I Told Myself I Wouldn’t Write About

My mother, Kathleen, passed away on April 11th and I returned last night from Ireland and her funeral services. I feel wrecked in many ways.

In the end, just some seventy-odd pounds and completely erased by Alzheimer’s, I’ve expected her death for years, but she defied leaving this world so many times and now that she’s actually gone I can’t quite believe it’s happened.

It may be wrong of me to say that we had almost been expecting her death since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s all those years ago. But we were. If you know someone who has suffered from this disease, you will understand what I am talking about. I do have to say though, her funeral service was lovely. In fact, I don’t think I have seen a service as nice as this before, although, I may be biased. Before her diagnosis, she had mentioned something about final expense life insurance, and how this policy can help to cover any costs associated with the funeral so that your family don’t have that burden. It was a great idea when she said about it, and I’ve got a funny feeling that she went through with this. Good for her. She had the send-off she deserved, so be sure to look at different companies to compare policies and prices if this is something that appeals to you. Even after this amazing service, you get brought back down to earth and you realize that she has indeed left us.

As hard as the flight from San Francisco to Dublin was on April 11th, knowing that she was already dead and that I wasn’t with her in the end, the flight back to San Francisco yesterday was almost unbearable. I kept thinking of that flight I made over twenty years ago as an immigrant, when it was me leaving my mother and not the other way around, and her face at Dublin Airport, twisted and tear-stained, her chin trembling, all in a way I’d never seen her cry before.

I have two sisters and three brothers. The six of us carried our mother’s coffin on our shoulders into the church and carried her out again to her final resting place. That act of carrying her, of raising her up, gave me such comfort. At long last, she is at rest. Her suffering is over. I forgive her everything just as I know she forgives me everything.

I placed a short letter in the coffin with her, right before the undertakers placed the lid on her for the final time. I wanted her to go with a tiny piece of my writing. She is also gone with a piece of my heart.

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