Monday, January 06, 2014

My dear, sweet mum passed away December 22, just hours after I visited with her and gave her a Yule gift. Understandably, I have not been myself these past weeks as the hours drag on and purpose seems to rise and disappear like smoke. I spent a week at her house, cleaning closets and packing away the items of her daily life. She wanted to be sent off to heaven with little to no fanfare, but I don't know how I can do that. We've planned a small gathering, a memorial, for January 18 at my son's house, the son who lives across the street from mom's place, the son who made her feel special by visiting and puttering about the property for her.

All I can do is think about how much was taken from her in her life, but how strong and resilient she was in the face of those roadblocks. And funny to the end. I think mostly about our last conversations, how she'd always remind me that I have to go to Paris (for her, Paris encompassed all of France) and walk the streets, at which point we'd laugh that my mother was implying I'd be prostituting or homeless in France. After the laughter she'd become serious again and say, "No. Really. Live and be happy. Just be happy."

Mom loved to dance. Loved it with a passion. Our last day together was a long lamentation of how she could no longer do that. "No, you don't understand," she'd say when someone would suggest she get up and bust a move, "I'm lucky I got from where I was before to here." COPD, congestive heart failure, and a double aortic aneurism had turned her once busy life (gardening, dancing, traveling) into one of stagnation. That final day she said, "If I can't dance, then I'm done. I'm done." In that moment she may have thought if she could turn back time and go back 40 years or more and put down the pack of cigarettes once and for all, and extracted herself from a harmful and stressful relationship, she would have done so in an instant. But wouldn't we all?

Things for me will get back to normal, or whatever normal will be now, and I'll be creating and dreaming with much more purpose I think.


  1. Anonymous12:06 PM

    I'm so very sorry for your loss, Justine.

    Your blog certainly showed your mum's enjoyment of gardening and dancing, and that you both had a great relationship.

    Wishing you and your family all the best at this difficult time.

    Anna in Edinburgh

  2. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Dear Justine, I am so sorry for your loss.
    Wishing you and yours much strentgh at this sad time.

    Warmest regards from England

  3. You have my sincere sympathy.

  4. My prayer goes out to you and your family.

  5. Maggie Mahboubian7:42 PM

    My heart goes out to you, Justine. Three years ago my dear aunt passed away suddenly on December 22 and I often wondered if the energy of the winter solstice proved too strong for her already frail being. Sending you love and light during this time and many warm memories of your mother.

  6. Anonymous6:18 PM

    J, I am just reading this. I am so sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. Sending you a hug at this difficult time. Take care of yourself, sweet lady.


    1. Thank you, Melisse. I appreciate it :)



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