Love Embedded – A Mother’s

Two close friends sent news about different stages of death –  both came as a text message.

June just received her friend’s dreaded news:  the heartbreaking, but inevitable forewarning of a mother’s death.  June and I understand that breath-holding stage.  Both of us have been there and know the value of connection.

A Crisp Morning Coffee at Morris Brook

A quick introduction – last summer, June ditched career and city life to return to the land.  She has just begun sharing her new life on Morrisbrookfarm – a blog written from a tranquil rural setting in Canada.

Bravo, June!  You’ve made the transition from your red Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew coffee maker to the good, old-fashioned perculator.  Does this mean it’s safe to head to Morris Brook for another visit?  Are the bear out of hibernation yet?  Hiking blossoms with a tinge of risk.

Another friend, one of my walking buddies, dashed away last week in time for her mother’s passing.  Through a text message, the dreaded date of death has been cast in the cement of electronic history.  I know the strength of this beloved friend, a mother and grandmother herself, but I hope her walk through grief will kindly bring relief as soon as reasonably possible.

In the midst of grappling with new grief, it’s impossible to understand how a mother “never really leaves us”.  Why did people say that about a loved one?  What did it mean?  Does the spirit just stick around hoping to comfort us?  Can it help us and still carry on with its evoluntary process?

After nine years without my mother’s touch, voice, guidance or laughter, I’ve come to an understanding.  I’m left with my mother’s Love.  I’m reminded unexpectedly and without provocation.  I walk through the scent of the talcum powder she used after she “freshened up”.  I laugh over a joke we shared.  I pick up a book that thrilled both of us.  Her wisdom rolls out in my conversations with others.  A sharp pain shoots through my left shoulder and I remember how she couldn’t lift an arm because of pain.  I drop something and mimic her expletives over clumsiness.  A dream brings us together agelessly as though nine years didn’t exist.

Well, they don’t exist.  Not when Love’s in charge.

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46 thoughts on “Love Embedded – A Mother’s

  1. The way you describe how you remember your mother through those little moments and smells is heart-rendering. I’ve lived my whole life with my mom being both parents to me.

    She’s 78 and going strong, but one day that will change. I know that. Then I’ll have to rest with the fullness and emptiness of my memories of her and whatever I can take of what she leaves behind in my heart.

    • Wow…I was 40 when my mother was a young 78! I know I don’t have to say – savor the moments, Lorna! But it is very surprising what brings on the wave that washes over us. I’m grateful the wave is refreshing, not drowning – but that took a while.

  2. My mother died at the age of 49 I was 24. I have her crystal perfume decanter, and sometimes i take the top off and still I can get a whiff of her scent. I was reminded of this when you talked of the talcum from freshening up. And it does take a while, I am 26 years without a mother now and still I write this with a lump in my throat.. c

  3. Interesting, the topic of mothers and daughters. I had an elusive relationship with my mother. I found her difficult, as am sure she found me. As a child I felt isolated, I even wondered at times, if I’d been adopted. Yet from about 17 on, I respected her for her inner strength and prescient thinking. Her brief illness and subsequent death in 1991 revealed some things that made me marvel all the more.

    After she died, I felt her presence more strongly than I had when she was alive and although diminished through the years, it is just as you say, she arrives unbidden and unexpected. I hear her in my own rants. I smile inside when someone from the past points out how like her I am. And I have been working for over ten years on a book about her life. Although we never enjoyed the closeness that other mothers/daughters have, she’s never far from me.

    • You’ve expressed exactly why I used the word “embedded”, Linda. There is a blind copy, a duplication, a mirror image of my mother within my soul. She’s embedded.

      It’s hard for me to imagine a distant relationship with a mother. I remember at 4 years of age, a mother of a 4 yr old boy accused me of teaching her son something that I knew nothing about. As the woman spoke her accusations in front of me, I froze with confusion, disbelief and fear. My mother stood up to this woman and quietly told her how she was dead wrong. Then she promptly told the woman she was never to engage with me again because Mom knew what the exchange did. That was likely the day I threw my undying love and respect onto a pile at her feet.

