The strife is o'er, the battle done
When I left you all to focus on my darling mother and on my DH (whose own health crisis is almost fully resolved now), we knew that she would not recover. We feared a long, difficult process, which turned out not to be the case.
She was surprisingly strong and well through most of it, and died after only a few days in hospice, peacefully and painlessly, just shy of her 95th birthday a few weeks ago. Gracious to the end, she left us at the cocktail hour, and I am sure she meant for us to open something special in her honor. So we did.
Then we had a whacking good funeral with lots of music, and a big fat Southern reception afterwards. If was a fine day and a great party, and I wish mightily that she had been here to enjoy her send-off.
Now we are finishing the rather heart-wrenching task of clearing out her digs. The bushels of love she inspired in everyone who knew her have come back to us in great waves, and we are held up by it. So there will be time to mourn, but we are rejoicing in her wonderful life, her smooth sail into harbor, and her flawless docking maneuver. And we're finding hilarious and heartwarming things in her files.
I've learned some things that might be helpful to those of you who will have to do this at some point, and would love to pass them along.
Thank you all for your astonishing messages of support at the start of this sortie. You gave me an enormous lift at just the right moment. I hope to be back to consort with you again when the dust settles.