Friday, March 16, 2012

Lights Will Guide You Home, Mom

This song was played on repeat throughout my Mom's funeral service. Feel free to play it as you read along...

My Mom's funeral was held just a few short days after she passed away. While the service itself was personal, there are a few details I wanted to share on my blog.

The visitation was held on a Friday evening. The funeral home was filled with the scent of beautiful florals. The delicate aroma of flowers will forever remind me of my mom now. After a private viewing for family only - friends, acquaintances, and even people who had never personally met my mom came to pay their respects. I was overwhelmed with the number of people who filled the parlor. I was greeted with the warmest hugs and deepest condolences. I could truly feel the love right there in that room.

It's easy in those moments to get carried away with all the friends and family members mingling about. The hugs, the "I'm sorry's," the catching up. But, it's in the moments when you look into someone's eyes and see the pain, that all the emotions flood back into you. I looked at my mom's best friend [whom I’ve always called ‘Aunt Linda’] and my heart broke... again. I could see the devastation, the shock, the grief. She was left here on Earth without her best friend of over 50 years. She's left with the hope that my mom would somehow find a way to "call" her, like she promised to do just hours before she died.

The following morning, my Mom's service was held in the chapel. Again, I was humbled to see nearly every seat filled as we honored my mother that day. She was loved. So very loved.

FixYou

The service was the most beautiful service I could have imagined. I stared ahead at the picture of my mom, rubbed my brother's back, and leaned on my Dad's shoulder. We were all hurting. And there was the picture of my mom with eyes as blue as the shirt she was wearing, just smiling back at us.

After my two brothers, my nephew, and I shared some words about my Mom, the pastor started his eulogy. About half way through, the door of the chapel gently opened by itself and the pastor said, "Come on in, Carol!" She was there. I know it.

We departed and the procession drove to my Mom's final resting place, in the same cemetery where we had gone for years to visit her own mother's grave. She had a beautiful spot in the sunlight picked out just for her [and my dad to join her one day.]

I sat there, in front of my mom's casket, still in shock. I shed some tears and tried saying the last words to her that I could conjure up. The funeral director let us take the metal rosettes from her casket to keep with us. I took several roses from her flower arrangement as well.

DSC_3388-1

I knelt down, resting my hands on the top of the casket, and cried with her. I knew my moments with her physically were over. I had given her my last hug, kiss on the forehead, and held her hand for the last time. But, this was the last chance I had with the symbol of her physical form here on Earth. Although she may be gone, she will forever be my sweet Mom.

Lights

16 comments:

Kelsey said...

I don't even know what to say on these post because I have not gone through this but you are a very strong woman stronger then most! Keep Pushing. And I love this song!

lostforwords101 said...

May your mom rest in peace, Chelsea.

Prayers for you and her loved ones whom she left behind.

Jenn said...

Chelsea, the way that you write is inspiring. Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman who touched, and continues to touch, many people's lives.
I can only imagine how hard it is to go through this and your courage and strength to share it is wonderful.
Just know you have tons of people here to support you, myself included!
*hugs*

margaret.c. said...

i know the feeling. i lost my dad a few weeks after college graduation, it hasn't been 3 years - still stings.
find comfort in your best memories with your mom. great song, too. heart of life by john mayer is a good one, too. may she rest in peace

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...

what a beautiful and moving post. Thank you for being so brave to share with us, I could never imagine how difficult it is but your strength is hopeful, that someday, when we lose someone, as we all will, we will be as courageous as you.

Mackenzie said...

My mom used to sing this song to me after a very traumatic event in my life. I now sing it to her during her chemo treatments.She keeps reminding me that no matter what happens: "You're not alone, you're never alone and you're never going to be alone". I carry her love with me all of the time. Thank you for sharing your story. I will be praying for you!

Denise said...

Love you Chelsea! Everything sounds like it was beautiful!

Katrin said...

i know how you feel, chelsea.thank you for sharing your feelings with us. my mom died almost ten years ago and i still feel so lost without here. but i know that she will always be there for me.

michaela @ m.jane said...

i'm in tears. what a beautiful post. you have a gift with words, chelsea.

after reading the first part of the post, it brought back so many memories of my mother-in-law's funeral. all the people. a lot of which i had never even met. for days it seemed like we were the only ones grieving and it isn't until i saw her friends, her co-workers, her sorority sisters that i realized that we are not the only ones hurting. we all lost someone special.

thank you for sharing something so personal to you.

Kate said...

I am crying all over again listening to this song and thinking back to that day. It was absolutely beautiful outside and I remember feeling like I knew she was there in the sunshine streaming into the chapel, the wind on our faces by her grave, and of course I could just picture her busting through the door - "come on in, Carol!" I know she'll keep finding other ways to let you know she's still with you.

Shayna said...

It sounds like your Mom's funeral was absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy for you that you have this blog as a place to keep these memories. I too never wan to forget those final moments of my Mom. Praying for you!

Sheri said...

In tears right now, sweet Chelsea. I have no words. This song is so beautiful, as is this post. You write beautifully!
Big x's and o's

Alexandria said...

This is beautiful. Chelsea, I'm so sorry again. I know nothing will ever replace your mom, but she's so proud of you. I just know it.

Ashley Slater said...

as usual, beautifully written chelsea. I am once again moved to tears and my heart just aches for you. With my dad being a pastor I have attended tons and tons of funerals and I know how draining that process is just from watching family members going through it....I am glad you so distinctly remember everything and were in the moment for it. I am still thinking and praying for you, always and I honestly you are really such a grounded strong woman. I am so impressed by you and your attitude and insight. You are such a blessing and I am so glad to "know" you ;)

Amanda C. said...

This is beautiful. I love the Coldplay song.I am so happy that you had such an out pouring of love. For me the graveside was one of the hardest parts. I'm still praying for you.

The White List said...

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