for the last couple of days I’ve received several news. allow me to tell just 2 stories about it.
this one came from Bandung, Indonesia. I have a place where I wind out my self from Jakarta, usually I come around whenever I feel like it. this is probably my second home where it is an actual home for Ista, Asih and Jojo. one of the features of this place is that they have 4 other four-legged family members that always shout out to whoever comes in. lovely creatures they are.
today, I’ve received a news that one of them died of old age. it was Cleo who passed away. she was buried on the yard of this already peaceful place. interestingly, one of her buddy Barong was staying for another couple hours on top of her burial site. I guess he misses her. I never knew that friendship and affection can extend that far. I didn’t know that when I was touched with such event, my mind wanders further than it used to. I guess lost is universal.
this one came from the United States. it was a posting of an email from a friend who just lost her mom. I can not rewrite that, I let you read it yourself instead. here it goes:
Dearest loved ones,
Mom passed away just after noon yesterday. It was, as in all her life, elegant.
Mom is being cremated, and we will be burying the ashes at the Goose Creek Friends Meeting House in the next few days. At her request, this is family only. There will be a Meeting for Worship that will include an opportunity for those who are local to be present either this Sunday or the first Sunday in September — Dad will send the details.
For those who want to send something, a donation to the Goose Creek meeting, the Friends of the Blue Ridge, or The Mountain Institute would be most appreciated. Or just a nice note. Dad says he has enough flowers in the garden.
This is my mother, so no one will be surprised that she left very specific instructions for her “Party.” It will be at the farm sometime in late spring/early summer. As we are able to get the details in order, we will send the invitations to come, join, share irreverent stories, wine, and the company of the excellent, beautiful, and vibrant people who shared her life and were part of her community.
I arrived from Indonesia on Saturday afternoon and I’d like to share moments of her last day with us, since so many of you were sending so much love and warmth our way, we want you to know that it was felt.
She had been declining, and wasn’t able to speak much any more. She had cuddled the phone while listening to her sisters voice, and we had been playing music sent to her by her nephew, his wife and their children, which made her very happy. At her request, we had put the endless CD collection on continuous play, and music has filled the house for the last three days. It is filling the house now.
Sunday morning, she got a phone call from her grandchildren, telling her they loved her. Her eyes lit up and she smiled.
Sunday afternoon, two of her dearest friends came and sat with her on her bed. Her bright big blue eyes smiled. They chatted and laughed while she listed and murmured her contribution. Mom even managed to slip a gifted bracelet onto her wrist. It was a beautiful afternoon.
Dad and Kaile and I had dinner together — a yummy soup made and brought for us by another close friend — and then were joined after by a dear friend of Kaile’s from high school. He brought his guitar, and played music and sang for us in mom’s room. She was smiling and restful. “Country Roads” was a big hit, one of mom’s favorites. Kaile and I sang along. The grace in that room that night was something tangible. It was, as he said, like watching mom turn into light before our eyes.
That night the hospice nurse stayed with her, and we slept. In the morning, a white fog covered the farm. It slowly turned golden as the sun came up, and mom’s breathing became more labored. The nurse left, planning to return late in the afternoon, and we went down for lunch, tucking a teddy bear given by a dear friend in next to mom to keep her company while we were downstairs.
When we came back up, she was gone. As we had been told, people often wait until their loved ones are out of the room to finish passing. A final act of generosity.
So many of you have sent so much love to her and to us, please know we’ve been carried by that as we walked with her on this journey, and are being held in it still.
Kaile’s husband Vince and their kids arrived last night, and we’ll all be here about a week talking long walks, washing the dog (who rolled in something particularly stinky to express her opinion of the whole thing), and getting things in order. After a beautiful weekend we woke up to rain on the roof, which feels about right.
I had asked before to please share good/happy/silly (and even sad) news – please continue to do so. Mom took such joy in knowing about everything in life, and was so amazing at keeping touch. Please forward this to those I may have forgotten.
She was my mother, my friend, my mentor, my editor, my advisor, and now she is the voice in my head.
Much love — Kaitlin
the moment I finished reading it. my mind also wander further. gets me thinking of what am I going to left behind. I guess lost is universal.
here’s a link to the letter above.