Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Comfort in Fall Rituals"

"Take comfort in fall rituals" my Starbucks email says as they promote the pumpkin spice latte. I'm taking comfort in a different kind of ritual, that of the funeral. Tomorrow is family visitation and on Thursday we celebrate the life of Barbara Jean Fitzgerald, my mother-in-law.

She was an awesome woman and my only mother for the past 10 years since mine died. She has had a rough time of it in the last several years. It seemed each infection was harder to overcome and many landed her in the hospital. She fought back again and again, always putting on her beautiful smile and reaching out from her wheelchair to hug us when we visited. Until last week, when she tired of fighting. She asked not to go to the hospital and thanks to the care of my sister-in-law and Piedmont hospice, she was able to stay home as she relinquished the fight. In her language, she WAS going home.

We take comfort in the rituals surrounding end of life. We will take comfort in memory and story. I'll read scripture and encourage family to share a mental image they have of 'Jean'. We will say our goodbyes this way and listen for the words of hope in scripture that remind us that we are in God's care, on both sides of the grave.
Psalm 25:5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
For mom, the waiting is over.

1 comment:

Mompriest said...

prayers for you and your family as you celebrate her life. May she rest in peace, in the everlasting love of God.