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Eulogy for a Difficult Mother - what I wish I’d said at my mother’s funeral

I fell in love with my Mother for the first time on the night she died. It was May 20 of this year. Less than two months ago.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t love her before. I believe that all children love their mothers, but all mothers don’t necessarily love their children. My mother was a loving woman, but my sadness is that she loved her husbands more than she loved her children. In spite of that I always loved her. Every day of my life.

Mother had a difficult time living with bipolar disorder in a time when the only treatment was hospitalization and useless counseling, and the medications for it were toxic. It wasn’t until the last decade of her life that everything came together for her, and she was able to live well and with some peace.

On the evening before she died her husband called to say she had not awakened that morning but she was still breathing. Her doctor told us two or three years ago that she would not suffer with renal failure and that she would gradually lose energy, slip into a coma and die quietly. Evidently that’s exactly what happened.

We had several years to prepare, but it was still a hard blow when I got the phone call that evening. When I hung up the phone I couldn’t catch my breath and felt like an anxiety attack was coming on. I was planning to go visit her two days later but that changed into writing her obituary and making plans for the 350 mile trip for the funeral.

When I went to bed that night, knowing she would be gone in the morning, I slept well and fully expected her spirit to visit me during the night. And that’s what happened. I dreamed she and I were reunited after a long separation at a large convention of sorts. We were smiling, laughing and hugging with such joy as we’d never had in “real” life. We were genuinely ecstatic at seeing each other again.

I woke up and told my husband, “I had the best dream EVER! I’m so happy!”

I have never felt that kind of pure joy in my entire life. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but I hope I never forget how I felt in that moment.

I have often been judged and criticized for not being a loving and supportive daughter, but what most of those people don’t know is that during the last year of her life, Mother and I were very close. We laughed, joked, worried about my brother and really enjoyed each other’s company.

I’m so fortunate to have had that much healing at just the right time in my life. Now I know that she passed into her eternal life with the ultimate healing of peace, love and ecstasy.

Every time we spoke in those last months I told her, “I love you, Mother.”

And I meant it.


Julie said…
Beautiful post, Christi.
Donna T. said…
This is an amazing blog Christi. I'm sure that just putting it down in your own words also brought you comfort and peace. Thank you for allowing us to share this with you.
WB said…
Christi thank you for sharing such a beautiful, heartfelt blog about you mom. My wish is if you ever forget that moment of joy you experienced from your dream, that one of us will remember and remind you because of how touched they were by this post.
Lea Avroch said…
What a touching tribute to your mom & your relationship with her. I'm so happy for you to have experienced that moment of joy and to be able to experience her passing in such a positive way. Thank you so much for sharing such a deeply personal moment in your life.
Darla Harmon said…
It sounds cliche to say 'I know how you felt', but I truly do. I have watched with sadness as you had to go through this difficult time and wished that there was something I could do or say to make it easier or more palatable. But we both know there are no platitudes, only this. You are loved and cherished by those of us lucky enough to call you "Friend". You are an amazing person and I am honored to know you.
Sheula said…
I think she did the best she could and tried everyday to make her best, "better". She was a special lady. I suspect she is having a grand ole time where she is now. She loved you and Larry passionately and eternally.
Kim said…
Well, that made me cry. Thank you for sharing this, Christi.
missficklemedia said…
Thank you for sharing this. I am deeply moved by your words and need to call my mama!

I will be praying for you and your family as you continue to grieve the passing of such a neat lady. Take care.

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