  4. Hi,
    I’m terribly sorry to hear of your friends Mothers passing, very sad indeed.

    My Mother passed away 29 years ago, and I also have a few little keepsakes that I treasure, and every now and then something will happen that reminds me of my Mother, and the tears start, even now. She will always be with me in my heart.

    • Thank you, Mags…I’m sorry you had to lose your mom at such a young age. It doesn’t matter that we know our mothers will pass. When it happens it’s really tough – and apparently even for those who had rocky relationships. But to lose a mother at a younger age must be horrid.

      My mom’s mom died when she was 16. Mom said she would have had an entirely different life if her mother had lived longer. Knowing some of her stories, I concur. However, her life was the fodder for her welcome wisdom.

      Lately, I’ve been wishing I could ask her questions about aging. As I grew up, Mom and Dad were always “old” in my mind since they were 38 and 40 respectively when I was born. So I thought of them as being old, but I didn’t ask about the inner feelings that accompany the physical stuff.

      It’s no wonder I include a number of elderly friends in my world!

  5. It’s hard to come to terms with death. But it’s unavoidably part of life. I still believe, like you so beautifully say, that those who pas away will still remain with us, in our hearts. And it’s good to have friends that comfort those who remain.

    • Speaking of friends, Otto, as you pointed out in one of your posts, blogs add to our lives in such surprising ways. Over the past two years, some bloggers have been through life-changing that brought out major support from the rest of us. Isn’t this what we hope for in life – this brand of loving kindness?

  6. Fortunately, I still have my mother, but I imagine she will live forever through me and my sisters and her daughters though I can’t even begin to fathom losing her. I can’t imagine the pain of losing one’s mom; my heart goes out to your friend.

    • For certain, SuziCate, our siblings and close friends are important supports as we take our steps through grief. At times, it’s hard to fathom how life can dare go on when our hearts are so bereft.

  7. Oh, I’m so sad for your friends losses. What a tough thing, at any age.

    I grew up without a mom from age 5 forward, but I had the gift of a step-mother, eventually. She was the only mother I ever knew–and I miss her sorely. I can’t imagine the loss is any easier at 50 than it is at 5…maybe it’s more difficult because of all the years together. Dunno. I just know I’m envious of those who are graced to have a mom in their lives…….still. I wonder if that’s anything I’ll ever outgrow. *sad sigh*

    • Ah, Mel, I don’t think it matters what feelings we don’t outgrow. As long as it’s about Love, they are there for a good reason. A friend who lost her mother at 6 has grown up ever believing there’s tons of stuff that other women know that she doesn’t. No matter what we say to her…or even try to explain that moms didn’t explain everything to us either, she wonders what she’s missing.

      Sending all sorts of good thoughts and energy for your sister, her hubs, and you, Mel.

  8. I’m here in Texas with my mom. Every moment is precious. Tomorrow I leave and saying goodbye will hurt so much. Thank you for those lovely words.

  9. Pingback: my mother’s love… « Read Between the Minds

  10. Beautiful post. For once, I’m speechless. My life has been dwelling on answering these questions about what happens after death the last few years. I feel my loved ones with me frequently – I consider them my kind of “Saints” now that I can call on in times of need, and yes so many things bring them back, but even moreso I feel them as a presence around me all the time. My Grandma and I were really close and I know this sounds weird but I honestly feel closer to her since she passed recently then I did when she was alive. She wasn’t very happy at the end of her life, now when she comes to be with me, she’s nothing but light, love and joy. I hear her signature sayings in my head constantly and when my son narrowly escaped a bad accident in the kitchen one day I heard, “That was me!” LOL! I like to believe the veil between here and the hereafter is actually pretty thin…we all believe what we believe I guess. Was nice hearing your ideas, too.

  11. “Relationships never end, because they are of the mind; only bodies can separate. When you’re missing someone, know it means that on a soul level, they’ve come for a visit.” ~~ Marianne Williamson

    I recently read this quote and it provided my a sweet reminder of the connection we continue to have with love ones – even when they are no longer in our midst. Although, closer to my dad, fortunately, I still have my mother at 91+ years, but I terribly miss my daddy!!

    The talcum powder reminds me of my grandmother … I never fail to remember her when I get a whiff in passing someone or something with its fragrance.

    Thank you for sharing a beautiful post ~~ Namaste and Happy Wednesday!

