Friday, December 7, 2012

So Hard to Say Goodbye

My dear 92-year-old mother passed away peacefully early last night. I helped the assistant bathe her before I left the care facility to come home and was headed out the door to walk Webster when I got the news. I made the call to the funeral home and a wonderfully caring member of their staff met me at her bedside shortly after I had my last visit with my mom. I fixed her hair and said my last goodbye in private. Then I helped put her on the stretcher and walked her to the waiting car. Everything fell into place almost effortlessly and my mother's dignity was maintained up to the end.
Today is my first full day as an orphan and I feel very sad but surprisingly strong. Mother always wanted to die in her sleep and she got her wish. We had a great 10 years together, the last 8 spent here at the cottage. It won't be the same without her and neither will I. It was a privilege being her daughter.

112 comments:

Henhurst Interiors said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Rosemary. She must have given you the strength you feel, and you were clearly a wonderful daughter to her as she was a such a mother to you.
Sincerely,
Phyllis

Lee Owenby said...

So sorry for your loss. Your Mother was blessed to have such a caring daughter.

Viper said...

I'm sorry for your loss, and it's wonderful that the two of you were able to share so much.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

Prayers of peace to you.

Anonymous said...

Deepest sympathy. You will always have your mother in your heart.

YONKS said...

I am so very sorry for your loss but your attitude towards it is amazing. It's a passing we all wish for, quietly and painlessly in her sleep. What a wonderful last 10 years you had together. You are blessed. My thoughts and love are with you dear one.
Much love
Di
xxxx

Marilyn said...

My deepest sympathy. You did your best for her right until the end. Now take care of you and give yourself time.

Teri said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you dear Rosemary!

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Gail, in northern California said...

My heart goes out to you, Rosemary.
Be very, very good to yourself in the coming days.

manon said...

my deepest sympathy, take care

Karen L. said...

Rosemary, I was sorry to read this post about you losing your Mom but happy to see that she passed away in the way she wanted to. The fact that you did all you possibly could for her both before and after her passing will at least let your mind be at ease. I personally think it is hard for a woman to lose her Mother. Mine left me in the early 90's and I still have this thought every now and then that I want to call and talk to her. Know that the "pain" gets easier with time. But of course time takes time so give yourself that. Take care and let friends help if needed. God Bless!

coasterkim said...

I am so sorry to hear this but I know your memories will comfort you during this time. Praying for you!

Sharon Stanley Ruggerio said...

Rosemary,
Give sweet Webster a warm hug, and permit him to help with your healing. And be kind to yourself.

Kathy said...

Dear Rosemary,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing your mother has to be one of the most painful losses in life. My heart goes out to you.
You were a wonderful daughter.
With sympathy,
Kathy.
( I lost my mom 4 years ago , I'll miss my mom for the rest of my life.)

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you have lost you dear sweet mother.
I send you love,light and prayers from the prairies of Canada.
Love,
Cheryl


Tara Dillard said...

Thank you for sharing your mother with us.

Looking forward to you sharing MORE about her in the years to come.

Amazing how love still grows after we lose someone.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Anonymous said...

My head is in my hands, the tears are down my cheeks, you move me in so many ways and you always have every day, to read your blog is to confront a rare kind of elegance face to face. You have never been more elegant than you are today, to know you is to know your Mother as well, two remarkable women. Thank you for sharing yourselves with us, you are both in my heart today, my tears are for you both.

-Flo

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosemary. I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. My favortite pictures have been pictures of her interacting with your fur babies. We cannot prepare for this one. goodbye comes way too early no matter their age. I am glad she went gently and quietly. my prayers are with you.
Island girl, USA

Anonymous said...

Peace and comfort be with you, Rosemary, as these now are with Anna completely.
Today, I shall be celebrating Anna's life and yours together. That you have allow me to share in this lovely story, is a gift I will cherish always.
Love,
Linda

tammy j said...

i read this somewhere a long time ago ...
there are three great glories.
a young girl's first love
a woman holding her babe in her arms for the first time ... and
a fine old lady on her way home to god.
and your mother was such a lady.
her presence will be ever with you rosemary. i know my own mother's still is with me.
love to you dear heart.
tam

Mama Pea said...

Sending heartfelt sympathy to you on the loss of your mother. You made it possible for her to leave this life in the manner she wished. What a special relationship you and she had. Rejoice and find comfort in all your most loving memories!

