The strife is o'er, the battle done

bronwynsmomAugust 16, 2013

Hello, dears.

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.

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theclose

I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to your dear mother!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:03PM
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anitamo

What beautiful words you've written. Your mother sounds like someone I wish to have met. Sending good thoughts as you complete the clearing out process. Hugs to you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:05PM
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peaches12345

Your words are inspirational. Thanks for this post.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:09PM
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lynninnewmexico

Your thoughts on your mother's passing were inspiring. I look forward to hearing more of what you've learned through this difficult time, whenever you're up to posting again. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Lynn

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:21PM
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rosie

It wasn't my mother, but last year I had to dismantle her home when we finally lost my aunt at 103. I wish you many sweet moments as you finish this final task for her.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:28PM
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homebodymom

I am so very sorry for the loss of your Mom. It sounds like you have found great joy in rejoicing in the memories of her life. Your attitude is inspirational :)

Welcome back !

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:36PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Your post has me smiling, Bronwynsmom. Glad your DH is doing well! I hope someday my son can feel just as you did because I can emulate your mother when death approaches. I love your "gracious to the end, she left us at cocktail hour..." I will raise a glass to her this evening and also wish you many more moments of joy as you go through the clearing out, which is not an easy task. Hugs to all of you and thank you for sharing such a wonderfully inspiring story.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:36PM
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cat_mom

Ditto, ditto, ditto. What an uplifting post. My condolences nonetheless, to you and your family.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:45PM
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deedee99

Welcome back bronwynsmom. I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a grand woman.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:46PM
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porkandham

Glad to see you posting again! I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:49PM
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alex9179

Tears in my eyes...I could feel the love your family has for each other.

I'm so glad that your DH is better and look forward to your contributions, here.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:53PM
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CLBlakey

Sorry for your loss. May going through her treasures bring warm memories and minimal family squabbles. Good news about hubby getting better.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:01PM
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beekeeperswife

(((hugs)))

Bee

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:09PM
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dedtired

What a great tribute to your mom. Sounds like she entered Heaven with martini in hand, toasting St Peter at the Pearly Gates. Cheers to her. So glad to heat your DH is doing well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:18PM
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nini804

What a lovely post and tribute. Your mother sounds like a wonderful lady, and condolences to you and your family at this time.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:30PM
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marti8a

I'm so sorry for your loss, but like the others have said, your post is uplifting and inspiring. I wish I could have met your mother also, and even more, I wish I could be like her.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:40PM
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citywoman2012

Yes, what a tribute to your Mom and in your praise for
your mom......you laid out a picture of what a remarkable
mother she truly was because............look at you.
I don't know you but your respect and love for her let me know the role she played .
Evidently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as the
saying goes.
My thoughts are with you during this time.
Take care of your DH.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:41PM
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nosoccermom

I'm so terribly sorry to hear about your loss, but at the same time, what a wonderful tribute to your mother! My best wishes to you and your family.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:55PM
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caminnc

Awww, (((huggs))) to you! So sorry for your loss but I do love your attitude, which I am sure stems from your beloved Mom!!! I am sure you made her life magical as you seem to be such a special person.! So glad to hear your DH is better. Best wishes!!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Irish2

I am so sorry for your loss. (My Mom is 94 and only takes
a 10 mg HB pill daily)

Welcome back -I love your writing style!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:16PM
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awm03

Hugs of support and many fond feelings to you, bronwynsmom. I always loved your tongue-in-cheek references to what proper etiquette your mother would insist on. I didn't know her, yet I'll miss her too. She sounded like a grand lady.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:35PM
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eandhl

What a wonderful attitude you have at a difficult time.n

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:41PM
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DLM2000

So glad to see you here and to know that you have not lost your humor and joie de vi÷vre even in the face of your loss. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman which is not surprising because she produced an amazing daughter. Continued well wishes for your DH.

Deb

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:05PM
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texanjana

So sorry for the loss of your mother. She sounds like a wonderful person, and your words are beautiful. Glad your DH is doing well.
Sending hugs and prayers to you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:07PM
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My3dogs

I am smiling at this wonderful tribute, and her grace in passing. She was obviously a very special, well-loved woman, who raised a daughter in her image.

It's so good to have you back, and I only hope that my healthy 89 (in November) year old Mum, who just had me renew a magazine subscription for her, passes so easily many years from now.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Lyban

Bronwynsmom,

I am so sorry for your loss.
Your attitude is very uplifting and I am sure your mom would be proud of you.

I always enjoy reading your posts because you have such a good command of the English language and write so eloquently.

I wish I had your talent.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 8:36PM
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joaniepoanie

We should all be so lucky to be remembered so lovingly by our children. You were obviously a wonderful daughter as well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 9:30PM
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cloudy_christine

You've written such a wonderful farewell. Your mother must have been a great lady. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Dear B, thank you for filling us in. I'm glad your DH is doing better.

My deepest sympathies on losing your Mom. It sounds like she brought great joy to your life and continues to do so, as does mine. It also sounds like you brought great joy to her life, and she was fortunate to have you as a daughter. I'm sure too that there is deep sorrow at her passing and hope you find the strength, courage and comfort you need to cope with the turbulence of grief.

Looking forward to your postings becoming more frequent again.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 11:37PM
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mustangs81

I'm sure that your mom touched many people's lives, and they were all enriched by her. May your memories of her sustain you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 11:56PM
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Holly- Kay

(((Hugs))), so sorry to hear of your loss.

What a grand and marvelous lady your mom must have been and what a grand and marvelous daughter you are.

