Mourning Mama

My precious mama was welcomed into heaven Monday morning. She passed on at home and in her own bed. My daughter, Annie, and I were with her when she breathed her last, and she left us with a gentle smile on her face looking more peaceful than I’ve seen her in years. We miss her already, but take comfort in picturing her surrounded by loved ones who have journeyed on ahead of her and in knowing she is in the presence of our Lord.

Meanwhile, I’m stumbling along here on earth, trying to adjust to life without her. I’m concerned about Daddy, suddenly in a much quieter home, without the coming and going of all who were caring for Mama.

People ask me how I am, and I think I’m doing better than I would expect. I asked my husband if this was all God’s grace or if I was still in shock. He said, “I think it’s the David factor.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know,” he said.  “David was praying and fasting that God would spare his son, but when his son died David got up off the ground and ate and was better.” (2 Samuel 12:15-23)

David’s servants were surprised and asked him about it. “And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.'” (Samuel 12:22-23, NKJV)

And it hit me how insightful Jeff was of my feelings. I have spent years praying and fretting over and caring for Mama. And the last week of her life had been so intense. I had slept with her all but one of the evenings. I had been with her most of each day. I had prayed and hoped and cried. I had called the nurses over and over and followed their instructions.

I had done all I knew to do for Mama and  had tried to make her comfortable. I hoped and prayed I had done it all right. I held her hand and sang to her. I read the Bible to her. I brushed her hair and rubbed her back. I cuddled with her and told her how much I loved her.

mama-in-bed

mama-and-annie

15337656_10211859460628508_7808597532983961028_nHospice kept warning me that we were losing her. But part of me was in denial. And I would keep finding reasons to hope.

And then she was gone.

I sent out the news. Family came over. Friends and relatives messaged and called. Annie and I changed Mama into her pink dress. She looked so beautiful. Papers were signed. I watched as Mama was rolled away from her home and left us for the last time. Oh sweet Mama.

And now I’m learning more about grief. Most of the time it feels like this weight on my heart. I feel close to tears more often than not, but am still functioning okay. My family is watching out for me and doing the cooking and shopping, in between meals kindly given us.

I’m trying to manage my responsibilities. Dad is my new caregiving concern. We are trying to make sure he’s getting enough company. He loved his sweetheart, as he called her, so much and seems so fragile now.

I sat down with my prayer list this morning. And I came to Mom’s name and puzzled over the fact that I didn’t need to pray for her anymore. She is with Jesus now. Everything is perfect for her. So I prayed through tears that Jesus would give her a hug for me and tell her how much I love her.

After lunch I thought I’d better make more progress on my delayed Christmas shopping. I looked at my list and saw Mom’s name and burst into tears. I know she will be having an amazing Christmas this year, but I was struck that I couldn’t give her anything on this earth again.

God understands all my feelings.

“I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.” (Psalm 35:14b, NKJV)

He knows there is a special mourning for our mothers.

But what a sweet comfort to know that Mama is with Jesus. And with her own mama and daddy and sister. She is seeing friends and grandparents. She is pain free and clear of mind. She is having the best Christmas ever.

And someday we will all be together again. And for eternity. Because of Jesus and all that Christmas means.

mom-and-christmas

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38 thoughts on “Mourning Mama

  1. Kitty Lee says:

    May the Lord comfort you as only He can at this time of separation from your Mom. Your blog has been a blessing and I am sure the Lord would say “Well done daughter!” You have honored your Mom in such a special way. Thank you for letting us share the journey with you. It hasn’t been easy but the same Lord who helped you and guide you thus far will continue to hold you in His arms and meet your every need. Loved your husbands’ insight . Praying for you. My Mom went Home to heaven 14 years ago on the 31st of this month,so I can understand what you are feeling. Lord Bless you and keep you.

  2. PATRICIA LEWIS says:

    I am so so sorry for your loss!

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now, but have never commented. I’ve wanted to several times, but never knew quite what to say. I found your blog while researching Alzheimer’s info., as I am caring for my own mother with this awful disease. I was so touched by the first post I read (What I’ll Say to my Children), that I went back and read every single one!

    Thank you, thank you, for sharing your Mama, and the struggles, and the blessings of your journey. I hope that you will continue writing. You have been such a wealth of information, and a comfort, and a guide.

    I am praying for you, your Daddy, and your family as you begin this new season.

    Tricia

    • chermor2 says:

      Oh Patricia, I am SO touched that you read every post. I’m grateful to hear our story has been a comfort and help. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet encouragement. They mean so much to me!
      ~Cheryl

  3. Kristine Skates says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have only recently begun following your blog, as my mom has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s and is deteriorating rapidly at only 66 years of age. Your words have brought me comfort and hope in these uncertain and difficult times. May you find peace and rest as you mourn the loss of someone who sounded like an extraordinary individual — your momma.