Kate I said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss Rosemary. It doesn't matter how old our parents are or how old we are, it's such an immense loss. I went through this with my father just 2 months ago and I know what you mean about feeling strong at the time and yet there's just such a feeling of finality and closure when we become the orphan. It's a universal event in that it happens to everyone, everywhere and yet it's is so deeply, deeply personal. Webster will help you through this.

Sending love and hugs, Kate

Vickie H. said...

So sorry for your loss! Her going as she wished is indeed a divine gift. I will keep you in my prayers in the days and weeks to come as you attempt to adjust to a new kind of "normal". You were a blessing to your mother and a wonderful daughter.

Diane said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Rosemary. All those wonderful memories of her will be a comfort to you down the road. I'm glad you are feeling strong.

Please remember to be gentle with yourself in the coming days.

Nancy said...

What a blessed mother and daughter. My deepest condolences.

Sue said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this. She sounded like such a charming lady. You were lucky to have her. Hugs to you.

Garden, Home and Party said...

Rosemary,
I couldn't get your comments page to open, I am so saddened to hear your news but relieved that your mother died as she would have wished. A blessing indeed. I lost my mother about 2 1/2 years ago and it was a strange feeling to no have the constant love as close as my phone and a visit. We all adjust and it is a circle of life but there will undoubtedly be a void for many years to come. I will hold you in my thoughts this weekend. You were a wonderful daughter and I'm sure your mom cherished the past 10 years as having you as her roommate, along with Webster and Tabitha. :-)
xo,
Karen

Anonymous said...

Longtime reader of your blog sending her sympathies to you at this difficult time. Your mother was lucky to have such a caring daughter. Please take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Wrap yourself in your precious memories of your mother and you will be sustained...peace to you.

Sarajan (Jan to friends!) said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Of all the goodbyes we have to say in Life, the one to our mother is the hardest. Prayers being sent your way. -- Jan

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Rosemary. I lost my Mother 8 years ago and my Mother-in law Nov. 7th. You are a wonderful daughter and your Mother was blessed to have you.
Hugs and prayers to you.
Sky

Sally Thomas said...

God bless you and keep you. I loved all your posts about and pictures of her. She was truly a beautiful woman, and what a blessing to both of you that you could share a house and life together. Your story-in-pictures has been an inspiration.

I'm praying for you in your loss.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I'm so sorry for the passing of your mom. How blessed you are to have had her for 92 years. She will always be with you. Look for the signs and you'll see them. God bless. xo

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Patricia said...

Your posts about your mother have been very loving tributes, and I am sorry to read she has passed away. It sounds as if you were both very blessed to have each other, and you must have many, many wonderful memories.

hron said...

So sorry for your loss, Rosemary. I suspect that you both were extremely blessed by your relationship with one another. Your love lives on.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Rosemary,
Please accept my sincere sympathies. I know what a loss this must be for you and Webster. God Bless.

billie said...

Rosemary,
Your post today touched such a chord with all mothers and daughters. You write about such wonderful memories with your mother and these will help keep her alive. Plus she lives on through all the influence she left in you.

Hug Webster, treasure the time you had with your mom, and know others would alleviate some of your pain if we could.
XO-b

JudyMac said...

I just knew that I would open your blog one day and find that your Mother was gone. And it is so very sad. You could not have had a better mother, and she could not have had a better daughter. We will continue to welcome hearing about the many ways your Mother blessed your life and hope you remember to not let us forget her. JudyMac

South Valley Girl said...

You are both in my thoughts and prayers today - I know exactly what you're going through, I had the same 10-year run with my mother at the end of her life, and I was so glad to be there for her.

Blessings to you -

Christina / SVG

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. All of the stories you have shared about your mother have been filled with beauty. I wish you all the best during this difficult time.

A longtime reader of your blog,

Emily

Penny Wolfp said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers to you and Tabitha and Webster.

Rachy said...

Oh no, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss Rosemary.
Many hugs at this most difficult of times xxx

Bonnie said...

Rosemary, You are in my heart and thoughts. I am so sorry for your lose. You are a strong woman and a lovingly daughter. Hugs! Bonnie

Lissa said...

I've enjoyed your posts for months and feel sad that I haven't told you so before. I've felt carried along with you and your winding, loving path with your mother, and have sent supportive thoughts your way. While your time with her is over, what a treasure you were to her. We all long to not be alone, I think, even though it's evident that we are born and die alone - but, how reassuring it must have been for her to know that you were always there, loving and protective. Well done!

