My husband and I have had one interesting ride during this last year. It is often said that life’s events make us stronger but within 13 months we lost his mother at the age of 92, sold her house and our house, relocated to another state, went from three jobs between the two of us to one and most recently lost my mother at the age of 92 and are in the process of selling her house. So far, we have survived all the storms of the previous year.
My mother was a strong, independent woman who was determined to live life her way. In fact, she lived in her own home until four weeks before she died. She was generous with her time to her family, her organizations and her causes. But perhaps they all meld into one, for she was a strong advocate of education and this is reflected in the committees she joined within her organizations and in the time spent encouraging her children and grandchildren to attain the goal of a college education.
My brother and I know that even if something was wrong she would not have told us, for she would not tolerate grief or pity. In fact, we are pretty sure that the three snowstorms we have experienced in one week’s time where orchestrated by mom. As we stood at the grave, a fierce cold wind began to blow, encouraging everyone to depart rather quickly. It was mom’s way of telling us all to stop grieving and get on with our lives. But I can still find some solace in a poem that she used when others lost loved ones:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.