Friday, October 28, 2011

Lay Me To Rest Among The Cattails

The other day, I attended the funeral of a young woman who had lost her battle with breast cancer. I didn't know the woman personally, I met her young son, and know her son's father only though my husband.

Coincidentally, her funeral was held in the very church where I watched my mother being baptized and where I was baptized years later. It was also the very church were my mothers funeral, after she also lost her battle with breast cancer when I was 5 almost 6 years old, was held.
I continued to attend the church for the 6 years following my mothers death, mainly out of obligation, but had not been back since the age of 12. Needless to say the church has not changed a bit!  

Concentrating on the funeral I had come to attend was extremely difficult, in fact almost impossible. Everywhere I looked was a reminder of the day I took, what seemed at the time, to be an endless walk down the middle aisle to the white coffin where my mother lay. The more I tried to focus my attention on the the current funeral, the more my attention seemed to divert to my past history in this church.

Other than viewing my mothers body, and the drama that occurred after the funeral, I don't remember much else of the actual funeral services. I can recall who gave the eulogy but cant remember what was said. I remember we all congregated in the basement of the church once the funeral services were concluded before the precession to the cemetery.

After we returned home from the cemetery, I remember being almost in shock at the number of people walking in and out of my mothers home all the while carrying with them my mothers belongings. I watched her fur coat leave, various pieces of jewelry, and even an heirloom Bible. 

I remember sitting there at the dining room table where I often sat on the floor at my mothers feet, getting angrier and angrier with each bite of my glazed donut thinking to myself that my mother would not have been pleases with any part of this day.

That anger I held onto for years and eventually transformed itself into severe guilt which I can not even begin to explain, but anger and then guilt probably was what took me away from the grieving period that I, as her only daughter and youngest child, was more than entitled to.

So, there I was 30 years later, back in the same church, attending the funeral of a woman who lost her battle with breast cancer at the very same age (or at least close to the same age) as my mother, who was leaving behind a child who was around the same age as I was when my mother left me, staring down the same middle aisle. And it took all the strength I had inside of me not to cry. I could not allow myself to cry at the funeral of a woman where the tears that would fall would not be for her.

So, as inconsiderate as it may sound, I started to think about my own funeral. Not my death, but my funeral. The feelings my loved ones would be left with. The words that I would want them to hear. And the thoughts, my thoughts, that I would want to be expressed:

"I have lived a long hard life. The years may not have been long but the road I traveled was. The fact that my life extended far beyond what I anticipated only shows that I was blessed with time I never expected nor planned for. I wasn't able to experience a lot of happiness, until now. Now, I am finally happy. Now, I am finally free. My heart doesn't hurt anymore. My mind is quiet. My soul can finally rest. I have peace. God blessed me with the mercy that I wanted and gave to me the peace that I needed. HE came to me and led me to stand beside the person that I have wanted to be next to my entire live. I am now able to hold the hand of my mother, my angel. And for the first time, I feel at home. This is not a time for sadness, but a time for celebration. I am at peace. My soul is at peace. At last I can lay down in a field of Cattails and rest in peace." (Cattail flowers represent  PEACE)


  1. Very good writing but very sad...seems fatalistic... like it is speaking with a numbingly depressive voice. The last bit, while seemingly an ode to consoling those left behind, really sounds like the tale of a very sad life carrying an ache down deep. The post as a whole conveys a depth of feeling in a true and real voice. Hope you find a bit more happiness, a bit less hurt, a stillness of mind and a peace while still in the here and the now.

  2. I appreciate your comment very much. Thank you!

  3. "msvmoore said... I appreciate your comment very much. Thank you!"

    You are most welcome....

    Anonymous ME


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