Reposting for a friend . For you D.M.
Today is my mother’s birthday, May 31st. Had she lived, she would have been eighty-six. Instead my mother died when she was sixty-nine. Renal failure. I was there singing her favorite song. It was not easy to get through. I knew she heard me. The family had come and had said goodbye. It was just my mother and me now. Her last moments were spent with her hand in mine and my hand on her shoulder, singing to her through my tears. All the years of love, frustrations, good meals, fights with my father and homemade fudge had come down to this moment.
It was not a difficult decision to take her off of her dialysis as she was suffering being on it at that point. Her doctor informed me well on what I could expect and he was accurate.
I set off for the fabric store to buy the black fabric to place on the mirror in the front foyer of my home. Placing a black cloth on the mirrors at the death of a loved one is a tradition of my religion, so as not to see the pain in the faces of the survivors. When I returned from the store, she had stopped breathing. I suppose she needed me to stop sitting vigil and to walk away and allow her to slip peacefully into the hand of God.
She was ready, I wasn’t.
Is one ever ready for death, especially the death of someone so beloved? As hard as we hope for some people to find their peace in eternity, we still get left behind with the memories and their breath still left on our skin.
Traversing through our grief after losing someone close to us is undoubtedly the hardest experience we will ever have.
But I would like to share something I have figured out the hard way.
Life calls on us to move on, to move forward. Perhaps life cannot ask us to see crimson in the same way, even laughter may not seem as loud or as forthcoming; nevertheless, it is we who are left to carry on for those that have left us in charge. Death is not an ending, it is a new beginning of rebirth. It is the end of form and the sojourn of a spirit into ultimate peace and happiness. For those of us who are left behind, it feels like an ending, like a death, but it is the beginning of a celebration of a life. A celebration of the true essence of a human life.
For it is true that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and when we leave, we transition from human to spirit. So, make it a natural way of dealing with goodbye by celebrating the human life of the person who has left their essence behind in you. Because life is a celebration, each day, and each moment is a blessing.
As long as we celebrate the lives of those that have touched us, their essence, their spirit will live forever.
Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you, Sug. P.S. (I made luchen kugel twice in 10 days and got a request for the recipe. Hope you don’t mind.)
Here is a recipe from my mama to you.
Luchen Kugel by Shirley Waitsman
1 bag of wide egg noodles 3 ounces of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of butter 1 egg and a splash of milk
1 cup of cottage cheese little salt and pepper to taste
Add paprika on top before baking at 450 degrees for 45 minutes
My Mother’s Favorite Song