    • Yes, Becca, I remember your recent poem about your dad. I really loved my father, too. He was away from home all my life so Mom and I bonded more deeply. Near the end of his life, as dementia settled in (we didn’t realize it) Dad became quite miserable and demanding. He was delighted when family came to visit so they didn’t see it either. So some those tough times with him, especially when mom took the brunt of it, brought him a little off the pedestal for me. As much as I know intellectually that it was the condition, it still caused a little of the bloom to wither on the rose.

      However, his presence is around me occasionally – usually when I need help fixing something around the yard or house. I really do feel he brings solutions to situations.

  12. I haven’t been to this place yet: my first loss which hurt was my friend, earlier this year. It is good to hear someone who has come through the stages of grief to a kind of acceptance. A rejoicing in the things which made you both happy.

    • As a Hospice Companion, I’ve learned of indescribable gifts given by being with the dying. I wondered how I would be with family members so asked the psychologist who was training us, “Will it be easier for me since I have Hospice training?” He said, “Do nurses who work on the pediatric ward bypass labour pains?” 😀

      Well, it helped me accept my parents’ need to let go. In fact, I told my mother she was free to go when she wished – she’d given all of us so much that we were well prepared to live on; she was firmly in my heart.

    • Her brand new home, a cottage just built on it’s many acres of land, is isolated. There is no electricity. She has solar panels and a generator that runs on gas. However, her Cuisinart takes too much power so it’s completely impractical in that setting. She cooks on a propane stove. She charges the battery for her laptop and cell phone when the generator is on so time on those tools will be limited.

      She loves it all, Cin, so in case you feel sorry for her… 😀

  13. Hi Amy … lovely way of putting it ” A dream brings us together agelessly as though nine years didn’t exist.

    Well, they don’t exist. Not when Love’s in charge.”

    It is and it will be … that last long journey .. that’s the part I’d love to help others alleviate so they can go forward in tranquillity and peace …

    Cheers Hilary

  14. Having “lost” my Mum just 6 months ago (oh god it’s hard to write that) I felt very emotional after reading your post Amy, but I wept after reading all the comments.

    I love, the Marianne Williamson quote that Becca shared in her comment. It’s enormously comforting to know that my Mum can hear me though I wish I could hear her too …

    and also your quote:

    “Will it be easier for me since I have Hospice training?” He said, “Do nurses who work on the pediatric ward bypass labour pains?”

    You’ve got a wonderful community of people here and I’m proud to be part of it.

    • Rosie, I confess, you were with me as I wrote this…knowing your tender heart and recent loss. I am so glad you found comfort – thanks to our friends. I’m so grateful for those readers. They truly are a great bunch~!

  15. Amy, I have been away from the blogosphere for a week again and have been missing your inspirational posts…reading them altogether today is like a feast…what a joy!

    Loved your post on our ‘need to stay connected’, which is so spot on…such a relief to know that these feelings are without borders! Thank you also for introducing me to the beauty and serenity of Stanka Kordic’s work!

    This one about mothers is touching and heart rending…and right on time since my mother has just been gone four years and the ‘walk through grief’ is such a beautiful way of describing this journey Amy…The heartfelt manner in which you write about these universal and ageless feelings and memories of connection is most comforting…the mention of the added solace that their wisdom, gentleness and humaneness is now part of us as an ultimate sense of appreciation and love is beautifully heartwarming and so true…

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post in memory of your mother and mothers everywhere Amy…God bless you…

  16. My mom passed away 3 years this July and although I think of her everyday, there are moments that she pops in my head seemingly out of no where. Maybe I’m in the grocery store and see her favorite book or maybe it’s a smell that suddenly fills a room. Little reminders that she is always here. Your post was beautiful written and I am glad I stopped by!

    • Kasey, I read on your blog that you started blogging as part of your grief process. Good for you. It’s amazing what blogging is doing for all sorts of different people. Enjoy those moments of “clarity” with your mom. I have a feeling we will learn that it really IS simply a veil.

    • Renee, thank you for visiting. I just read your post about your friend Nancy dying of Cancer. What a tribute. What a friend you are. I’m so glad to “meet” a person of your value and worth.

  17. Pingback: my mother’s love… | THE BARDO GROUP

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