If we were having coffee I would share with you that my coffee has been without scent or flavour the last little while but I still reach for my mug and try to find comfort in the warmth it attempts to pump into me with every sip. My mother past early last week; it appears that she had been sick and hiding it until it couldn’t be hid anymore. In the aftermath of her passing I find myself struggling with what I realize was a personal choice to keep her illness secret. I struggle because I would have loved to be able to support her through what I am sure must have beyond difficult to navigate through alone. I struggle because I hope that she didn’t feel alone. I struggle because I can’t understand her choice. I struggle because I have been left making decisions for her that she might have been able to make on her own before she departed this world for the next part of her journey.
I have experienced the death of loved ones throughout my life including being part of the hard decisions that come as life slowly leaves a loved one’s body. I have never had to make those decisions solo. I had never experienced the loss of a loved one with the burden of responsibility that come when you are the one to deal with the earthly things. There is so much administrative and technical things that I haven’t been able to true process that my mother is gone. I haven’t had a chance to sit with my emotions and let them just exist. On top of all that there is death during COVID-19.
Let me say first that one of the things that terrified me with COVID was people being alone when they died, about families not being able to provide the love and support that they needed to or wanted to without restrictions, about closure from funerals or celebrations of life not being a reality. And no, I don’t want to stand at the hospital window and watch anybody die because the very thought feels like an execution in a death penalty scenario. I suppose I should be thankful that it was an option to get at least that close but….
Furthermore, a drive by funeral? Really, that’s a thing? The answer is yes during COVID that is a thing! This was another personal choice but for me it wasn’t one that I felt honoured my mother’s memory. Let’s talk celebrations of life – not recommended during COVID. However, if you decide to not follow the recommendation then you can have a gathering of 10 people but that 10 has to include any service providers required for the celebration (clergy, organist and so on) so that the number of loved ones gets smaller and smaller. How can I say to another person, hey I appreciate that you cared for my mother and want to share grief with me but I can only have 10 people and you don’t make the cut!???
The whole situation is hateful.
My heart went out to all those people who found themselves in this situation before I was personally experiencing it and now it goes out 100 times over!
I have decided that I am going to create an online celebration of my mother’s life. It is going to include things that we traditional would expect at a formal service: pictures, memories, stories, what I would personally have shared with people present, music… I think that creating it will also help me work through some of my own emotions and I hope it will help other’s grieving for my mother. I am slowly creating it now as time permits. That said I will be a little absent from my usual presence here at Brewing Coffee, Twisting Words & Breaking Pencils as I working on The Spirit Lives On.
If we were having coffee I would thank you for listening to me and I would tell you how much I appreciate your support.
If we were having coffee I would take the time to listen to your week and any of the challenges and adventures that you might want to share.
By Shari Marshall – 2020
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli. I hope you have a chance to join us for a virtual cup: here.