    • chermor2 says:

      I’m so sorry about your mom, Kristine. And she’s so young! I’m thankful our story has brought you some comfort– that always blesses me to hear. Thank you for your sweet message. My mama was so very special. May God bless you and give you grace as you care for yours.
      ~Cheryl

  4. Mary Hogan says:

    This sounds just like my momma’s passing now over 3 years ago, I am so sorry for your loss. Take comfort that you were there when she left this earth and went to heaven, I too was there and I saw the peace rise into her body as she took her last breath. I will never forget it. Her body looked more beautiful than she did during her suffering and I was so happy for her. I miss her terribly still to this day, I question myself that I did all that I could have for her during her care. But I know she would never want me to feel that way, she always told us that she didn’t know what she would do without us, all the way to the end. Dementia and Alzheimer’s is the worst way for someone to suffer, I hated every minute of it for her. I wish you all peace, take care of your daddy, and may Gods love be with you all.

    • chermor2 says:

      Thank you, Mary. It is easy to second guess decisions. But I’m confident we both did the best we knew at the time and that our mothers would want us to have peace about that. May God’s love be with you as well.
      ~Cheryl

  5. Judith says:

    The verse in Psalms is such a comfort to me as I lost my sweet mommy in August after dreadful years of dementia. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m so happy for your mama, now Home, whole, healthy, full of joy and true Life, in the presence of her precious Savior. May His comfort surround you in your mourning.

    • Judith says:

      Home. She arrived Home today. It was a long and arduous journey at times, especially the last years, but she made it! She dropped her bags at the door, stepped over the threshold with a sigh of relief, and was enfolded into the arms of her Savior. He whispered in her ear:
      “You are Mine. You are precious in My sight. You are honored. I Love you with an everlasting Love. Let Me dry your tears. Your mansion is prepared and you will be with Me always. Welcome Home.”
      [written for my mom on her passing]

    • chermor2 says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Judith. It is such a comfort to know mama is with Jesus! Thanks for your encouraging message!
      ~Cheryl

  6. Brenda says:

    I’ve never met you but have been touched by your blog. You’ve written what I can’t seem to put in writing. We still have my dear Mom, but are going down the same path. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God’s presence be especially real to you this Christmas season. Your Momma is whole.

    • chermor2 says:

      I’m grateful to hear our story has touched you and helped express some of your own thoughts. May God continue to give you grace and strength for your journey. Thank you for your kind encouragements.
      ~Cheryl

  7. Jolie says:

    I felt like I was reading my very own story, place into your words. I lost my precious mom this past Thanksgiving day. Your words rang so true to me and the pain I feel without her here with me. I know she is happy, and healthy now in Heaven with her loved ones and my sister (her oldest baby). I miss her touch, her kisses and her hugs especially now as we approach Christmas. Your words on David spoke to my heart today. I will hold them close. I too look now at taking care of my dad with my sister, who lost his friend, true love of 55 years that day. I will keep you in my prayers, just tale it one day at a time. Hold her memoriea close.

    • chermor2 says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Jolie. I know it’s hard even though we are happy for our moms. I’m glad to hear the verses about David spoke to you also. And now God has given us the mission of taking care of our dads while they are grieving their loves. He will give us grace for that, too. He is faithful.
      Blessings~Cheryl

  8. Mary Lou Burges says:

    My prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Monica Parsch says:

    My sympathies and my prayers. You have walked me through my moms Alzheimers, given me thought and wisdom. My mom died peacefully right after Thanksgiving and I an grateful that the Lord has taken her home and made her whole again. Have a truly blessed Christmas with your mom in God’s presence.

    • chermor2 says:

      Monica, I’m sorry for your loss, but grateful that you know she is at peace and with Jesus. I’m thankful if our story has been any help or comfort to you. I hope you have a blessed Christmas, too.

      ~Cheryl

  10. JB says:

    Separation here on earth is never easy. I look at Alzheimers as the long goodbye. Now you have said the final goodbye on this side of heaven for now. In Chinese the word for “goodbye” is literally translated, “see you again”! That is our hope of heaven.
    Thanks for your honesty in your posts as you have walked this journey with your mom. You have given those of us still on the journey with our parents insights and perspective. May the Lord comfort your heart and your Dad’s heart as you both mourn.

