When you are an adult child and you're, not only facing the death of your parents, but your own mortality, it's a very strange and surreal time. If you're lucky enough to have your parents live until you yourself are older, like me, you are blessed. But, even when you must say goodbye to your beloved parents and deal with the grief that marks the end, you can find enlightenment and peace.

Today marks 4th the anniversary of my mom's passing. After a tough battle with ovarian cancer, she took her last breath, peacefully, at home. Leading up to that day, I had imagined how the saddest day my life would play out. What I didn't realize is how, even in death, she would be able to teach me a lesson.

Many times, my thoughts wouldn't even let me think about her death. Other times, I struggled with the thought of being able to let her go. How would I be able to live without her? She was my best friend. I talked to her about everything. She was my life guide, mentor, and trusted confidante. I was so worried that I would never be the same after she was gone. She was there for every heartbreak, my divorce, my miscarriages, and anxiety disorder. I was afraid that, without her, everything in my life would be different, sad and dark, because she was my light.

I remember when each of my grandparents, her parents, passed away. She never skipped a beat. I saw her cry and I knew she was sad, but she still managed to smile, she still lived. I really didn't think much about it then, but now, as I was facing life without her, I realized that I could do it because she did. Her life didn't stop when she lost her parents and neither had her parents when they lost their parents. All of them, for the most part, lived happy lives. They loved, celebrated, traveled, smiled and laughed, and enjoyed their lives beyond the loss of their parents. I began to realize that I could do it too. And, that is what she would want me to do.

But, as she lay in her living room, facing the end of HER life, I try to imagine what was going through her mind. Was she scared? Was she ready? Was she sad to be leaving all of us? Sad to be leaving me? Or, as a woman of faith, was she excited?

I imagined myself in her place. How will I feel when I know that this is it? The first thing that ran through my mind is how excited I will be and how happy I will be to see her again. Sometimes, as she was laying there seemingly asleep, she would smile. It gave me a sense of peace. I imagined that she was looking forward to seeing her deceased parents and little brother again. I then found myself smiling too.

My mom had a wonderful life that she lived to the fullest. She was beautiful, intelligent, funny, caring, giving, adventurous, mischievous, confident, strong, creative, and brave. The gifts that God gave her, she used to enlighten and bring joy to all around her and she continued to do it even beyond her last breath.

If you are struggling with the death of a parent, hopefully, my experience will help you. Losing my mom was truly the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my life. But, even in death, her love continues to guide me, comfort me, and gives me a reason to be happy every day.

A few days ago, my brother sent this song to my sister and me. My mom loved bluebirds and every time I see one, I know she is always with me.


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