My mother was a worrier to her very core. In hospice, before she slipped away into days of silence, she looked me in the eyes and said, “I know you are going to be okay, Kayla.” She shook her head in deep agreement with herself and slipped into another long period of sleep. These were some of the last words she ever spoke to me. That she had peace about my well being in the end was everything to me.
10 years ago today I left my mother’s bedside for the 1st time in 3 weeks. Several days before she had slipped away into that silent sleep. I went to our beach and wrote in my journal. After awhile I felt in my soul that it was time to return to my mother’s side. I threw stones into the ocean symbolizing each of us letting her go and returned to her bedside.
I arrived to her bedside bringing the cool wet air with me. I told her that today was the perfect day to die. I explained that the beach had been covered in hoarfrost just like the scene she had described when, as a young women, she sat vigil at her own mother’s death bed in North Dakota.
I stepped away briefly and when I returned my mother’s breathing had changed. I called everyone to her side and we showered her with words of adoration as she took her last breaths. It had indeed been the perfect, and appointed, day for my mother to die.
It seems impossible to believe that 10 years have passed since I last heard my mother’s voice. In some ways it feels so much longer and in others I can hear her voice as if she last spoke to me yesterday. While my mom was on her deathbed, she confessed that she never stopped missing her mom. She was assuring me that it was natural for me to miss her all the days of my life. I have learned to coexist with the void her death left in my life, but I miss her deeply even today.
Over the years I have written my way through my grief. I blogged extensively as I walked through the valley of grief. I am sharing these grief messages today to leave a path of breadcrumbs through the valley of grief. I also published the Selah Press anthology 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope with 64 other authors in honor of my mother.
I know that others have come to the trailhead of grief just recently and I wanted to proclaim that you are going to be okay, just as my mother told me in some of her final words to me.
I got my mother’s final words tattoo today to remind me that I am walking towards being okay with each and every step.