My mother passed away today.
This afternoon, as my students were selecting choice time activities, I received a text on my phone.
Later, when I was able to view it, I saw it was from Alice. It read: JENNY AM SORRY THE TIME HAS COME AND SHE IS RESTING IN PEACE NOW
I was shocked. Even though I was so prepared, I couldn’t believe that it was possibly true that my mother was gone. Without thinking, I walked out of my classroom and dialed Alice’s number. As I spoke to her, questioning and re-questioning, I wandered into my principal’s office and took the hand of our amazingly understanding parent coordinator, Amy. As Amy and Anna realized what was happening at that moment, they both stopped working and turned their attention to me, hugging me and making a plan for how to cover Jonathan and me so that we could leave school and go to my mother’s house.
Elsa was at my mother’s house, in tears, when we arrived.
Then, a series of extraordinary events followed. I will describe these in another post.
For now, I want to say that in my experience, I agree with those who have said that one is never fully prepared for the passing of a loved one. I believed that I was very prepared, yet when my mother actually died, I was completely unprepared to experience the feelings that flowed into my body.
I also understand how all of the anger and frustration some people feel towards a loved one disappears upon death. I feel only loss and sorrow now, rather than anger and resentment towards my mother. And I’m sure, soon, I will remember her as the perfect person, make excuses for her behaviors, and describe her in completely new and different ways than I have in the past.
When I arrived at my mother’s house, her body was warm and she lay peacefully in her bed. She was no longer attached to her oxygen machine, so the room was quiet, other than the music that was playing on her iTunes, and she appeared to be sleeping, but without breathing. As the afternoon wore on, my mother became colder and stiffer, as we waited for the funeral home folks to come and remove her body-a strikingly emotional event.
I kissed her head, held her hands and said goodbye.
Each of us spent a few private moments with her to say goodbye.
I have lots more to tell, so numerous posts will follow. But I wanted to update this blog for the folks in similar situations who follow me and need to know what will happen and what comes next.
Thank you all for your support and interest.