Juniper said...

Oh my dear Rosemary... I am so sorry for your loss. You gave your mother the gift of care and your time for many years, what an amazing daughter you are. Just incredible. Thinking of you and sending you thoughts of love and peace... <3

ladyhawthorne said...

God bless you, may her memory be eternal.

JulesTX said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

Glad she was able to pass in her sleep just as she wished.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. I've been following your posts for a while. I know you will miss your Mother. You have been a wonderful daughter. May she rest in peace.
Very sincerely,
Martha

teaorwine said...

Rosemary,

I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. You remained with her until the end. I lost my mother several years ago and I know it is simply not easy, no matter of the circumstances. I am thinking of you.

my best,
Sharon

Barbara said...

Dear Rosemary ~ Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. You and Anna have been in the thoughts and prayers of many of us who have come to know and love you through Content in a Cottage. The grace and charm of your lives together shone through in pictures and stories. May you have peace of heart. Thank you for expressing this profound experience which we have all shared or one day will share. I know you have helped me to see the beauty of life in many ways and you have brought that love of life to the passing of your dear mother in a way that touches my soul. Much love to you, dear lady.
Barbara

Anonymous said...

Cara Rosemary,

ti sono vicina in questo momento di grande dolore. Da Firenze ti abbraccio,

Paola

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosemary,
I want to echo Barbara. I am so sorry for your loss but so happy for you that you could honor your mother by caring for her when she needed you. My thoughts and prayers will be with you in the coming days. Your blog has become a special part of my day.

Libby

Cheri said...

I've just recently come across your graceful and beautiful blog. And you have just expressed the loss of your mother so gracefully and beautifully as well.

I'm losing my mother by inches to Alzheimer's and your relationship with your mother heartens me and reminds me to be so very thankful for each moment.

You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Rosemary. I have loved hearing about your relationship with your Mother through your blog. This last picture of her walking Tabitha is so precious. Take care of yourself and know we care.
Doris from Calif.

Vicki said...

Oh Rosemary,

I am truly saddened for you. For there is always heartache in the loss of a loved one.
Your beautiful mother was indeed fortunate to have such a caring, loving daughter.
You provided her with the very best that a mother could ask for.

You were her Angel, and now she will be yours.
Her presence will be with you always. Take strength from that.

To leave this mortal coil with absolute love and dignity is the very most anyone could ask for.
She was cherished to the last.

You are in my thoughts, dear Rosemary xx

Goodnight dear Anna, sleep well in eternal peace ♥

Karen said...

I read your blog several times a week and love it so. I have never commented though. Today, through tears, I send you my most heartfelt condolences. Such a loss--there are few words. I said a prayer for you and will be thinking of you as you face your first Christmas without year beautiful mother.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosemary I feel as if know you reading your blog from Australia! I'm sitting typing with tears streaming down my face; I'm so proud of the life you have shared with your mum and understand something of how you feel having lost my own mum 18 months ago. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve xoxox Di

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing your Mom with us, your blog readers most who have never met you. Many of us are touched by the loss of your Mother, may we all feel Peace and Love, Comfort and Joy. Blessings and strength!

Julie Dunham said...

I can only think that you will have no regrets. You did so much for your mother and you speak of her in such warm and loving ways. May she rest in peace and may you find comfort in knowing that you were a wonderful daughter.

HR said...

Thank you sharing your lovely mother with us. Joy and strength to you.

Christine said...

I too felt opening your blog today that there might be some sad news, and so the tears are flowing. I lost my mom nearly 5 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. Your blog is so full of warmth and love. The cozy home you provided for your mom most certainly was a gift you learned from her. I felt like your guest when I would read your posts with photos of you all enjoying your beautiful home and surroundings. You will be in my prayers during this difficult time. I think you are amazing.

Anonymous said...

I just knew she was ready ...I have followed your story, and it reminds me of my own Dad who passed at age 89... I hated to place him in a nursing home, and have felt guilt, but I think we all know what we can handle. You will feel a strong sense of peace at having done the best you could for your mom. You had a wonderful, loving relationship. My best, Judy

cathy in wytheville said...

What a blessing to have been with each other the last 10 years. It doesn't matter how old you are or if you are expecting it, it changes your world when you lose your mother.
Prayers and peace to you all.
Cathy S
Wytheville, VA2

Leslie Shelor said...

You and your mom were both blessed to have each other and that she had such a peaceful end with you there for her. Blessings!

Terril said...

