I have always known you can’t tip toe around grief or force your way through it. Grief is a curious emotional energy that has many layers, depth and complexity. Grief comes in many colours and will come and go like waves, often arriving in unexpected moments affecting us in unexplainable ways. Grief can’t really truly be explained or understood, it can only be experienced.
There are some experiences of loss that hit us so deeply, that we are forever changed. I recently received the words “When grief changes you, let it.” My mother’s transition, changed me on such a core level, I really didn’t know who I was anymore. It was disorienting, until I stopped resisting it, then it became liberating.
It was one year ago today that I was sitting with my siblings at my Mom’s beside in hospice. I am so grateful that we were all together, surrounding our mother with pure love and compassion. We spent the day playing and singing all her favourite songs.
My sister played the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlin and by the end of the song our mother had taken her last breath and shed her last tear. That moment will forever be etched in my heart and mind. It was heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time.
Today I felt inspired to share the words I spoke at my Mother’s celebration of life. It is a way for me to honour my Mom’s memory but also a way to process another layer of grief rising to process and heal.
May these words land in your heart and support you in whatever way you need it most.
“Someone said to me recently that we can never really truly repay our mother. Those words caused me to pause and reflect deeply on how I could begin to repay my mother for everything she did for me, for my brother and sister, and everything she did for others.
Our mother Rose was a very special woman. She was friendly, had a kind heart and a deep passion for helping others. She was a proud woman with a strong work ethic. She always went above and beyond what was expected of her in every job position she held.
She worked in the health care industry for more than 30 years providing support to patients, doctors, nurses, and staff. She was also a great role model and teacher for students starting out in the industry. She left an imprint in the hearts of many people and along the way she made a lot of great friends.
There was one role that I know she was the most proud of ~ where she made the most sacrifices ~ that was her role as a mother of 3 children.
Our mother worked hard to support us. She was so proud of everything we did and all that we accomplished. Her children were her greatest pride and joy. Her pride and joy grew exponentially when her grandchildren and great grandchildren arrived.
Caring for my mother in the last 2 months of her life was my greatest honour and privilege.
I know it meant a lot to her to be surrounded by her family as we all gathered together to support her. The blanket of love that enveloped her was palpable and heart warming.
We are so grateful to have the opportunity to share many tender moments with our mother during that sacred time. The moments will be forever etched in our hearts.
At the end of her life, the one thing she wanted most, was to be surrounded by her children.
One of her final messages to us was ~ to stick together, to love each other and to take care of each other.
In that moment, those words were for us, her children. But in this moment as I share them now, I believe they are a message for all of us.
Imagine how different the world would be if we all lived by these words ~ to stick together, love each other, take care of each other.
If we all held the intention to honour these words, together, we would foster more unity, love, compassion and empathy in the world.
Our intentions have a far greater impact than we realize. We are all ordinary people with the potential to have extraordinary impact.
Just look at my mother’s legacy. Listen to the stories of how she impacted the lives of everyone she met. Her life had immeasurable impact, and so does yours.
This all brings me back to reflect on the question ~ can we every truly repay our mother?
I realized now that there is one way. We can repay our mother by carrying forth her legacy.
The truth is we are her legacy. Her children are her legacy. Her family is her legacy. Her friends, her colleagues, each one of you are all a part of her legacy. Her life and the impact she had in the world is carried forward through each one of us.
My mother’s life mattered and it had impact. Your life matters and it has impact. Our lives matter and have far greater impact than we realize.
What legacy do you wish to leave behind as a foundation for others to build upon or expand on?
I invite you to pause and reflect on how you can live your best life, to live with purpose, passion and intention.
And perhaps you will feel inspired to carry my mother Rose’s words with you into your own life and set an intention to stick together, to love each other and to care for each other.
Thank you so much for being here to honour our mother Rose. We are grateful to share this time with you to celebrate her life, her legacy, her impact.”
Thank you for being here, for reading these words and for being willing to explore and lean into the idea of letting grief change you.
Blessings and heart hugs,