So glad to have you back with us.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:00AM
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natesgram

I'm glad to hear your sweet mom's passing wasn't as long or difficult for her as you thought it could be. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a terrific woman, may your wonderful memories sustain you. Hugs,
Natesgram

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:01AM
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SheeshareeII

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear mom. Saying a prayer for you and your family. I'm glad to hear your DH is back on track. Remember to take care of you.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:38AM
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anele_gw

I can only imagine how amazing your mother was, to have raised someone as talented, eloquent, and thoughtful as you.

Many blessings to your mother for her new life, and may you always feel the warmth of her everlasting love.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:42AM
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trailrunnerbiker

A great tribute to your Mom and to you her daughter. Raising one to you both. I am glad your DH is on the mend. c

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:05AM
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trailrunnerbiker

This was my dad's favorite poem. At 92 when he passed I read it. Your tribute to your Mom reminded me of this. Tennyson said it well.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:08AM
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loribee

Lovely tribute....sending my sympathy as well.

Crossing the bar--- love it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 6:43AM
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katlan

I'm sorry you lost your Mom. I'm glad her last days were peaceful and pain free. That has to mean a lot to you. Those were beautiful words you said about her. How lucky you were to have her for 95 years. God bless your Mom's soul. I hope you can find peace from your grief.

I'm very glad to hear your husband is better.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:50AM
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aktillery9

I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you all have celebrated her life and I love how you chose to do so. A loss such as this is so very difficult. I lost my mom when I was 30. I wished I had been able to go through the loss in the way you have. Big ((((hug)))) to you and your family!

AND what a beautiful poem Trailrunner. That brought tears to my eyes.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:13AM
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mitchdesj

My condoleances go to you: I wish you strength and happiness in these sad times.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:19AM
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bronwynsmom

Trailrunner -

You will be delighted to know that, at Mother's advance request, we set this card on the bar at the reception. Note the substitution of "at the bar" for "of the bar" ...

The small print reads "with apologies to Sir Alfred"

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:22AM
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bronwynsmom

And thank you all so much for your outpouring of affectionate concern.

I am entirely aware of how fortunate I am ... was ... am.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:24AM
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trailrunnerbiker

bronwynsmom..I will link to something that you will appreciate even more. I played this when my Mom and Dad's ashes were laid to rest in OH. I had their ashes for a few years until we could all get together to celebrate their lives.

This recording is by a friend of mine. She is wonderful and wrote the music. I heard her perform this in RI in 2002 at the Folk Festival. It was right after my Dad had died.

I hope this brings you joy. c

Here is a link that might be useful: Rani Arbo...Crossing the Bar

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:57AM
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luckygal

Your words are a lovely tribute to "a life well-lived".

My sympathy on your loss. Also glad your DH is improving.

You have been missed and I look forward to your wise, witty, and informative posts when you are ready to return.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Boopadaboo

Sorry for you loss. It is hard to lose your mom, I am sure no matter what her age.

This is a favorite of mine that someone shared with me when my mom passed. 17 years ago today....

DonâÂÂt grieve for me now, IâÂÂm free
IâÂÂm following the path God laid for me.
took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
IâÂÂve found my peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My lifeâÂÂs been full, IâÂÂve savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved oneâÂÂs touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
DonâÂÂt lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free.

I hope your DH continues to get better!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:19AM
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riosamba

I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for telling us about your lovely mother.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 2:32PM
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newhomebuilder

bronwynsmom - I am sorry for your loss and can relate to what you are now going through. Isn't Hospice wonderful! In the last 18 months, I have lost both of my parents (85&86) and a sister(59) all at a Hospice facility. They had stays of 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 3 days. We will forever be grateful to Rainey House of the Upstate for their gentle caring. ;) My father died first, and then my mother 5 months later. Both fairly suddenly after a diagnosis of cancer. My sister became ill in the spring with MDS and 8 weeks later she was gone. Been tough!

My sister, sister-in-law (sometimes my brother and brother-in-law) and I starting cleaning out my parents house about 2 months after my mother's death. The only reason we did so was because someone came to us and wanted to buy the house. It was hard work, but we got the job done AND had an estate sale within 2 weeks of starting.

I would love to know what words of wisdom you have for others having to go through the hardship in the future. One realization that has come to me is ...had we not cleaned the house out early, we would have had a much harder time with it. You see, we were still in shock and emotions had not taken hold thoroughly. I am just now starting to grieve and come to terms with my parents passing.

What a lovely tribute to your mother while sharing her life with friends and family. I will be thinking of you in the next few days as you complete the task of settling your mothers estate.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:33PM
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ogrose_tx

I honestly think that generation was special; my mother died two years ago at 93, and while I felt bad, she left my brother and I with a legacy that I could only hope to leave my children with. I hope I can leave this life with the dignity your mother and my mother (she loved her glass of wine) did. I can only hope to do the same.

My condolences to you for sure.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:29PM
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bronwynsmom

You are all wonderful.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 7:58PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Dear Bronwynsmom,

You have been missed here. I am so sorry about the loss of your dear mother. It's always too soon, whenever it happens, but it sounds like she lived a charmed life to the end. Brava.

Wishing you and your husband all the best.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:19PM
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kswl2

So very sorry for your family and your mother's friends, Bronwym's mom. It's hard to lose a parent at any age.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:31PM
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yayagal

So sorry to hear of your mother's death, it's never easy yet, you made it sound so with your elegant way. Thank God you're dear husband is doing well and it's wonderful to see you here again. We all missed you.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:06AM
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