    • chermor2 says:

      Thank you, JB. It is a long goodbye to be sure. I love that “see you again” translation. How true that is for those who know Jesus! I’m so grateful to hear our story has been of some help– that truly blesses me! May God give you grace and strength for the rest of your journey.

      Blessings~Cheryl

  11. Vickie Grube says:

    When I first saw your blog today I thought to myself, Oh no, not yet but then yes it was time. I have so been blessed by reading and following your journey with your mom. I commend you for wrist and sharing as you can see by the comments your words have meant so much to so many. I lost my mom a little over a couple months ago now and when I read your words it takes me right back. I remember thinking and telling others that my brain was saying it was time but not my heart. My heart is still trying to catch up. I slept next to my mom also on her last night and I’ll forever have that memory just as you will. Your mom is with Jesus now and free of that horrible disease…may warm memories of your mom stay close to your heart always.

    • chermor2 says:

      Vickie, I’m so sorry you lost your mom recently. What a comfort that you have precious memories of caring for her. I’m so thankful to hear that our story has blessed you– that blesses me in return. May God continue to give you grace and comfort.

      Blessings~Cheryl

  12. Cheryl says:

    Divinely designed by God, our mommas and daddies. Life begins in labor and often ends in long labor as we experience the final birth into heaven and our Fathers arms. Labor and birth are hard work, painful, personal yet shared with those we love. Sometimes needing reminders to breathe or take it one more day, hour or moment. Sacred birth, on holy ground, Spirit led. Thank you for sharing your precious momma with us. I hope she meets my mom in heaven. All of you who posted, I’m so proud of you for the loving ways you care for your parents.

    • chermor2 says:

      Thank you for your beautiful message, Cheryl. And actually the night before Mama passed her grandson’s wife was in labor. And Mama was blessed with a new great-grandson. The circle of life. And I’m thankful that Mama’s legacy continues through her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. And we are all blessed because of Mama’s life and her love.

      I hope our mothers meet in heaven, too.
      Blessings~Cheryl

  13. Vickie Drechsler says:

    I am so very sorry about the loss of your sweet Mama. My heart truly aches for you and your family!! You were an angel to her–such a beautiful and loving daughter and caregiver. And you will forever feel blessed and grateful for the love and help you gave her through her difficulties here on earth. I know you rejoice for her, even as you mourn her loss. God bless you and your family in your sadness and grief!!

    I understand your deep concern for your dad, and you are and will continue to be a blessing to him also.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. You are a beautiful and gifted writer, a faithful servant of God, and you have helped and blessed many of us with your heartfelt posts.

    Sincerely,

    Vickie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. Kathy Chastain says:

    My mother passed away Wednesday morning. My thoughts are with you. Just to know that someone else knew exactly what my husband and I were going through watching this terrible disease take more of my mother away each day helped me. I am so thankful she is home for Christmas !!!

    • chermor2 says:

      I’m sorry for your loss, Kathy. And thankful that my posts gave you some comfort. Yes, our mothers are Home for Christmas. What a beautiful day they will have!!

  15. auburncathy says:

    Cheryl,
    I am a stranger but also a sister-in-Christ, who has followed your story for a little while. What a blessing your husband is to give insight to those verses about David’s morning. I am praying for you and your family as your approach this Christmas season without your mother. I am looking forward to meeting both your mom and you when we all get to heaven. I will pray for your heart and your family’s heart to experience the peace of Jesus. I will also pray for your dear dad as he learns to live here on earth without his “sweetheart”. My parents were married over 60 years before my dad passed…my mom still misses him every day. She loves Psalm 91 as comfort.
    Blessings on you!
    Cathy Benton

    • chermor2 says:

      Cathy, thank you so much for your sweet thoughts and prayers! You touch my heart! My parents were married for 61 years. Such a precious love! May God comfort your mother and you. Psalm 91 is a beautiful chapter. May God bless you and keep you in all your ways.
      ~Cheryl

  16. ena says:

    Living with dementia takes such a toll on the caregivers. I agree that there is a Davidic factor is present. For your mother you are happy that she is now fully restored, and having the best Christmas ever. But also your life is forever altered. You will miss her. You will miss caring for her. You will miss loving her. The hard work of grieving begins: learning how to live without her presence here on earth. Even the joy of knowing a reunion waits for you cannot change the fact that learning to live with out her is a very painful journey. May God’s presence strengthen you, and may the Spirit bring comfort and peace to your pain.

  17. chermor2 says:

    Thank you for your comments full of understanding. Your compassion is comforting. ~Cheryl

  18. So sorry to read about your loss. I’ve been following your blog on here, and I am currently caring for my terminally Ill father. May the peace that surpasses understanding be a comfort for you in this season of grieving. Blessings!

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