donne caught this: “Death be not proud, … Death, thou shalt die.”

 

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, 
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow, 
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, 
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, 
And soonest our best men with thee do go, 
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery. 
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, 
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well, 
And better then thy stroke; why swell’st thou then; 
One short sleep past, we wake eternally, 
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
(John Donne)

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