Hold the memories close and she will never be far from you.

Sharon Hermens said...

Bless you. I am so sorry for your loss. My the memories of your mom give you comfort at this time.

sandy lawrence said...

Rosemary, my deepest, heartfelt condolences for the loss of your lovely Mother.

I have followed the progression of the tender care you have taken with her and of her needs. I was taken with (though not surprised by) your insight of when, exactly - and almost to the very minute of crucial need - to seek additional care for her; and how that particular bed in that particular facility opened nearby. All of these things together unfolded in order to assist your Mom's passing in the peaceful way that she wished.

The Universe is always on time.

May this thought be of some solace to you, dear Rosemary, along with the soul-comfort of your faithful and loving cottage companions Webster and Tabitha. We are truly blessed with the devotion of pets in time of great loss.

Many good thoughts from far and near are with you now and in the coming days. Thank you for taking the time to let us, your friends, know.

helene said...

Rosemary, deepest sympathies. I aspire to be as devoted a daughter as you in my mother's last days.

Martha said...

I am so sad for you but what you did for your Mom was so very caring. I ony hope my children are as wonderful as you have been with your Mom. I love your blog, it is such a peaceful way to end every day. My thoughts are with you. Martha

ann chamberlain said...

So very sorry for your loss. I have been there! Much love to you as you go through the days ahead.

ann chamberlain said...

Much love to you as you go through the days ahead. I have been where you are right now. How wonderful to have such lovley memories.

Deanna said...

Peace to you in the difficult days ahead, Rosemary. Hugs.

Cynthia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing the pictures of your mom and dogs. I never miss looking at your posts. God Bless!!!

Millie said...

With heavy hearts we send you loving thoughts across the Great Divide which today, seems especially far our friend. The grace & dignity of Anna's passing echo how she lived her life. Your unstinting support of her final years Rosemary is a poignant testament to all she taught you. Love conquers all.
Millie & MOTH xxxx

Ann said...

I've been reading your sweet blog regularly for about six months. My mother died suddenly when I was 14 and it has been a major issue in my life to not have her with me. I know you will miss your mom every day like I do, but it seems that so much of her is in you. Your kind and gentle spirit comes through your blog...I'm sure much of that came from her in some way.

Judy said...

I am glad that you were able to be with her. I am sure she knew you cherished the time you and her shared the cottage. I loved the picture you took of her setting on the couch. So sweet.

Lori said...

My deepest sympathy during this very sad time in your life. May the happy memories help you through this sad time. You both were very fortunate to share her last years together.

Anonymous said...

My sympathy to you.
I was with my mom for the last three years of her life before she died at 99. She was ready to go and said her goodbyes to everyone the last week of her life. She too had a beautiful death for which I am grateful.

The manner of her death will give you peace in the days to come. May memories of your mother's life comfort you in the days ahead. You and I were truly blessed in the gift of our wonderful mothers.

Sheila said...

Anna was a beautiful lady with an equally lovely daughter. Thank you for sharing her with us; we will miss her, too. Love and prayers to you and Webster and Tabitha.

Anonymous said...

Oh,Rosemary, I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

Kitty

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Rosemary. May she rest in peace. Sara, Ohio

Kat O'Keefe said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I'm sure she cherished the last years spent with you and Webster and it was a blessing for you to have that time with her.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Rosemary for your loss of your mother. What a wonderful daughter you were to your mom--she must have been so very proud of you. May God's peace be with you.

Your friend in Cumming, Georgia
Barbara S.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosemary,
Everyone before me has said it much better than I could. Please know how much we all care,
With sincere sympathy,
Janie Horn

wendyytb said...

God bless you.... I am so sorry for your loss!

Linda in AZ * said...

* Dearest Rosemary,

Not many mothers & daughters are SO BEAUTIFULLY BLESSED with such an obviously wonderful, close and mutually respectful love & true fondness for each other as you two have shared...

And how many people get to leave for heaven on "their own terms"?

I hope these thoughts help you, at least somewhat, during this most incredibly difficult time in your life.

My darling Mom died when she was only 58, and besides my husband, was my VERY BEST FRIEND... she was incredibly fun, funny, full of life & always busy~~~ seems we were always lkaughing, & many referred to us a "Lucy & Ethel"... Then Daddy died two years later, at 62... So, I KNOW how your heart is breaking, and aching, and I wish I could just give you a big, warm hug...

Since I can't, I will trust in Him to do that, and be there for you...

