By Tuesday, when her funeral services were held, I had grieved deeply. I know that process will continue.
The services though, were not intended for sad grieving, but rather for a celebration of her life and for life in general, which encompasses the beauty, joy and losses we all experience.
I talked about the transformation my mother had accomplished. "If she could do it, so can we," I told family and friends. In her youth she was ill and depressed - unreachable, unapproachable, incapable of demonstrating love. In her later years, she grew to be a happy, accepting person who refrained from judging others, instead she gave of what she had - compassion, generosity and kindness.
There are those who express admiration of me, for having cared for my mother in her last years. I don't deserve this. I feared and resisted bringing her to live with me. I considered it the end of my carefree life and I resented having to care for someone who had never cared for me. But family insisted, "You're her only daughter. She has no one else to take care of her."
Today, I am grateful. I got to know my mother's heart unmasked, shinning with purity.
My mother had a sweet tooth. My husband and I would often buy her packets of M&Ms, her favorite candy. Each time, my mother would make little bags (made of tissue paper) containing a few pieces of the candy. Smiling, she would present them to my husband and me to share her precious gift.
At the funeral, all took home a few packets of M&Ms. She would have liked everyone to have some.
A friend commented that he felt special in her presence, that he felt she was enlightened. Perhaps sometimes we seek to learn about the great masters, and we ignore the one right in front of us, quietly modeling how to live fully.
My mother certainly shed light on those of us who got to know her. How fortunate I am.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and concern.