On Sunday, Dec. 18, the day after my mother’s funeral, I woke up about 6:30 a.m. Oh good. I had 30 more minutes to sleep before I needed to get moving in order to make it to church on time.
My first thought when I woke up the second time was that was a fantastic half hour of sleep. I woke up refreshed, without having to pry my eyes open. Husband Walter was leaning over the bed, asking if I had had a good sleep. He informed me that it was 9 a.m. I had slept more than two and a half hours instead of 30 minutes. Hubby issued the edict that I was staying home while he went to church.
His assignment for me was to rest, relax and do only what I wanted to with the stipulation that I would do nothing that put me at risk of falling. He knows my limitations during this phase of my stroke recovery better than I do.
I needed this downtime after the investment of emotional and physical energy in Mother’s final days, funeral arrangements, and sharing both the grief at the loss of her presence as well as the celebration of her life with family and friends by phone and in person.
The first thing on my list was to catch up on the reading I needed to do to finish reading the Bible through before the close of year 2011. It didn’t take long until my reading in Paul’s letters triggered tears. I can’t say it was entirely grief, but it was certainly a release. I was definitely moved by what I was reading. In the midst of my sobs, thanksgiving started pouring out of me, too.
I was thanking God for his care of Mother in her last days, for Walter’s care of me, for God’s care of Walter, thanks for our children, their wives, our grandchildren and his care for them all, for my brother and his family and Walter’s mother, his siblings and their families, for the love that had surrounded Mother, for the friends and relatives who had made it possible for me to spend time with my mother in her last weeks and final days. And the list rolled on.
After a time I had emptied my mind, my supply of tears and, with some effort, the disturbingly abundant output from my nose. I marveled that instead I was filled with a lightness of spirit. And for that I also thanked God.
I know from when my father passed away suddenly that the mix of tears and joy will continue to be part of the grieving process: sadness because I miss my mother and joy that I have such wonderful memories and examples for living that she and my father gave me.
Adding to the joy is the fact that many of those memories are shared with dear relatives and friends.
And I appreciate that my wise and caring mate set the stage for a start to recovery of my emotional equilibrium. Thank you, Walter.