Thursday, October 16, 2008

goodbye Mom

Mom died around 2 o'clock today.

I saw her last night and held her hand for a long time. I whispered to her last night "I don't know if you have a choice or not but if you do, you need to go home" Mom looked very close to dying and I knew the time was close.

I have prayed for a couple weeks now that if possible I could be with Mom when she took her last breath. My plans today were to go see her tonight. I got up this morning and decided to clean up Mom's green house. She has always wanted a green house and she finally got one this spring. It was full of dead tomato plants and I thought it would be a nice way to honor Mom- to get her green house ready for winter- I know she wanted to grow her own petunia plants in the early spring. I thought about Mom all morning. The girls were asleep for their naps for maybe 25 minutes when I got a call from Linda (a dear friend of the family's) she was with Mom and noticed Mom's breathing was staggering. Linda was crying when she said, "April I think your Mom is taking her last breaths" I hung up, grabbed my kids, dropped them off at our neighbor's house (love you Chapmans!) and off Dad and I went to say goodbye to Mom.

I called Linda back while we were driving. Linda told me she was already gone.

My mom is gone. The tears came. I wasn't there with her. I was lost. I just kept crying, "I lost my mommy...I lost my mommy" I knew she was going to die but it still shocked me and I so badly wanted to be with her one last time while she was alive. I felt this overwhelmingly ache in my chest and I just missed her...I just lost my Mom.

We walked into her room. Mom was pale and...her chest was no longer moving. She was gone. I bawled like a baby when I saw her. I held her lifeless hand- it was still warm and soft. Her face was motionless. She was peaceful. She was no longer agitated or shaking. The Mormon Tabernacle choir was still playing in the CD player. I asked Linda what song was playing when she died and she said, "I'm trying to be like Jesus"
Linda said she was asleep and very peaceful when she died.

My thoughts were a little all over the place. I was feeling peace yet I was upset I wasn't with her when her spirit left her body. I was crying a lot. I kept touching Mom's body- her feet, her head, her arms, her face, her hands- I missed my Mom a lot and wanted to be with her so badly. I can't believe she is gone. She has been so much apart of my life- she was my anchor- my stability when I needed a friend the most. She always listened to me, always taught me something...I loved her so much. I love her so much.

I was able to hold her hand until the rest of my family arrived.

We all hugged and cried together as we stood close to Mom.

Then the miracle happened.

Joette, Calie and I were standing together while we watched Keith stroke Mom's head.

Then I felt the embrace...from Mom. It was the most real experience- most real physical experience I can describe. It was warm and I could feel her. Joette could feel her too. Through my tears I said, "Mom is hugging me...I can feel her" Joette said the same thing. We then both said "thank you Mom" as tears of love rolled down our cheeks. I know my mom was there in that room today. She was smiling...she was sincere...and she wanted to hold her family close. We could all feel her...I will never doubt it. Thank you Mom.

I then knew why I wasn't able to be with Mom when she died. When she passed on through the veil she was greeted by all her friends and family who had died before her and then she was greeted by the hundreds upon hundreds who thanked her for doing their temple work for them- and then after her big welcoming party she must have said, "I have to go be with my kids and my husband" and so it was perfect timing and we were able to feel her. Mom was hugging each one of us today. It is a moment I will never forget.

We then knelt around her bed and said our last family prayer together. We knew that would be Mom's request. Keith offered the prayer.

We stayed with Mom's body for awhile and then the nurses covered her in a beautiful quilt. The funeral home people then came and took her away. I didn't want to say goodbye yet. I still don't.

But it is ok. Tonight we know Mom is free from her sick body- she is laughing and probably running around without any pain. I know Heavenly Father is going to put that talented elect lady to work real fast. I look forward to feeling her righteous influence in my life from here on out. I love you Mom.

Welcome home.


Marie said...

My prayers are with your family. Thanks for sharing your goodbyes. It gave me a chance to reflect and say goodbye too.

Heather said...

