Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Acts of purposeful kindness

It's been 12 days since Mom died. She won't be buried up north until weekend after next, with a graveside ceremony. It seems like too long a time to wait for the comfort of a service.

Father M came to the rescue, with a great touch of kindness. He called me last week and suggested a memorial service at the church, with my church family and friends around me.

I was covering a city council meeting when the call came in. I cried all the way home. This was such a kind, thoughtful thing to do. There's no one at church who ever even met my mother. Nevertheless, we'll have a service.

It will make me feel much better. I'll have a safe place to mourn, and the communion of saints to surround my mother -- and me -- in a service that's meaningful to me. I'll be fortified to make the trip for the other service, where I'll have the chance to see some family and friends I haven't seen in a very long time.

Strange things

This happened the morning my mother died. I was in the kitchen, making coffee, a little after 7 a.m. I heard the words come out of my mouth, "It's time to go now, Mom."

I was horrified. I didn't know what made me say that. It wasn't up to me to decide when Mom's time had come. I prayed, and told God I was sorry; I know such things are in his hands.

A couple of hours later I got the call mom had died, a little after 6 a.m. That was Central time -- it would have been a little after 7 a.m. Eastern time, here.

There are more things in heaven and earth than our philosophies have dreamed of, and the veil can be very thin, indeed.

When I got the word, I already had a measure of comfort, because it was affirmed to me: God is in charge, and Mom is with him. I could release her to the safety of his hands.

This comfort remains with me.


What an incredibly beautiful service. Everything was perfect -- the music, Father M's homily, the reception. I was overwhelmed by the love of Christ surrounding me.

The altar, ready for the service, with flowers and a photo of Mom Father M. enlarged for the display. I love the old chapel at the church (dating from the 1890's), with its stained-glass image of Jesus the shepherd, carrying a lamb close to his heart.


MadPriest said...

I spend much of my time with the dying and their loved ones and I have come across incidents like this many, many times. As you know, I'm more of a "body" person than a "spirit" person but stuff like this has given me a profound understanding that we are all connected with each other in ways we haven't even begun to understand.

I am so glad you are being given a proper opportunity to mourn. You have been through so much recently. May God bless you and heal you.


PseudoPiskie said...

I was on the road headed toward Mom when she "told" me she had gone. I called my "stepsister" and told her I was pretty sure we'd lost Mom. A few minutes later the call came.

There is far more to this life than we know. The older I get the more I see that. Maybe Sylvia and the "psychics" are often full of horse feathers but they may also know something we have been unwilling to be open to.

The folks who squat on the Bible as the source of all knowledge seem to miss much of life.

May God sent her angels to keep you company in this time of mourning.


sharecropper said...

I had a similar experience with a friend who lived in Arizona while I lived in Mississippi. A picture she had given me fell off the wall about the time she died, and I heard her calling my name. The call came hours later.

We are connected - body and soul to body and soul.

I am glad you have this way to mourn. I will be doing a short eulogy for my goddaughter's husband on October 7 at the 11 am service - his favorite service. I'm glad I will have that chance to mourn in a safe place.

Blessings upon you.

Saint Pat said...

Aw, Maddie/Jonathan, Pseudopiskie and Sharecropper. These experiences happen more frequently than many people want to admit -- too often to be coincidence.

Thank you.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Pat, how kind of Father M to make the suggestion for a memorial service in your church.

There are more things in heaven and earth than our philosophies have dreamed of, and the veil can be very thin, indeed.

Amen, my friend. That is true.

The comfort that lasts is surely from God himself.


Mary Clara said...

Pat, my prayers are with you and your family. Your mother was fortunate to have such a daughter as you.

Suzer said...

{{{Pat}}} I've been thinking of you, sayin' prayers for you and your mom. Others here surely have more comforting words, but please know I'm lifting you in prayer as well.

Many blessings, friend.

Ann said...

Good to know you were able to say a fitting good bye among friends. Blessings and prayers - hard to become an orphan even when the person was gone before they died.