9 month old · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · Iceland · mother · sudden heart failure · travel

Back from my trip of sorrow.

Sorry for the radio silence but now I am back from Iceland. I had decided to not blog until I was back. It has been a one day at a time sort of 3 weeks for me. My mother actually died of sudden cardiac death and not a heart attack. This is why even though my dad was performing CPR immediately and the search and rescue squad got there with in minutes with a defibrillator nothing worked to bring her back. My mother died in my father’s arms early that Saturday morning changing my family’s lives for ever. Great sorrow has moved through our very large family and she was the first of her 5 siblings to die at the age of 68 and she was not the oldest.

My mother’s empty chair and her unfinished knitting

During my stay I got to know my sisters again and their families. I have lived in Tulsa for over twelve years now and before that lived in France for two only going to Iceland every 3 or so years because of how expensive it is to go there.

At the viewing I was lucky enough to get time with my mother before everyone else came. My mother was different of course but I was happy that they did not use too much make up but let her be the natural lady I knew with light pink lipstick and mascara. When only the closest of family had arrived for the viewing it started and  I had closed my eyes to gather myself and while doing so saw it raining love over my whole family. My mother was showering each and every one of us and it gave me strength to be the person that my sisters and father could come to for strength and love. To welcome their sorrow and hurt and let them feel some comfort in my arms. Even though at times I got sad for some reason I did not really cry while I was in Iceland.

My mother’s Icelandic sweater and slippers. It looks like she will step into them any min.

Planing a funeral is hard but even harder with such a large family. Hundreds of people showed up to the funeral and the wake. My mother was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

At the funeral two of my sisters that did not just have surgery, two of my grown nephews, two of my brother in laws, my brother and I carried my mother in her casket from the church out to the hearse. It was so heavy that it mimicked the sorrow that we all carried. It was almost too heavy to bare but just holding on and trying to put one foot in front of the other was exactly what we were doing in life at the moment. Our steps were ungracious but they kept the pace. It was a slow, painful walk until we got to the hearse but then we got to hand the weight over for someone else to carry like handing the pain to God to be able to sleep. 

My father’s eyes are hard to look in these days as the sorrow flows from them. The hurt and pain is so deep that it was hard for me to leave him in Iceland but know that my sisters are there for him and the socialist system is there to help him with grievance counselors and other support.

My mother’s angel with the view of the mountain she loved so in the background. 

When I drove to my father’s home so that he could drive Alex and I to the airport he tells me to go inside to make sure I get anything that I might have left behind and told me to say goodbye to the house because he can’t afford to keep it. My heart breaks again. I walk into my parent’s room and on the bed sits the teddy bear I gave my mother for her 50th birthday 18 years earlier and with the white scarf I had given her when she baby sat for me when I went to the meditation retreat over two years ago. She had always said that when she had the feeling that she needed to hug the bear that it was time to give me a call because I wasn’t feeling well. Hoping that the bear was still a link to her I gave it a goodbye hug hoping she would feel it on the other side. 

I did the math and realized that if I were to go at the same time as my mother that my husband and I would have already finished a 4th of our relationship. That made me really sad but also reminded me to be kind, thoughtful and tell my husband and my boys how much I love them every day. To be a good wife and a good parent getting my children ready for the real world out there because I will not always be around.

Yesterday I made coffee and cried. I cried the ugly cry with snot and all. I also have lost my voice so I sounded like a frog that was gasping for air. Grief is ugly and unforgiving. It grabs you when you least expect it. I realized that I would never make my mother another cup of coffee in my home. That she would never be back to give me those hugs that I love and that my childhood home is going to be sold. A great loss. Great sorrow.

Be kind to one another. Tell the people you love that you love them and live the life you love and love the life you live. Life it too short to be unhappy. 


4 thoughts on “Back from my trip of sorrow.

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a very touching entry to read, and hope it was cathartic for you to write it. I hope that the days to follow bring you and your family some comfort and solace.


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