I don't think that your mom would have been able to go had you been there with her. She loved you and her family so much. I know that she didn't want to leave you. I am so sorry that you have lost your mom. She has left an amazing legacy that will be reflected in your sweet beautiful girls. I see so much of your mom in you. You are beautiful the same way that your mom is. You have such an amazing love for Christ and the gospel. I see the same amount of faith in you that I witnessed in your mom. Your mom maybe gone from this earth, but she will always be with you, she is part of you. I love you. I have so many memories of your mom, my own private observations of a truly Christ like person. Please don't delete her blog. I love reading her words, her faith, and her testimony.

Marne said...

Thanks for sharing your goodbyes April. Your strength amazes me. We continue to pray for you and your family. Thanks for being such a good example to all of us!

My Crazy Life X 6 said...

my heart aches for you. may god be with you till you meet again. your mom is watching over you.

Tara said...

April, you are incredibly amazing. We didn't know your mom too well but were so amazed at her talents, her zest for life, and how much she loved her kids and grandkids. What a wonderful woman and what a legacy she has left! Such a wonderful blessing that you are sealed to your parents.

I am so happy that your mom in spirit was able to be with you and your family at that difficult time. We wish we could be there to support and comfort you, but will send our hugs with Chay and continue to pray for you and your family.

Love ya Apey. Give your girls some hugs from us.

Natalie Jane said...

Love and prayers from my family to yours.

Stacey Noack said...

oh Honey, You are such a wonderful daughter because of your wonderful mother. Jandre led me to find your blog. Your mom is wonderful and we will all miss her, but thankfully we will have all our fun memories of "EDK". May God bless and comfort you and your family. HUGS, HUGS, HUGS!!!

The Pyper Fam said...

I really don't know what to say, writing a comment on a blog doesn't seem like enough...but i also don't want to be bothersome. i just want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your amazing family! i loved your mom, she was amazing and i have loved reading of your experience over these past few months of how you have coped with losing her. please know that i love you and please please please let me know if there is anything i can do.

Delia D'Nell said...

oh April, my heart goes out to you and your family. I am glad you got the one last hug. I will be thinking about you.

Sheri said...

April, I love you and appreciate your strength. I know the Lord and your moms strength will guide you through this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, April. Reading your thoughts and feelings at this tender time has strengthened me. I know that your mom will visit you and your family many more times in the days, months, and years to come. We are all praying for you.

carrie said...

april - i don't think you know me, but i'm an old friend of Joette's. we lived across the hall from each other for a while in SLC, and were in the same ward. anyway, i checked out the link from her blog to yours one day, and have been blog stalking you a bit. Ü i love your blog! you and joette are amazing! it has been kinda fun to read some of the posts on both your blogs when you can tell they are about the same thing. Ü ...anyway, i'm babbling, and getting off track... i have been touched by your sweet/tender/honest words and thoughts about your mother, and wanted to tell you thanks. you and joette, and the rest of your family are so lucky to have each other! you are going to get through, i know it! because of each other and your testimonies in the gospel!!

Jake & Elissa said...

Oh April, I just cried when I read this. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for writing your blog and sharing your testimony. You influence more people than you'll ever know.

JP Anderson said...

Thank you for sharing that. I've been following your blog to see how things are going for you while you are with your mother. Even though I don't know your familiy I got misty eyed reading about your experience. I can sense your mother has a very special spirit. I'm sure you're happy you are both able to return back home.

Stacy said...

You hardly know me, but you have touched me deeply with your love and emtion for your mom. I don't even know your mom, but it sounds like she truly was "Trying to be like Jesus." I hope that you can find peace and comfort as the days go by. There will always be little reminders of your mom and I hope you will continue to write about them. With all the wonderful things you've written about your mom, her talents, her humor, her character - I'm sure she is celebrating her welcome home! Thank you for letting me take this journey with you. You're in my thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet April, how you have so much of your mother in you. You are a light and a choice daughter of our heavenly father and he will continue to bless you and your family as you honor your mothers legacy. The services were so lovely and peacfull and full of the spirit. You could feel the warmth and love. Thansk you for sharing your mother with us and for sharing your gifts.

Lots of love,


Laura said...

Thanks for sharing that April, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Anonymous said...

You, all of you, have shared such personal and tender feelings and experiences with us...Thank you is not enough.
My heart is forever connected to your family through your mom.

Love and prayers,
Phyllis Koepsell