This whole death process has taught me a lot. This is the first death in my life where I planned or needed to carry out some of the details associated with it. I’ve been told that I’m calm and level-headed. I’m not so sure about that, but the Lord has given me the ability to feel pain and sadness but also do what needs to be done. It’s surprised even me because I am not detail oriented in my every day life. Even though during the last week of Mom’s life and the day of her death, I wanted to fall apart and not think about all the many details to follow, my body and mind kicked into a different gear and allowed me to separate from my emotions and get things done.
Meeting with the funeral director was one of the hardest. My husband, Jeff, went with me and we sat in a conference room that contained flowers and caskets. This was just hours after Mom died. Even though Mom made sure her funeral was paid for and she let us know that she wanted a traditional southern viewing and service, the details still needed to be made. Selecting the spray of flowers. Selecting pictures for the DVD that is being made. Going into the room where her viewing will take place and deciding where the family would stand to greet friends as they passed through to share their well wishes and take one final look at Mom. Going into the chapel where her service will be held. Bringing her clothes that she will be wearing in her casket. Her jewelry. Telling those in charge how she liked her make up and hair. It was sort of an out of body experience. It had to be in order to get through it because the moment I thought about all of this being for MY MOTHER, I would tear up and cry. It just can’t be happening. But I know it is.
Yesterday, I spoke with the minister to go over the order of the service. Reverend Mike Black, a Baptist minister and my Mom’s next door neighbor and friend is officiating. He is wonderful and has been instrumental in assuring my Mom and her husband that God was with them all the time. My mother’s faith grew by leaps and bounds because of this man. He is a wonderful man and Mom was so happy that he would be doing her service. My son, Blake, my niece, Becca, and I will also be speaking at Mom’s service. Mom’s 2 favorite hymns, Amazing Grace and What A Friend We Have in Jesus will also be sung. It will be a celebration of her life and I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it in the coming week.
Today I have one more detail to take care of and I think it will be one of the toughest. I will be going to the funeral home to give approval on how my mom looks. Jeff is going with me. My sister hasn’t decided if she can and I completely understand that. I have to look at these final tasks as ways that I am still serving Mom and also serving our family and God. In that sense it is an honor. But it’s still hard.
The night before Mom went to be with Jesus, I wrote her obituary. I’ll post that tomorrow.
So many have asked what they can do for me? Well I’ll tell you. Go hug the special ones in your life right now. Tell them you love them. If they aren’t in your home, call them. Then do it again tomorrow. More than anything I miss the sound of my mother’s voice telling me she loves me.