With Mom’s death, my family’s attention shifted away from Natalie and me and onto themselves, as they focused on this new, even more profound and shocking loss. I felt the tremendous strain of this devastating, unexpected death, and realized that my daughter and I were now on our own. We’d lost the two most important foundations in our lives and it was almost too much for us to bear.
The entire family, including Dad and his seventeen children, were in shock and in a fog. All the spouses and grandchildren were with us, and we all milled around, lost, still stunned and in disbelief. It had all happened so suddenly, without warning, and Mom had been so vibrant and healthy.
For the viewing, we placed a photo of the entire family close to Mom’s casket, and she wore on her finger her “mother’s ring” with seventeen gems–one for each of her children. I added my own “mother’s ring” that I’d always worn, giving it to Mom because she had shown so much love for Natalie. Their relationship was precious and sacred, she had nurtured my daughter as if she’d been her own.
The farewell service was overwhelming, and it was heartbreaking to watch Dad and all my siblings begin to comprehend this new and unexpected loss. We watched silently as Dad gave Mom a goodbye kiss and my brothers served as the pallbearers. Then, each of us approached the casket, and one by one said goodbye as we placed a rose with her as a symbol of our love. As I play the scene over in my mind, it is a vision of God’s presence, something felt by the bleeding hearts of all those that Mom had held so dear. We, the children she had ushered into this life, acknowledged her journey home as we clustered around her in a heartfelt circle of love. Mom’s journey on Earth was complete; but in many ways, ours was just beginning.
Catherine Nagle ~ Imprinted Wisdom
Causes Catherine Nagle Supports
Westwind Foster Family Agency, Christian Children's Fund, Compassion International, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Invisible Children, Save the Children