My most sincere thoughts for you, my friend...

Linda in AZ
bellesmom1234@comcast.net

Wendy said...

I have followed your wonderful blog for some time now and was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of your mother but she will always be in your heart so never truly gone.

@coolgreenpines (Maria) said...

My heart dropped to my stomach when I read this. I don't want to add to your pain and won't do that. But may I say how lovely and fortunate the two of you were to have each other. My family is a hot mess and what I saw with you two was a loving picture of how family should look. I was always in awe of that, of you and your mother. Bless you, sweet Rosemary.

Margriet said...

I am so sorry for your loss.But I'm happy for your mother that she could die in the way she wanted and with so much peace. I wish you much strength...it will be empty without her!

Anonymous said...

so,so sorry for your loss.
but i think you now have a guardien angel watching over you every day till you are together again.
i hope,there will be good friends to carry you through these difficult times.
im sending you prayers and all the strengh that you need.
hugs to dexter and you
anni

Kleurrijk said...

My condolences to you.

Your message let me remember the day that my mom passed away.

And now you are there. Much love to you as you go through the days ahead. I think of you.

Lord Cowell said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
David and Peter.

Maria Starzyk said...

I am so very sorry, your mother was so beautiful, with such wonderful style, and I loved reading about her in your blog. Take care

LANA said...

Oh Rosemary,I am so, so, sorry for the loss of your Mom. She was a beautiful and elegant woman, she reminded me of Tasha Tudor, and I always loved the stories you posted about her. You have been a wonderful daughter to her, she was very blessed, as you were blessed to have her as your Mom. Even though I have never met either of you, I feel as if you are my friend and I cried. Please accept my very deepest sympathies and a big hug. This will be a most difficult time for you, but I am certain your Mom is in a beautiful peaceful place now, and watching over you always. Please know that you are not alone, there are many, many people out here who read your blog who share your grief.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful life. A beautiful death. May you both have peace.

Anonymous said...

Sending warm and gentle condolences. May you find peace and comfort in cherished memories.

Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort in all your wonderful memories. You're fortunate to have shared the past years with your mom.

laney said...

...how blessed you both were...you with your dear mother...she with her precious daughter...every comment you shared about her was filled with love...your mother i am sure left you with a legacy of love...and of prayers...our prayers for one another do not die with us...they are kept in God's heart...and released in His timing...look each day for a prayer said just for you by your mother...and released by your heavenly father...blessings laney

Carol said...

So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. You are blessed to have had her in your life as long as you did. And your mother was blessed to have such a loving daughter. May you find comfort in that.

Patricia in Denver said...

Having a loving daughter who cares for you in your last years and passing away peacefully in your sleep is all anyone could ever ask. Be comforted in this knowledge. Also know that all of your readers miss her too.

Bonnie Schulte said...

Your very sad post brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know, after my Mother died 15 years ago, at the age of 85, how empty life felt without her. We were, as you and your Mother were, close in every way. Sweet memories will help in so many ways, as life goes on for you. You have my deepest sympathy and prayers to help you through this sad time..

Patricia said...

So sad for you. Deepest sympathy.

Awden said...

I'm sending you, Webster and Tabitha blessings and warm wishes. For every single reply you get to this post, you've got to know that there are 100 people crying too hard along with you to even type thier words of comfort. Heading off for another kleenex now...

~Awden

lynne said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to read that your mom has passed on. Your posts have meant so much to me, letting us see a bit of your beautiful relationship with her. I lost my mom twelve years ago last month - hugs to you.

Alette said...

I'm so sad to read these news.
My heart goes out with you as well my prayers.

May you find comfort knowing that the time you shared with her was wonderful and you were happy together.
Cherish those memories.

Please, receive my deepest sympathies and a warm hug in this moment of sorrow.

Alette

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Just want you to know I am thinking of you during this time. A faithful follower - Lori

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosemary, Thank you for allowing us to have a glimpse into your gracious world, and introducing me to your dear mother Anna, Webster and Tabitha. I feel as if I know them personally. I also lost my 92 year old mother 11 months ago so my prayers are with you and and my heart grieves for your loss. Your love for your mother came through in every word you have ever written of her and I am certain she felt it too. I pray for peace and comfort in the days ahead and also that you would find great joy in remembering the wonderful times you shared together.
Blessings to you,

Tina AZ

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You and your mom were blessed to have each other.

The Texas Woman said...

Thinking of you.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Rosemary, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies.